Mark Allen Roberts On Successful Sales Strategies And Hiring The Right People 

December 16, 2020

LBL Mark | Successful Sales


With so many people immersing themselves in sales, it is not surprising that a huge chunk of them cannot even close deals or only in it because of mere profit. For one to achieve successful sales, hiring people equipped with the right skills and mindset is needed. Ben Baker sits down with Mark Allen Roberts to talk about the right way salespeople should present pitches and start meaningful conversations. Mark Allen further explains how comprehensive assessments can help a lot in discovering individuals fit to enter sales and why adapting to technology is significant in keeping up with the industry's transition to the digital stage.


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Mark Allen Roberts On Successful Sales Strategies And Hiring The Right People

It is great having you with us one more time. Every episode, we try to bring you another guest who can give you some insights, something special, different, and that is going to be unique to you and give you some tidbits that are going to make your life and your business better. This is no different. I have Mark Roberts on the show. Mark, welcome. Let's get into it because I'm not even going to tee this thing up. I want to have a conversation because we are going to have a great time and talk about who you are, what you do, why you do it. We are going to get into my favorite conversation, hiring salespeople and what not to do. Why don't you tell a little bit more about you?

I've been in sales for years. I've led sales teams. I've been the CEO and president of a couple of companies, but my passion is helping sales teams fix sales problems. As a matter of fact, if you google fix sales problems, you'll find me. I'm number one in the world. I've had the pleasure of working with you, Ben, on a couple of other shows. I appreciate being invited here. My passion is helping people particularly in this challenging environment set a new course so they get back to hitting their numbers and becoming more profitable.

It is important now because the world has changed. We've always been in a period of flux. Everybody sits there and goes, “COVID, my world is coming to an end. Things are different.” This particular crisis may be different, but it's another crisis. 2008 was a crisis and 9/11 was a crisis. There were ten crises before that after I was born, let alone before that. There'll be 100 crises from this point forward that I may or may not know about. It's how we deal with them. It's how we, as people, deal with those problems and salespeople are right at the brunt of this. We, Allison DeFord, Mark Mitchell, Ray Ziganto, and Chris Luecke did a series together called Game Changers. Let's start off with that about selling naked. That's probably a great place for us to start because when you came up with this phrase, it was perfect, to begin with. 

First, I don't want to take credit for that. Warren Buffet said, “You can tell who’s swimming naked when the tide goes out.” Before COVID, our biggest challenge was hiring people. If you remember, we couldn't find people. Unemployment was low, but you didn't have to be all that good. Customers were calling. They were giving you orders in most cases, but when the tide of business went out, it was evident who was lacking the skills. We've got salespeople out there who don't have skills. About 50% of salespeople were never trained in sales skills. They probably have a dated value proposition. The one team I was coaching, I was on a call with a young man and he said, “We have the best truckload pricing in the industry.” This is during COVID and he's trying to sell a distributor.

We get off the phone, I'm like, “Do you understand cashflow? Do you understand the cost of inventory?” He's looking at me with that glare. I’m like, “Stop saying that truckload thing. You turned off the whole deal. The whole deal went south.” You could tell the tone of the conversation changed when he said that. What we need to do is update our value propositions based on how our buyers are buying and the criteria they're using to buy. It's not that hard. I'm doing one now for a customer in Kentucky. We're doing a voice of customer research. We're contacting their top 100 customers. We're doing about a 25-question interview. We're going to get the insights we need to understand exactly what their buyers want, how they want to buy, and what criteria they're using to buy. We're then going to create a value proposition based on now.

One team I did in the Midwest is an HVAC distributor. This one blew me and the CEO away. Over 63% of their customers said they preferred virtual selling. Some of them went on to say, “Frankly, over the last couple of years, I haven't enjoyed your rep stopping by with donuts, hanging out for half a day. I got things to do.” It's time we take a data-driven approach to get through this. As I said, a lot of people are out there selling naked. They're doing what they've always done. They're getting frustrated. They're virtual selling. They've never picked up the phone and sold before. They were face-to-face. They haven't been trained on how to use Zoom.

