Staying Human-First In Your Sales Process

Last Updated July 28th, 2020

Tori Belkin, Ceros, sales enablement, sales director, humanizing sales, sales leader, sales manager

 

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What are your salespeople doing in their initial interaction with prospects? Are they going straight for the sale? Or are they taking the time to build the relationship first?

If you go straight to the pitch, you won’t see success very often. It’s too “salesy” and every buyer sees it coming. Relationships are what you need to thrive.

It’s trite but true: people buy from people they know, like, and trust – people with whom they feel an emotional connection. So whether we’re a good fit for a potential customer or not, great conversations need to take place in every interaction.

This relatable, human-first approach makes prospects more likely to turn to us in the future, using our relationship as a foundation for brand connection. We see them as a fellow person, not a number.

Likewise, your product, service, and company might be a perfect fit for a potential buyer, but a lack of connection can send her or him away … as you’ll hear in this conversation.

Today’s guest on The Customer Experience Podcast, Tori Belkin, hires and trains sales reps who excel at the art of conversation and focus on the thoughts, feelings, and needs of those with whom they’re speaking.

The objective in those early conversations isn’t to make a sale at all – but to understand the human side of the potential customer. To connect, listen, and learn.

Tori is the Senior Director of Sales and Sales Enablement at Ceros. Ceros is an experiential content creation platform with a customer list of the world’s leading brands.

She works to improve the buying experience by focusing on a personalized, human-focused buyer experience.

In this conversation, we discuss…

What experiential content is and how it helps buyers and sellers
How she defines personalization
How to avoid delivering a bad buying experience
Why it’s important to be conversational in sales
What winning on the experience looks like

 

 

Staying Human-First In Your Sales Process

Hear the entire conversation with Tori Belkin right here:

 

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Full Transcript: Staying Human-First In Your Sales Process

Ethan Beute:
I’m confident that as buyers ourselves, we can all agree that the buying experience should be less pushy and less salesy. And instead, be more personal and more human. A better buying experience sets up a better customer experience. So it’s something we all aspire to deliver, and it’s something that today’s guest takes on directly every single day. To this conversation, she brings a decade of experience in fundraising and development, operations and growth, inside sales, and new business development. Today she serves as director of sales at Ceros, an experiential content creation platform with a customer list of the world’s leading brands, including The Wall Street Journal, NBC, IBM, the NHL, Pendo and LinkedIn, just to name a few. Tori Belkin, welcome to the Customer Experience Podcast.

Tori Belkin:
Thank you so much for having me, I’m excited to be here.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, I’m looking forward to the conversation before we get going, you’re in New York. Are you in the city proper?

Tori Belkin:
I am, yes, I’m right by the Empire State Building actually. So in the heart of Manhattan.

Ethan Beute:
Okay. So with regard to the pandemic, obviously we’re all affected in different ways. How has it affected you personally, or your team, or your customers, kind of what’s going on where you are?

Tori Belkin:
Yeah, absolutely. So it was kind of funny. Our team was very focused on being in the office all the time. So we were a little bit nervous to try and work from home, but the transition went really smoothly for my team. We’re still in communication. We’ve used Zoom for our meetings since I’ve been at Ceros, so that was still familiar. And in terms of our customers, we are a digital platform. So something that is super necessary and maybe even more so in today’s new normal. So it’s been a really interesting shift in all of our sales conversations and the way that we’re approaching that with the people we’re talking to. But overall, we’re still aiming to really help our clients create better digital content in this new normal as well.

Ethan Beute:
It’s really good. Thank you for sharing that. And I agree that as our experiences become more digital across the board, even these kind of human experiences we’re trying to create through Zoom calls and things. And I think it’ll continue a lot that way. We’re recording this in mid-May for folks who are listening and Twitter just announced for example, that all employees can work from home forever. And so a lot of these things are sticking and it’ll be interesting to see the way it shapes up. So let’s get into it properly. When I say customer experience Tori, what does that mean to you?

Tori Belkin:
To me it just means anyway that someone outside of your company is interacting and what their experience is with your brand, your company. So that could be again, part of the sales process, which is near and dear to me, but then also on the customer support side, and then how you’re presenting yourself to the people you’re then prospecting to. So any communication that you’re putting out to potential customers and customers is part of the experience.

