About Wesleyne Whitaker-Greer: Wesleyne is the founder of Transform Sales, a company dedicated to combining her love for sales with her passion for coaching. She has developed a proprietary seven-step sales leadership blueprint that identifies the blind spots, gaps, and inefficiencies in process, teams, and sales management in the technical fields. In addition, her coach-like approach allows her to work alongside managers to develop their sales, leadership, and teaching skills. Wesleyne’s management training improves sales leaders’ capability of holding productive conversations with internal sales team members, creating a collaborative, dynamic environment where everyone feels supported. Check out the latest episode of our Conversational Selling podcast to learn more about Wesleyne.
In this episode, Nancy and Wesleyne discuss:
- How does a former chemist get into or transition into international sales management?
- Why are there no comprehensive training programs for sales managers in STEM?
- Wesleyne’s seven-step process description.
- The qualities of a good leader in Wesleyne’s opinion.
- How long is the transformation to become a better leader?
- Does Wesleyne do any pure sales coaching for salespeople?
- Why do some teams resist sales trainings?
- How to motivate an underperforming sales team?
- How does culture play into having a great team?
- Referrals to key performance indicators and their role.
- Fun fact about Wesleyne.
- Something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with Wesleyne on.
- What is the one takeaway you want to leave the audience with?
- How can my people find you?
- Everybody thinks that if you’re a really good salesperson, you’re gonna be a really good sales manager. But it’s the opposite of what you think.
- The seven-step process is a full 360 view of what you need as a leader.
- Whatever the thing is that your salesperson, or the people on your team are working towards when you coach them when you try to push them, you focus on the thing that is important to them.
- As a leader, you can’t just sit in an ivory tower as a leader and think that everybody fits into this little teeny tiny nice little neat box.
- As a salesperson, if you don’t see your company investing in any kind of training, internal, external, or any kind of development, that means that they’re not really committed to you as a person getting better
- I bring out the best in everyone.
“People were leaving. We weren’t hitting our numbers. And so, I really realized that the only solution was on me as the leader to figure out how I need to fix myself, and the skills I needed to build so, I could then translate that into my team. And so, that’s really what we do when we’re working with organizations, figuring out what’s the core nucleus of the problem and then translating those skills out to the team.” – WESLEYNE
“The one takeaway is your growth and development are important. If your company won’t invest in you, invest in yourself. Find resources to make yourself better. Find resources to develop your skillset, your empathy, whatever the thing is that you’re suffering. If you keep getting feedback from your leadership team, whether you’re an individual contributor, a frontline manager, or all the way up, whatever the thing is you continue to get feedback on, find a way to get better at it. Find a way to really invest in yourself because that is gonna pay dividends for years for decades.” – WESLEYNE
Connect with Wesleyne Whitaker-Greer:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wesleyne/
- Transformed Sales: https://www.transformedsales.com/
Try Our Proven, 3-Step System, Guaranteeing Accountability and Transparency that Drives RESULTS by clicking on this link: https://oneofakindsales.com/call-center-in-a-box/
Connect with Nancy Calabrese:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/oneofakindsales
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/One-Of-A-Kind-Sales-304978633264832/
- Website: https://oneofakindsales.com
- Phone: 908-879-2911
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ncalabrese/
- Email: email@example.com
Voiceover: You’re listening to The Conversational Selling Podcast with Nancy Calabrese.
Nancy Calabrese: Hi everyone, it’s Nancy Calabrese and it’s time again for Conversational Selling, the podcast where sales leaders and business experts share what’s going on in sales and marketing today and it always starts with a human conversation. Today we’re speaking with Wesleyne Whitaker-Greer, founder of Transform Sales, a company dedicated to combining her love for sales with her passion for coaching. Wesleyne has developed a proprietary seven-step sales leadership blueprint that identifies the blind spots, gaps, and inefficiencies in process, teams, and sales management in the technical fields. In addition, her coach-like approach allows her to work alongside managers to develop their sales, leadership, and teaching skills. Welcome to the show, Wesleyne. This is a great topic we’re gonna have a lot of fun. So, let’s jump right in. [1:07]
Wesleyne: Awesome. I’m excited to be here with you.