Don't get me started because I don’t want to share some horror stories and scare your audience, but I've been in some Zoom calls where that guy didn't know his camera was on. There are a lot of things, simple stuff like how to write a short, concise email and how to leave a professional voicemail. They never had to do that before. They hopped in their car, drove somewhere, and sold somebody. The good news is they can be converted. The bad news is about 60% now are struggling. Where I hear CEOs anxious is like, “I want to ride 2020 out. Where I'm anxious is I'm not seeing a strong pipeline to start 2021.” That's where we got to put some clothes on these guys and girls and equip them to be successful.

LBL Mark | Successful Sales

Successful Sales: If you've been in sales for any length of time, you learn how to be a nice guy.


The challenge is with that is the fact that we haven't taken the time to train salespeople. We give them a phone, a computer, a business card and we say, “Go out and sell.” We assume they can talk and sell. That's a recipe for disaster.

What's the cost to your brand if they're representing you wrong? What if they're not doing a good job? What if they're making promises you can't keep?

Salespeople do that all the time.

That's why buyers are difficult to connect with. We shared on that one podcast, let's see if you remember. How many minutes in a one-hour meeting with a salesperson is a buyer value?

Probably it was less than ten.

It is six minutes. That's like an arrow through the heart of a sales trainer and coach. What's going on? First of all, salespeople are talking 60%, 70%, or 80% of the time. They're not asking good questions. They don't know the business of the customer's business. If the customer shares, they're not listening. They're pitching. All those things can be corrected with training and coaching. There is hope. One of the tools that I use as an assessment tool tells me if the person is coachable before you invest in training.

Let's get into coachable versus non-coachable because I would argue the majority of people out there are coachable. There are people out there that are uncoachable. How do you tell the difference? There are people out there that are craving training. They want to be better. They do things differently. They're realizing that they used to make $100,000 and they're only making $80,000 now. They're barely scratching the surface. They see other people doing well and they realize they’re not. They're barely making quotas on a regular basis if they're making it at all. They're realizing that there's got to be a better way. There are also those that have their head in the sand who sit there and say, “I'm the best. Nobody can touch me. Nobody can tell me anything.” There's everything in between. How do you get to the point where you realize that it's somebody that is a bad salesperson, but that could be way better versus somebody who is either never going to get better or they're never going to listen?

Here's a scary number. Approximately 20% to 30% of the people in sales should never even been in sales. They don't want to be in sales. They probably went into it for the money and for the travel a little bit. Where I start every one of my engagements when we fix a team and turn a team around, typically the people I work with want explosive growth. They don't want 3%. They want to double, triple or 10X their business in the next five years. We run an assessment and the number keeps coming back again to 25% to 30%. What does assessment say is those people shouldn't even be in sales. They're good people though. Maybe they should be in customer service. Maybe they should be in the warehouse. Maybe they should be driving a truck making deliveries. They care about people. They have a good work ethic, but they should not be in sales.

It's one thing to understand sales, but picking up the phone and having the tenacity and grit to sell is another. Click To Tweet

The ROI on training, that's something that CEOs and CROs have been struggling with for years. What if we trained the people that were trainable? I remember one CRO of a huge company, a $4 billion company. I said, “We need to invest in training for our managers. We got to help our sales managers learn to be a coach.” He says, “If we train them, what if they leave? We invested all that money and all that time.” I'm like, “What if they stay?” It was a little edgy there in that conversation. The first thing I do is do an assessment of the people that you want to train. They think they know how to get past the gatekeeper. This is a true story. I was training this a team of experienced salespeople, at least fifteen years of experience or greater. One of the guys in the class at 27 years in this industry had changed to this company.