Ethan Beute:
Absolutely agree. For folks who aren’t familiar, talk a little bit about Ceros. Who is your ideal customer? What do you solve for them? And maybe talk about how it improves your customer’s customer experience.

Tori Belkin:
Yeah, absolutely. So we have a very large addressable market because we are really trying to help any company, any brand that is marketing to someone. Primarily when you think of a brand experience you might think of a retail brand that you really like that you’ve had a good experience with, but people who are buying software from B2B tech companies, those are also humans, right? So they have a story to tell. They want to be able to tell it in a way that people actually want to consume. So we’re trying to talk to anyone who’s looking to tell their brand story in a more engaging way.

Tori Belkin:
And typically what we’re trying to help them solve for, to your point earlier is, when you’re going through a sales process, you’re typically interacting with a couple of key touchpoints, the sales presentation, events that you get in front of the large target audience, and so what we’re trying to do at Ceros is take those really key capstone experiences and make them digital. So that way every touchpoint that you’re going through in a sales cycle can be meaningful and not just like a PDF that no one really wants to download and read 20 pages of. You’re making it something that can compete for people’s attention alongside all of the other things that they’re interacting with digitally, like Instagram, YouTube, et cetera.

Ethan Beute:
I love it. It seems like you’re helping people bring content to life, I guess. Does that capture at least some of the essence of it?

Tori Belkin:
Absolutely, 100% you hit the nail on the head. We truly believe that experiences matter and every experience matters. So taking all of your content, bringing it to life so it’s actually engaging and meaningful and in a way that people want to experience and really, therefore, take to heart and really understand and learn from.

Ethan Beute:
So this phrase, experiential content, where are we with regard to the adoption of experiential content? Is this new language for something we’ve been trying to do for a while? What is experiential content and where are we with it?

Tori Belkin:
Yeah, absolutely. So I’ve been at Ceros for four years and I have seen a huge growth in people’s understanding of what experiential content is over the course of my four years. At first, it was really more of an educational sale of this is why it’s going to be important as digital becomes more and more a part of our everyday lives. How you’ve done things in the past, print to just throwing that up digitally isn’t the way to go anymore. But now, more so, people are understanding, okay, people actually do care about the way that I present my brand online and not just, I’m not just talking about the website, I’m talking about sales presentations leave behind social anything. So how do I do that in a more scalable way?

Tori Belkin:
So now our sales team is more focused on the conversation of, okay, companies understand that they need to be doing this, and then we can help guide them on best practices and how to actually do it with our platform. I think the term experiential has definitely grown over the past year or so. We used to say actually interactive content, but it really is much more than just interactive. It’s the way that you’re actually thinking about designing for interactive. It could just be animations that make a page look more beautiful and fun to engage with it. It doesn’t always have to be interactive in the traditional sense of putting your prospects through a quiz as an example.

Ethan Beute:
Oh, I was reading, of course, as I always do before these conversations out of respect for you and all the work that you do and what your company is about. And I saw a couple of key ideas that I thought were interesting around this and this idea of the balance of logic and emotion as relates to the content experience in particular, and in the more positive perceptions, I imagine that, rather than delivering flat static kind of boring presentation of otherwise perfectly find information that it has a halo effect, a more positive effect on the buying experience for your customers. Talk a little bit about that, that logic and emotion piece, or the halo effect of simply by virtue of presenting the information in a different way you get a more positive result.

Tori Belkin:
Yeah, absolutely. I think to your point earlier, you did a little bit of research about me because you wanted the conversation to be meaningful. That’s the way that we want marketers to go out to their prospects as well. We care about our prospects’ time. We want to make sure that they have the best experience possible with it. So we want to put an effort into the content that we’re putting out there and not just trying to just give them information.