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, so, I find your background real interesting. So, you are an expert in STEM. And for those of you in the audience that may not know the acronym, it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Manufacturing. [1:27] And my first question to you is, how does a former chemist, yes, Wesleyne was a former chemist, get into or transition into international sales management?
Wesleyne: So, when I graduated college, I went in, I worked in the lab, and I worked there for a good number of years. And I got to a point where I was like, I want to talk to some humans. So, I need a little bit more human interaction. And I tell people, once I got into sales, I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up. And I was so, fortunate that the company that hired me, they were looking for somebody that had a technical background that was a chemist with no sales experience, which we know was like unheard of. [2:14]
Nancy Calabrese: Right.
Wesleyne: No one wants that, right? And so, I loved it. I was so, tenacious. I read books. I did everything that I could. And so, I made a really fast ascent from individual contributor to international sales manager. And then I realized when I became an international sales manager that I really sucked at that. And so, for the first six months, it was bad. People were leaving. We weren’t hitting our numbers. And so, I really realized that the only solution was on me as the leader to figure out how I need to fix myself, the skills I needed to build so, I could then translate that into my team. And so, that’s really what we do when we’re working with organizations, figuring out what’s the core nucleus of the problem and then translating those skills out to the team. [2:57]}
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, you mentioned that there are no comprehensive training programs for sales managers in STEM. Why is that?
Wesleyne: It’s because everybody has this and you know, I now know that it is not just a STEM thing. It is a problem throughout the industry. Everybody thinks that if you’re a really good salesperson, you’re gonna be a really good sales manager. And so, usually when I go into companies, I’m like, it’s the opposite of what you think. Your top salesperson was selfish. They were a driver. They’re a lone wolf. And now you take them and you want to make them a manager without developing them or doing anything to help them realize this new challenge is you have two problems. You take your top salesperson out of the field and you get a mediocre manager that gets disenfranchised and leaves. [3:46]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow. So, I don’t know if you don’t have to go into great detail, but what is your seven-step process?
Wesleyne: So, really the seven-step process, it goes through, and I kind of chatted through it. It’s first we have to identify that there is a challenge, right? The first step is realization, right? And so, once we identify that there is a challenge and we do a comprehensive evaluation, so, we figure out what are the issues that you are having as a leader? What are the issues your team is suffering in? And then we do this magical thing in the middle where we align your areas of opportunities. I don’t like to call them weaknesses, but these are opportunities with the different training modules that we have. And then we align your team’s areas of opportunities with the different training modules we have. And what we teach you to do is we teach you how to upskill your actual team. So, our goal is to empower the leaders so, they can then take those skills back to their teams. And then once we go through the process, we teach them how to manage up, we teach them how to manage across. So, it’s this full 360 view of what you need as a leader. [4:53]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah. So, what would you say are the qualities of a good leader?
Wesleyne: Hmm, one of the big ones that people don’t actually think about often is that the qualities of a good leader are typically the qualities of that quiet sleeper, good salesperson. So, empathy, the ability to listen, the ability to not always make it about yourself. Like realizing that as a leader, my team is a reflection of me. Always be in learning and growth mode. Having that I am always learning, I can always do better. I don’t ever know everything that I would say those are probably the top few qualities of a leader, a good leader. [5:41]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah. So, but here’s the sad statistic. Really, there is only what? Top 30% actually hit quota? That’s pretty disappointing, isn’t it?
Wesleyne: It absolutely is, it’s horrible.
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah. So, if somebody identifies or recognizes that, okay, they need training, I need to become a better leader, how long is the transformation? [6:09]
Wesleyne: It really, it depends on the person because I have, when I work with clients, the thing that I say is I work with the leader and the teams together because the leaders are actually pretty weak and they’re deficient in some of their skills, so, they can’t uplift their team. Right? And so, when I started doing this work, I used to say, oh yeah, three months, yep, we’re good. Now I’m at a point where sometimes we’re at nine months and I’m like, okay, now you’re good. It’s really dependent on what that leader’s actual capabilities are. And sometimes I have to have hard conversations with organizations and I’m like, this person, this leader is gonna take them 18 months to get them to baseline. Do you have that time to invest in them to get them upleveled? And sometimes they say they don’t and sometimes they say they do. So, really, it’s dependent on where that baseline skill set is. [7:03]
Nancy Calabrese: Do you do any pure sales coaching for salespeople?