He's like, “Why are you wasting my time? I know how to get past the gatekeeper process.” I was like, “Let's find out.” We gave him an assessment and he scored 53 out of 100. We take them through the course. He's like, “I never thought of that. I'm embarrassed.” If we wouldn't have done the assessment, he would have been one of those people mentally turned off, not engaged, probably a complainer or souring the training for others. The assessment is a humbling thing at the beginning. It helps you understand quickly who needs what. If I assessed you and you scored 85% or more, it was optional if you want to be trained. You've shown that you have competency in this. If you want training, I recommend it and they typically did, but it was one person with closing who scored 10% out of 100. He has fifteen years of experience. He did not have a clue on how to close.

He assumed he did because he was getting the results that he or she thought they should get but had no idea that your results could be that much better by tweaking it.

Sometimes when I work with a client, I'm like, “Who's your best salesperson?” Immediately, they'll say “Steve or Barbara.” I'm like, “Why?” They were like, “They have the best of revenue and highest profits.” I’m like, “Let me ask you this another way. If you were opening up new territory, would you put Steve or Barbara in it to develop it on?” They’re like, “No.” “They've got the highest revenue because they've been lucky enough to be given a territory that somebody else grew. The transactions are coming in every day and they're hitting their numbers, but they're not your best are they?”

They are not good farmers.

They're good and their maintainers even. One of the things I look at is the share of wallet, how much of the increase, what's your share of wallet by a customer, new product sales, their close rate on new products. Some of those people recognize as their number one person that they could never lose are terrible salespeople. They're good at giving great service because they've got a huge territory with a lot of revenue. I love assessments. The one I use has been around for 30 years. It provides me as a trainer and a coach an unfair advantage.

Let's go back three steps and talk about that 25%. The people that shouldn't be in sales, they were enamored by the money, by the travel. Something about sales spoke romantically to them, but they're not good at what they do. How do you weed those people? How do you first determine what the characteristics are that make them somebody who shouldn't be in sales? Second of all, how do you transition those people? As you said, they could be great customer service people. They could be great inside people. There are lots of things that they could do for your company that could add value, but sales aren’t the place that they should be. How do you coach that conversation with the actual person? How do you coach it with both the managers and also for the senior leadership to help with that transition to make it better, not only for that person but also for the company as well?

LBL Mark | Successful Sales

Successful Sales: COVID pushed people to double and triple down on technology. They need to have a better glimpse of how their business is doing by the week.


It starts with an assessment. We look at the entire team. We look at their top performers in terms of the criteria that we all agree to make a top performer whether it's a new business, the share of wallet, whatever that is. We look at the characteristics of those people. The one thing that I love the most about this tool that I use is the will to sell. It's one thing to say you understand sales, but will you pick up the phone and have the tenacity and the grit to sell? This tool predictive 92% accuracy. If you pick somebody that ranks high in this tool, the predictive nature of the tool, they will become a top performer probably within the first eighteen months of employment. Here's the challenge. This happened with another company that I'm working with in Tennessee. They were interviewing somebody. We have a pre-assessment version of the tool. The person scored 56 out of 100. They said, “We’re going to hire him anyway.”

I said, “He doesn't have a will to sell. He's terrible at hunting. You said the role was hunting.” “He's such a nice guy. He was such a pleasure. Everybody here loved him.” Here's the scary truth. If you've been in sales for any length of time, you learn how to be a nice guy. You learn how to make people feel comfortable, how to build rapport back in the day before cell phones, before the internet. That's usually when all the air gets sucked out of the room when I say that with young people. We were taught how to build rapport. “He's working you. He's probably a great person, but what this score tells me is at best, he's going to be a farmer. What you asked me to do was find you a hunter and we created a customized assessment tool to help you find a hunter. This is not that person. If you hire him, put him in another role, and let's keep searching for that hunter.” I try to take more of a data-driven approach. I don't want to use my feelings or emotion.