Tori Belkin:
At the end of the day I think people buy from people that they like and feel like really understand them. And I think we sometimes lose sight as a B2B tech companies that the people who buy from us are people too, just like any other brand that’s pitching to them or targeting them on Instagram, right? So it can’t just be the logic of, I need to collect email addresses. We do have to shift the focus to know these people. These are people who are buying from us. They have emotions, they have feelings and we need to cater to that and give them content that they actually want to digest and consume, and that will make us stand out in the long run.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, I totally agree. On the marketing side, I was the only marketer at BombBomb for like three or four years and then we built the team out, and especially early on, it’s easy to start to see a list of email addresses as a list of email addresses that you mentally attach an open rate to, that you mentally attach a click rate to, that you mentally attach a conversion rate to. But really, I mean, it’s a privilege to be able to directly communicate with each of these individual people and I think the more respect we can give them, obviously the better off we’re going to be. The nice thing is tools like yours, and obviously, tons of others, are helping us do that more effectively.

Ethan Beute:
I’m going to ask you another definitional question just because it seems like I get a lot of interesting conversation around it and that’s personalized. When I say because I assume that as you’re coaching, training your sales team, as you’re setting up new initiatives and things that you’re probably focused on, how can we be more personal or create more personalized experiences? When I say personalized, what does that connote? Or what does that mean?

Tori Belkin:
Yeah, to me, well, Ceros actually allows companies to create personalized experiences. So this is something that is obviously near and dear and close to what we do every day. But to me it just means something that feels like something someone wants to engage with, right? It doesn’t have to be, hey, first name or, hey, even company name. It doesn’t have to be account-based. Just something that’s relevant to the person that you’re talking to. With business challenges that could be personalized or persona-based things. Just something that they can relate to, I guess, in its simplest form.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah. I think relevance is the key and I agree that we’re way beyond just slugging in, and man, I get those LinkedIn connection requests. I’ll bet you do too. It’s like, I see you’re a leader in the computer software industry, I’m like, oh my gosh this is so terrible.

Tori Belkin:
Yeah.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, any terrible LinkedIn requests come to mind?

Tori Belkin:
Yeah, I think it’s the ones that are just, you can tell that they didn’t even really try to make it personal. They just went for the most broad buckets possible. I get those on a regular basis and I’m just like, wow. You just, you almost got there just a little bit more effort, it could have made it sound like you almost wanted to talk to me specifically.

Ethan Beute:
Totally, right? Which means that you’re being treated like a number, not as a person and that’s the worst experience we can give anybody.

Tori Belkin:
Totally. And I understand the science part of marketing for sure, right? Like you do have conversion metrics that you want to hit and you know, if you get X amount of leads that convert at X percent, I totally understand and I’m empathetic to that. But you just can’t lose sight of the emotional part of that, right? If people don’t want to engage with your brand, if they feel like just a number, they’re going to be less likely to want to engage with your brand over time and convert down your funnel. So it’s very important that marketers keep both in mind as they’re, they’re marketing to you.

Ethan Beute:
Let’s talk about that a little bit. Let’s talk about you as a sales leader at Ceros. Obviously you’re focused on creating a great buying experience for the folks that you and your team are engaging in. So let’s talk about, let’s go to the ugly side. What are some of the marks of a salesy or pushy experience that you specifically wanted to knock down?

Tori Belkin:
I think first and foremost, just the idea that a sales pitch, especially a first call, should be a presentation. If you just go in there and present and not really pay any attention to who you’re talking to or why they’re talking to you, you’re just never going to get to the outcome that you want or that they want at the end of the day. So first and foremost, that’s really the foundation of what I’m trying to teach my reps on a day-to-day basis.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah. It’s interesting because it might just as well have been a video. You could’ve just recorded it and sent it over if you’re not engaging in a conversation. Just for context, I guess, before we go deeper into this process, how big is your sales team?

Tori Belkin:
I personally manage seven reps, but our team is double that size. I think we actually 15 reps total right now.

Ethan Beute:
Cool. And what about, how long would you say your sales cycle is approximately? I’m sure it varies, but-

Tori Belkin:
It does. So we, we sell a 30 day pilot before an annual subscription, but from the first time we talked to someone until they sign that annual subscription is about three and a half months, I would say on average.

Ethan Beute:
Okay. So it’s, I mean, you’re building connection over that period of time. How many decision-makers maybe on average, do you get involved in something like that?

Tori Belkin:
It’s typically about four for a proper sale.