Wesleyne: I do, I do what I call team coaching or group coaching. So, it’s those core skills that a salesperson needs in this complex technical sale. So, it’s a lot of the things that we hear, you know the hunting, the how do I do strong discovery calls, how do I do demos. But in this field, these STEM industries, I like to say that they’re really smart people and sometimes they have a challenge in translating their knowledge to clients. So, I help them break it down so, you’re speaking your prospects language, you’re not speaking the language of your company. [7:45]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah! You know, I’m a big believer in ongoing training. So, everybody in my company, everyone, include the admins take sales training, right? Because it’s a form of communication. And why is it, though, that some teams resist that? Why? It doesn’t make any sense.
Wesleyne: A lot of times, whenever I walk into a room and you know they’re like, oh my gosh, you’ve taken me out of the field, I’ve already done this before, womp, womp, womp. I really feel that one of the biggest reasons is because these days, honestly, a lot of people can just hang a shingle and say, I’m a sales trainer. And if they’re a good salesperson, they can sell their programs, but they’re not actually adding a lot of long-term value because as you said you believe in that long-term constant reinforcement. And when you stick people in a room for eight hours and then you expect them to come out fixed or different, it doesn’t work if there’s nothing to back it up. So, a lot of times people have this training and it’s not effective. And so, they think like, oh, this is just another non-effective training. This is just another thing that I’m doing and it’s not gonna work. And so, breaking down that preconception that, hey, this is just another, you know, trying to oil this wheel in a different way. [9:09]}
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, you know, so, you have a sales team, they’re underperforming. How do you motivate them?
Wesleyne: Motivation is baked into three different categories. So, there is extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation, and altruistic motivation. [9:25] So, the very first step is you must know how each person on your team is motivated because the misnomer is everyone on a sales team is motivated by money, which is extrinsic. And that is they are motivated by making money, buying cars, going on vacations, whatever they want to do, but some people are motivated intrinsically. They are running a race against themselves. So, they work hard because they want to see their name at the top of the leaderboard. They work hard because they made a goal to do accomplish this by this point in their life. And so, motivating them that way. And then other people are motivated by helping others. So, when they make their commission or their bonus, they want to go pay off their mom’s house, they want to send their child to college tuition free. So, whatever the thing is that your salesperson, the people on your team are working towards when you coach them, when you try to push them, you focus on the thing that is important to them. [10:25]
Nancy Calabrese: So, I’m guessing you could be all three of those. Would you agree with that?
Wesleyne: You absolutely can. And it really just like, where am I? What stage of life am I in right now? Am I in a stage of life where I have three teenagers that needs to go to college very soon? And so, I’m thinking that, yes, I want to reduce their debt. So, I want to reduce my debt, but at the same time, this is about to be the first time in my life I don’t have children. So, what is my legacy? What am I gonna do now? Right? Like I want to show up as my best self. And so, it really, you have to have a conversation, right? With the people on your team. You can’t just sit in an ivory tower as a leader and think that everybody fits into this little teeny tiny nice little neat box. [11:06]
Nancy Calabrese: Sure, sure. So, how does culture play into having a great team?