You could spend $1,100 and have a screaming resume that everybody wants to meet you. It doesn't mean that you're going to perform in that role, but as far as coaching people who think they're salespeople but they're not, you got to have a hard conversation. Typically, it won't be the sales assessment that will lead you there. I also look at transaction data. I'm looking for accounts that are losing profit every time you ship. They seem to gather and circle those underperformers. They're giving things away. They're selling on price. They're giving away free services. You're going to have transaction data that shows their close rates are probably below everybody else. Their profit per sale is below everybody else. New product sales, they probably don't have any for the first eight months. It's not just the assessment. The assessment is helping us figure out who to talk to.

It is the bellwether. It's something that's a beacon point.

I look at the transaction data and customer satisfaction data. It's spooky how those three things will triangulate and you're going to have a strong message like, “I never knew.”

Before I get to the next question which is about transitioning people from traditional sales to the new economy. I want to get into this data point. How many companies out there when you ask them for this type of data can provide it? You're putting all these things out there, the percentage, profit line, and all this type of thing. How many companies can run the reports, have the ERP, the CRMs, and the technology evolved? When you ask these questions, they can provide you with data that are accurate, reliable, and timely?

If you would've asked me that months ago, I would have said 40%, but what COVID has done is people have doubled and tripled down on technology. They need to have a better glimpse of how their business is doing by the week. I've seen an unbelievable amount of investment in ERP systems, CRM systems, and all kinds of different technologies, the mobile technology that I use where I can join a call, listen in. I then get a report what percent of the time did the salesperson talk? Did they use the right value propositions? I've got all kinds of tools. Now, people have mountain servers full of data, but they're relying on their data scientists or IT person to be able to find it.

Don't assume that salespeople will learn everything through osmosis alone. Click To Tweet

That's another thing about it is it's not only garbage in garbage out, but it's also being able to interpret that multitude of data and be able to answer the question that you need to answer based on the amount of superfluous information that you're probably gathering. That doesn't mean anything, but you're gathering it anyway.

That's why I've networked again. If I have somebody that needs leadership help, I send them to you. If I have somebody that needs help with their transaction data, they've got it in their ERP system. It's not prescriptive yet. It's not actionable. It's not in a form that salespeople can use yet. You should never ask a salesman to be a librarian now to spend all night working on. That's not the best use of their time. I have a group of PhD scientists and data analysis that I connect my accounts with. I tell them what I want and they go through your data. They have an amazing bank of tools. Quickly, we give salespeople data that they can use like, “You're calling on this type of customer. Your other three customers like them by these filing products. This guy is not buying these eight products. Ask him about these products.” That's a lot different than giving somebody an Excel spreadsheet with 1,100 line items.

All of a sudden, you've made it easier for the salespeople to know what they're doing right and wrong. You're giving them useful information to say, “These are the four types of skews that this type of client is looking for. We're not selling any of those to these people. Maybe we should have the conversation.”

You're taking them from a rep, starting to evolve into a trusted advisor. How you have that conversation? That's a training course. How do they lead to that conversation? We teach that. How they turn that conversation into a business case and turn it into a value-based proposal? That's all training. Don't assume that through osmosis that your salespeople all know how to do this. One of the screaming needs that have been so loud that I've invested in it myself and I can teach is business acumen. You start having conversations with people and all of a sudden, salespeople can't talk about a business case and the impact it has on the bottom line, but they have to. If you want to elevate yourself in the eye of a buyer and not just be a rep of somebody trying to sell something like a commission junkie or one of my favorite authors he calls it commission breath.

You can tell they have commission breath the first sentence on the phone. You got to have what Ed Wallace calls worthy intent. You're trying to help them grow their business strategically. You go in there with insights that they didn't have. I promise you, they're not looking at the data like you are. If you could go in and give them insights, and it's like, “You’re buying these items from me. I noticed you're not buying these. Everybody else in your industry is buying these for me and here are the reasons why. You could throw it on an order and get free freight.” Whatever the value is that you unpack, but you got to have the data to start the conversation.

With the business acumen, it's not enough to have the data. It's being able to feed the data back to the buyers in a way where you're adding value to them, where you're having conversations with them about the challenges that they're having and how you can fix it. That's not something that you come out of university knowing. It's not something that you start your life knowing. It's something that you need to learn. It's amazing to me how few companies take the time and invest in their people in teaching them the skills they need of how to be a better partner to their clients.