Ethan Beute:
And is there, who’s typically your champion? Are you coming into a CMO or VP marketing or similar?

Tori Belkin:
Exactly, yeah, in an ideal world, that is the case. For starting a little lower, it’s probably a content marketer or someone who just really cares about what their content looks like. Or maybe even like a brand marketing manager, someone who just wants to make sure that they’re being seen in the best light in the market.

Ethan Beute:
Oh sure, totally. So, gosh, I’m going way off where I thought I was going to go, but this is really interesting to me right now. I can totally see a frontline person or kind of like a mid-level person wanting to engage in this, but not necessarily be the ultimate contract signer or payer, let’s say. How does your team help someone like a mid-level to senior content marketer who discovers this opportunity to bring all the work that they’re doing to life more effectively? Do you train your sales folks to help sell that up within the organization?

Tori Belkin:
Absolutely. I think that that is a huge part of our sales process because ideally we’re talking straight to the VP of marketing or a CMO, but that’s in a perfect world, which we know doesn’t really exist. So oftentimes we are really having to empower our champions to help them sell it through. We do that in a bunch of different ways, but primarily again, it’s just understanding the human part of it. So why is this important to the person that we’re talking to and then asking them about what the person that they have to sell it to really cares about so we can help them tie it to the value? We’ll put together a personalized Ceros collateral to help them sell it through, or at least to get them excited enough to want to jump on the phone with us so we can help them pitch it. But at the end of the day, it’s just really understanding what the person we’re talking to, our champion, cares about and why they see the value and then how to help them tie that into where they fit into the larger picture as well.

Ethan Beute:
Do you find, is that something you actively coach and train too regularly?

Tori Belkin:
Absolutely. I would say 50% of my time is spent digging into deals and understanding who are we talking to? Why do they personally care? And do we have a clear understanding of what the business and whoever signs off on this ultimately cares about? And then how do we make sure that they see that Ceros is the right partner for them?

Ethan Beute:
Love it. So you’re already talking all to these themes, but let’s go straight at it. When I say personal and human is part of what you’re trying to deliver so that people have obviously very positive first human interactions with Ceros. I’m sure people are on your website and consuming your experiential content in advance of probably connecting with someone. That probably helps as we already talked about earlier, perhaps makes the right people more receptive to a call or a Zoom meeting or something else like that. When I say personal and human, what does that mean in the context of your sales reps connecting with potential buyers?

Tori Belkin:
Yeah, I mean, I think personalized and human is just, it’s conversational, right? Just understanding that I’m getting on a sales call because I believe that Ceros is something that could potentially help you. And in return, I’m going to have to ask you some questions about what you’re doing at your company so I can help you determine if this is a fit or not. And, at the end of the day, whether it is a fit or isn’t a fit, we’ve had a great conversation and we can part as friends. But it is a conversation, I’m not actively trying to sell you something until I can really understand if this is important to you at all. I’m not going to try to sell it to you until I find that fit. And we really just try to tell our sales reps to go in with that mentality and say that in their offer and contract too.

Tori Belkin:
It’s totally fine at the end of the day, if we can’t find a business challenge that we can help you with, that’s actually awesome. That’s great for you, but if it is like, let’s have a conversation about it. So yeah, I think in very short term, just keeping every single step of the sales process super conversational.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah. I love that word conversational. And it reminds me of like a bigger theme. I think something I’m really excited about is this idea that more often we can just be who we are and the more whole we are as people, and the more respectful, and thoughtful, and caring, we are as people, that being a good person leads to greater success. And we can stop kind of acting as if. I think of, I don’t know, like eighties movies, like Wall Street, whereas there’re periods where we were much more aggressive, we weren’t who we were supposed to be. We were supposed to be sharks and things and whatever. I don’t like all of these kind of this pushy salesy stuff that we want to kind of cast aside. I feel really encouraged about the state of affairs. Have you seen this? How do you observe that shift? And is it real or am I just being hopeful here?