Wesleyne: One of the most important things as a leader is your leader, your manager, the organization that you have surrounding you. Because if your CEO or VPS sales are depending on how many layers are above you, if they’re only focused on driving numbers, if they’re only focused on profitability, and they don’t actually care about the people, they don’t actually care about people developing and growing, then that plays deep down into you as a leader and your team, because they’re just pushing you to hit your numbers. And you’re saying, we need training, we need development, we need tools, and they’re like, we don’t have money for that. Just figure it out, you’re never going to survive. You’re never gonna thrive, and that is not the organization that you as a leader need. And as a salesperson, if you don’t see your company investing in any kind of training, internal, external, any kind of development, that means that they’re not really committed to you as a person getting better. [12:13]
Nancy Calabrese: Yep, yep. Really hiring people based on their character, right? That’s a match for the company. You’re halfway there, right? Because they will be a good fit for the organization, the personality of the company, if you would. I want to, you know, here’s the acronym, the KPIs, key performance indicators. How many should we be? watching as a baseline check? And how often do you recommend just holding your people accountable to those? [12:51]
Wesleyne: So, I always say that the, when I think of KPIs, I always think about KPIs are in the conversions, right? So, instead of holding people to make 30 phone calls a day, focus on how many of those phone calls are turning into meetings. How many of those meetings are turning into proposals and demos, right? And so, you figure out what the KPIs need to be based on where the leaky wheels are. If you see that we’re not converting our calls into meetings then we need to have a KPI right there for converging of calls into meetings. And so, we have a KPI for calls and for meetings. And we really, and I like to double down, I like to go really deep. So, let’s go deep on the one thing for a month, for a quarter, for whatever. And if you go deep on something that you know is a problem, your close rate, the ratio of from that point on, everything picks up. So, really that is something that has to be assessed, as a leader, you should be looking at it on a weekly basis. Don’t change it every week, but look at it on a weekly basis. And you use that again to figure out how do I coach my team? How do I focus on what we need to do in our next team meeting? Cause the team meeting shouldn’t just be, let’s look at the CRM and figure out, you know, the close rate and all of this. It’s like, let me develop my team. Let me focus on how I can uplevel them. [14:16]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah. Tell me a fun fact about Wesleyne.
Wesleyne: A fun fact about Wesleyne. So, I would say fun fact about me is I am a first-generation American my parents were both born in Jamaica, and I was born here.
Nancy Calabrese: Wow, wow.
Nancy Calabrese: Well, I’m a second generation, so, I can really appreciate that. And there’s such a soft spot in my heart for people that are brave enough, right? Your parents were brave enough to make the change. So, kudos to them. So, tell me something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on. [15:01]
Wesleyne: Mm, the first thing that came into my brain was, I’m a purple unicorn.
Nancy Calabrese: What?
Wesleyne: But I won’t use that one. I’m a purple unicorn.
Nancy Calabrese: Wait a minute, there’s a story here.
Wesleyne: So, I call myself a purple unicorn because every stage or step or season in my life, they’re like, you did what? Like literally my friends, my family, they’re like, you did what? What happened to you? And it’s beyond their imagination. Like I just got off a call with a client not too long ago and she just literally opened up and she said her. Her dad is going through a very difficult season and I was like, yeah Well lean into you know, whatever kind of faith walk you have and she was like, yeah, I went here I did this and then we just started talking about God. So, literally it just went from a conversation of she called to do a project update and she shared something with me and that and so, that’s why I call myself a purple unicorn because I can talk about anything to anyone and I have so, many different areas of expertise that I pull from my brain. [16:07]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow, so, what you’re saying is you bring out the best in people. Is that what you’re saying?
Wesleyne: Yes, I would say that. I bring out the best in everyone.
Nancy Calabrese: That is not a bad quality to have. More of us should have that in this world. We’re kind of wrapping up in time, but we could go on forever. What is the one takeaway you want to leave the audience with? [16:31]
Wesleyne: The one takeaway is your growth and development is important. If your company won’t invest in you, invest in yourself. Find resources to make yourself better. Find resources to develop your skillset, your empathy, whatever the thing is that you’re suffering. If you keep getting feedback from your leadership team, whether you’re an individual contributor, a frontline manager, or all the way up, whatever the thing is you continue to get feedback on, find a way to get better at it. Find a way to really invest in yourself because that is gonna pay dividends for years for decades. [17:08]
Nancy Calabrese: That is awesome advice, awesome. And like you said, I think it would be a shame if the company doesn’t support that. That’s not a good thing. But if you believe in your company, then really take the leap and invest in yourself. I’m all about that. How can my people find you?
Wesleyne: The best way is on LinkedIn. Just Wesleyne on LinkedIn.
Nancy Calabrese: Um, Wesleyne is spelled W-E-S-L-E-Y-N-E. Beautiful name by the way. Does it mean anything?
Wesleyne: I am named after my dad and my mom says I am the feminine version of him, so.
Nancy Calabrese: I love it.
Wesleyne: It is a perfect name.
Nancy Calabrese: Whoa, I love it. That’s great. So, listen everyone. Thanks so much for listening and Wesleyne, I hope we can do this again. You’re a lot of fun to speak with. [18:05]
Wesleyne: Thank you so, much. It’s been a pleasure.
Nancy Calabrese: Have a great sales day, everyone. See you next time.