How does your client make money? On their car ride to sales calls, we used to call them four-legged sales calls. Back in the day, I would jump in the car with a rep and work with them for a week and then coach, train, and assess their skills by watching. I didn't have a cool tool at the time to do that. Business acumen by far is the missing piece. Imagine the conversation if you're a buyer. Somebody calls you up and says, “Are you buying this? What price can I beat the price?” versus somebody calling up and saying, “I know this is a tough time. Are you watching your cashflow like a lot of people?” “Yes.” “Would you value a vendor that offers just-in-time inventory and not making you tie up your cash and a bunch of inventory to have a competitive price?” “Yes.” It's a different conversation. That's what I teach and coach. I invested to be able to be a licensed trainer in that. It's online because of COVID. You run a business and you run three scenarios. People in the class make decisions and they get to see the impact of their decisions and feel it.

That's important that people get there and have a real-life tangible understanding of the consequences of their actions. There are many people out there that sell X and have no idea how X is utilized once it leaves their warehouse. How does the customer use their product? How does that product that you sell them to make their customer money, make their life easier, enables them to cement relationships with their clients, or makes it easier for their employees to do their jobs? There are few people out there that are taking the time and investing in themselves to invest in their clients.

LBL Mark | Successful Sales

Successful Sales: If you look at the skills, transaction data, and the voice of your customer, you have what you need to turn your company around.


My question is, how do you bring this to bear with the people that hold the price stream? You have CEOs, CFOs, and all those kinds of things that are constantly looking at their own bottom line. They see training is money out the door. If I train them, they're going to leave. Those people that leave cost you $100,000 to replace or more. How do you enable the conversation far enough up the company ladder that people understand that this is an investment and not a cost?

Excuse the expression, but I eat my own dog food. I ask good questions. Let's say you're the CEO and I've discussed, “I want to help you.” You've got 350 salespeople and we start a conversation. I ask you, “What are some of your goals?” You share that you need to grow by about 20%. I asked you, “Do you know if your salespeople have the skills to grow at 20%?” I will wait. I've yet to have anybody say, “Yes, I know that.” I then ask them, “How effective is your sales team?” “I think they're effective.” “How do you measure that?” “I look at their goals or look at their profitability.” “Statistically, less than 60% of sales teams hit their goal in 2019. Did your team hit their goal?”

“No.” “What makes you feel bold that you're going to hit your goal? By the way, what percent of your people did hit their goal?” “About 62%.” “You've got a vast big number of people not hitting a goal. What's your plan to fix that?” “Their managers are working on it.” “Let's talk about your managers. Have your managers been trained to be coaches?” It’s usually crickets. Coaching is a skill to move a manager from being a manager, a micromanager to being a coach. Coaching is a scalable skill. Are your sales managers glorified salespeople?

What I'm starting to do is make this person start wondering. We then get into numbers. “You said your company is $160 million. You said you wanted to grow at 20%. You told me approximately 40% of your team didn't hit gold this year. What's your goal next year?” “X.” “What would happen if you consistently failed to hit that goal? It'd be an uncomfortable board meeting, wouldn't it?” “Yes.” “Let me reverse that. What would you do with the money if you blew past the goal?” “I would invest in going digital.” They light up. They can't wait to talk about that.

“Would you be interested in learning about what your team is capable of doing? Maybe looking at their strengths and then identifying gaps and we work together to fill those gaps so you can hit your numbers?” “How much is that going to cost?” “Based on the size of the team, it came out to $85,000.” “$85,000?” “Let me ask you something. You've already told me 40% of your team didn't hit the goal. What percent of your team are under-performers?” “Up 30%.” “For the cost of one of those people, we can solve this problem.” That's a business conversation. We're talking about money and return on investment. The other thing I often do is, “Let's do this, what business group would you like to fix first?” Immediately, they know.