Tori Belkin:
No, it’s absolutely real. I mean, I can’t pull a statistic off the top of my head, but I know that there are statistics out there that show people buy from people that they like or who they’ve had the best experience with. And so I absolutely think that that’s the case and we’ve we get that feedback actually pretty regularly on our sales process. I was just on a call with a ramping rep last week and someone said, “I actually had a call with one of your competitors last week and I had to end it early because it was just such a terrible experience. I couldn’t even listen about their platform anymore. I just had to get off the call, so thank you for this great experience.” And that just really placed your point of they liked it because it was human and conversational. It wasn’t super salesy or aggressive. We weren’t trying to close them on the call. We were actually trying to understand, is there a mutual fit here.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, and for folks who are listening, I want to just stop for a second and reemphasize this point. I was on the phone with one of your competitors who may or may not have had a better product, who may or may not have had a better value prop, who may or may not have had a low, and then by value prop, I mean a better fit for a lower cost or better contract terms or whatever. But, because of the experience this person created for me, and we’ve heard the same thing, and so I’ll kind of twist this a little bit and give it back as a question. One of our reps was on the phone with a with a potential customer representing a, I don’t know, 12 or 15 person account, which for us is a nice deal.

Ethan Beute:
We sell by seat count, and among other ways. And they said, “I was on the phone with one of your competitors and they said this, that, and the other thing,” and we were able to demonstrably prove that those three things were not true. And so just simply by virtue of the fact that the competitor misrepresented us specifically for their own benefit was enough for them to lose the deal. And so how do you coach your reps? Because I think this is key to being, again, kind of a respectful good person who is worthy of respect by showing respect and showing interest, et cetera, and being fair and being practical and actually wanting to do discovery about what’s best for the customer. How do you coach folks to talk about or talk around or speak to direct competitive situations?

Tori Belkin:
Yeah. So Ceros was actually pretty fortunate in the way that we don’t have any super direct apples to apples competitors. There’s a lot of people out there that will do a subset of what we do. And we’re a little bit more on the design side of a software that you can create experiential content with versus just plug and play for marketers. So the advantage, and what I would say to all reps, regardless of who you have as direct competitors or not, is just understanding what the customer actually needs. So when they bring up an objection or they can do this, can you do this? Understanding the why behind the question and feeling comfortable, digging in and asking more, is going to get you where you need to go without just features and functionality it’s going to actually help you dissect and understand, okay, well maybe, in this case, that competitor actually might be a fit for you more so than us.

Tori Belkin:
But you’re looking to do all of this stuff and you know, this is more important Ceros might be a fit and just being open to having that honest conversation instead of just going straight to, well, if they said that we say this and just being a little bit more chippy about it.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, it’s really good. This idea that I think is, and correct me if I’m wrong, I have not been in your seat or in the seat of the person I’m talking about here. But I would imagine that a more junior sales rep would take the, they do this, do you do that, and feel like I have to be able to do that or promise that we can do that. When in fact, you ask or you offer the more important response, which is why is that important to you? Would you say that’s more of a kind of a junior thing to just feel like, oh my gosh, I have to be able to match straight up?

Tori Belkin:
Yeah, exactly. Whether it’s a competitor that’s coming up or just an objection of literally anything. I think more junior reps especially have the tendency to just be like, now I need to blurt out all the information that I know and oversell and pivots quickly to something else. But it’s just taking a step back and understanding, okay, why are they asking the question? Why is this important? And then figuring out from there where to take the conversation because sometimes we don’t even know why a prospect’s asking the question. Someone says, “Hey, do you integrate with XYZ?” And you’re like, “Oh my gosh, no, we don’t, but XYZ.” They could have been asking because they’re like, “Oh good, because if you do integrate with that, then we couldn’t use your software.” So you just never know why they’re asking the question, right? You got to ask those clarifying questions before you can be an advocate and really help them understand whether or not your tool is a fit.

Ethan Beute:
Which really goes back to your underlying principle of understanding the person, understanding their motivation and what’s really in it for them so that you can get them to a good outcome. Around these themes, do you measure it in any way? Is it even measurable at all? The quality of this, the nature of the experience your sales folks are creating? Obviously you’re probably getting a ton of anecdotal evidence, but do worry about that at all? Do you even think about it at all? Or is it just a I’m going to hire well, I’m going to train well and hope for the best?