It's the stuff they think about on the drive home every night. I said, “Let's work on that group. Let's use this process on that group. You can feel and see the results. If you don't see the results, we'll end our conversation. If you do, let's get the rest of the organization on track within six months.” That's how I help people. Sometimes my compensation model was based on sales growth. I have a retainer, but I also get a piece of the growth. If they don't grow, I lose. It's all up to the customer, whatever they feel comfortable with. The process works if you have three data sets, if you look at the skills, transaction data, and the voice of your customer, you have what you need to turn that company around.

Let's go into one last question. That's the transition between what I call analog sales and digital sales. As we've moved online, as we're not able to go see our customers, and as we're not going to trade show booths and know all the things that go along with it, what are the things that your advising companies do to help their salespeople be more effective in gaining the conversations with the key decision-makers and maintaining that relationship and that conversation of trust? It's a different animal when you're dealing with it digitally.

Whatever the value you are unpacking, you got to have the data to start the conversation. Click To Tweet

One of the best books I've ever read was Covey's book The Speed of Trust. It talks about how companies have a 50% trust tax that they don't see on the bottom line, but they experience because people don't trust each other. I would argue it's even greater with customers. Back to your question, what if you rephrase that another way? How would you say that another way?

Another way of saying that would be how do you help your salespeople start the conversations that they need to in a digital world?

It starts with worthy intent. If you don't have a good reason to be calling that person, you shouldn't be calling them. You shouldn't be putting them in a Zoom meeting. It starts with worthy intent on how you're going to help that person and their business. Again, 50% of people never had selling skills. What I'm spending a lot of time on are the basics, how to build rapport. I've got a series on rapport-building questions, a series on discovery building questions, and qualifying questions. I used bands. It's been around forever. People are telling me, “Mark, you're so old school.” If you use the band quickly, you're going to know do they have a budget? Are you dealing with somebody with authority? What's their timeline? What's the need? If you don't have those pieces, how could you ever give them a good solution that they could trust? By the nature of your question, you can build competence in the eyes of the buyer and I help coach people on how to do that.

I've had an interesting conversation with a couple of large sales companies. This is regarding the podcast hosts for a hire program that we have. How do you enable the salespeople to gain trust in a digital world? I said, “What if we could do a five-minute podcast, a video interview with each one of your salespeople, and allow their personality to shine through?” Let’s say you have 200, 300, 500 salespeople. Each one has a series of five-minute conversations which could be broken down into one-minute pieces that talk about what differentiates them, what they're passionate about? What are they excited about? What type of customers that they'd love working with? Where their value is as a human being? If we can create those and have them on their LinkedIn profiles or their signature of their emails everywhere, it allows for those periods of trust to be built when you're not able to be in the room. I wanted to hear your thoughts on something like that.

It starts with your initial conversation and how you reach out to them. Are you reaching out to them professionally? I tell people, “Plan on getting voicemail when you phone people.” “What do you mean phone people? I'm going to email them.” “Ninety-two percent of emails aren't opened. They don't know you so how's that working for you? It's not. I got something I can you with, here. Make phone calls, pick up that thing, and talk into it. Plan on voicemail and leave a professional voicemail about the reason this person should follow-up with you or that you're going to follow up again next Tuesday or whatever you're going to do. How you reach out to them, do some research before you even reach out.” There's no excuse with LinkedIn, Google. you can get so much information about the company and the person. You might even have insights on a problem that they have that hasn't even reached the buyer yet.

All that needs to happen. It's like a pre-flight plan. I have a course on pre-call planning where I draw an analogy to the pilot walking around the plane. Every pilot does it before they take off. Why don't we do it as salespeople? You want to drive me nuts, have me come into your market, spend a couple of nights in a hotel away from my kids and my grandkids. We're on the way to an appointment like, “What's our goal for this meeting?” “What do you mean?” “Why are we having this meeting?” “To build a relationship.” “What else? What do we want to walk away with?” Crickets. Once I train pre-call planning, there's a template that they fill out and they have to send it to me before I come into town.

That comes down to the six minutes of useful conversation with the salespeople and with the buyers. You spend an hour with this buyer and the reason they have six minutes' worth of valuable information is that the rest of it spatters.

I went in to help a salesperson in Oklahoma. He picks me up at my hotel. The first stop was a unique name called Voodoo Donuts. He bought six dozen donuts and put them in the back seat. I'm like, “What are you doing?” That's what he did. Everywhere we went, he dropped off donuts. He didn't have a meeting plan. He popped in and did, “Hi, how are you?” They weren't even meetings. They all loved him, but the reason I was there is his results weren't doing that well. That was the way people slowed back in the ‘50s or ‘60s. That doesn't work now, particularly if it's digital. The thing I am coaching people, and I even wrote an article on this, what is it that you offer your buyer that they can't find on the website?

LBL Mark | Successful Sales

Successful Sales: If you're worried about the relationship more than the outcome, you're not going to have the confidence to ask your questions.


That's where you become valuable, your industry insights, and your application experience. How you've saved other companies’ money? How you've improved their production? How you've reduced their downtime? The statistic is 85% of CEOs would meet with a salesperson if you had a business case. Why aren't we the time to build them? I don't think they have good question skills. One of the things we look at when we assess people is the need to be liked. People have this huge need to be liked. If you look at my assessment, I don't need to be liked. I have a need to be respected. If I have a high need to be liked, I won't ask you those tough questions.

There's something that you're a community can google, which is called the Iceberg Principle. Buyers share everything above the water with all the salespeople, but you have to have the courage to ask questions about the stuff under the water. That's what gives you that unfair advantage in a sale. Think of your proposal and the ingredients it's going to have because you unpack a couple of things. Nobody else knew, but you got to have the courage to do that. If you're worried about the relationship more than the outcome, you're not going to have the confidence to ask those questions. It's all trainable and it's all coachable.

Mark, you have unpacked some incredible stuff. We could talk about this for hours. Someday, we're probably going to have you back on the show and do part two of this. I have one question that I ask everybody. When you leave a meeting and you get in your car and you drive away, what's the one thing you want people to think about you when you're not in the room?

“That guy really cared.” No shock. I've been doing this for a long time. You do the math. I'm in my late 50s. I want to make a difference. I like hitting sales goals. I love helping teams hit goals, but I want to make a difference. I want to share, maybe particularly with young salespeople, a lot of the people I help are engineers trying to be salespeople and coach them and be authentic, be yourself, but have that intent to serve others. If your intent is to make a commission, it'll come out loud and clear. If your intent is to truly serve others, that's the guy I want to be known as.

Those are great words to have on a tombstone. I love it.

Hopefully, I won't see that soon.

Mark, thanks for being on the show. I loved your insight. I think that you've added some incredible knowledge. You've unpacked a whole bunch of stuff. Thanks for being a great guest. I appreciate it. 

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About Mark Allen Roberts

LBL Mark | Successful Sales

Mark Roberts is a senior-level sales and marketing leader with over 35 years' experience driving profitable sales growth in market-leading organizations.

He has done so at companies like Timken, VMI, Gardner Denver, Mobility Works, and Frito-Lay. Mark is an author, public speaker, sales trainer, and sales coach. In 2018, he received the Business Excellence award from NSME and in 2019, The Highspot Sales Enablement Award. He was also recognized by Sales Hacker Inc. in the Sales Enablement Category.

Mark is the founder of OTB Solutions, LLC and the popular business development blog,, ranked #1 in fixing sales problems. Today, he is the founder and president of OTB Sales where he helps clients diagnose and improve sales effectiveness, and hire and develop their sales talent to improve sales results. His first book: Branding Backwards was written to help business leaders who may not have a marketing background embrace the value of branding. Mark was recently recognized on the cover of Soar to Success Magazine and his new website shares his passion for leveraging data to fix sales problems.

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