Tori Belkin:
Yeah, we definitely hire for people that we feel are a good fit for our very relationship-based sell. So that is number one obviously, we’re training for it as well. We have a process that we want people to follow, which transferred this actual conversation and understanding pain points and being able to speak to them. The way that we track it is a couple of different ways. I mean, I will listen to at least one call for each of my reps just to anecdotally check-in and see if everything’s going well. But we also use Gong as a software to record all of our sales calls and they have some really easy metrics to track that can basically tell you if your reps presenting or having a very conversational back and forth sales call. So we’ll track those metrics on a regular basis as a whole, and also on a per rep basis just so we can make sure that it’s going the way that we intended.

Ethan Beute:
Really good. Just a really practical question here. In the hiring process what are maybe a couple questions or what are a couple of things, you’re looking for to know that I have someone who is, has some of these kind of softer characteristics that I know I want present in my reps?

Tori Belkin:
Yeah. I think it’s, there are for sure some questions that you can ask, but I do think it’s just the way that a rep handles an interview, in general, can give you a really good idea if they’re in control of the process and making it conversational. You can feel confident that they’re that same exact way on a sales call because, at the end of the day, an interview really is like a sales pitch of yourself, right? So it is sort of just that, that feeling and also just, we call it the airport test. So at the end of the day, will this rep be a fit, will they not, will they be successful just asking yourself would I want to be stuck in an airport with this person for hours? Because if you don’t feel like you can have conversation, and they’re not curious about what’s going on in your life and wanting to really get to know you, they’re not going to be like that with prospects on the phone either, which is really what we need.

Tori Belkin:
So that’s, those are the two things that I would say on that. And then we also have, we do a pitch test as part of our sales process now, and we let them pitch anything that they’ve sold in the past. So that way they’re not selling us Ceros. They obviously haven’t sold it before. So how can we expect them to really be able to do that? But that way it allows us to just get a feel for what they’re like on the phone. Are they making things conversational? Is that natural to them? Or are they someone who’s just more of a, okay, I’m going to get what I want out of this. All I care about is scheduling the next step. I don’t care what they say to me, or who’s on the call. I’m just going to get to that. It gives you a good sense for that as well.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, that falls into that pushy and salesy category of how fast can I get you to my desired outcome.

Tori Belkin:
You really have to keep in mind that when you get on a call, of course, you have an agenda, but you have to keep in mind, your prospect has an agenda as well. So you want to understand what that is and make sure that they get the information that they need off the back end of the call as well.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah. I love the airport test. I’ve lived the airport test, and fortunately for me, I work with a lot of people I really like and enjoy spending time with. But I can imagine that that just the thought exercise alone is going to be really practical. And I do look forward to a time when we can all get back on airplanes with our team members.

Tori Belkin:
Yeah, absolutely. I hope that happens.

Ethan Beute:
I’ve got a couple questions for you and they’re not controversial. So don’t take them that way. Some people have taken them that way before, but I like to ask these just because the show is all about the conversations and relationships, not just within our teams, but across our teams. And so address these however you choose. What do you wish more marketers knew or understood about salespeople in the sales process?

Tori Belkin:
I wish that they knew just how much goes into a sale, right? It’s really easy for them to pass a lead and say they wasted that, but they don’t know the conversations that we’ve had or how difficult it is to get to a decision-maker once we have that initial conversation that they’ve passed over to us. So I wish it was just a little bit more empathy for the struggles that we have to go through in order to make that sell and how draining it can be to have to manage all of those relationships throughout a process to make it successful. How easy it is for the littlest thing to slip through the cracks or the littlest conversation to go slightly wrong, could impact a whole sales cycle. So I guess just being a little bit more empathetic, I think would be nice.

Ethan Beute:
Absolutely. That’s why I asked, and let’s do the same thing, but what do you wish more customer success people knew or understood CSMs or account managers? The people that are going to carry this sale into the future, hopefully, for a long-lasting relationship with your company, what do you wish more CS people knew or understood about salespeople or the sales process?

Tori Belkin:
I think it’s sort of the same thing, right? Because the empathy component of it. Because at the end of the day, our target is net new revenue. So to do that, we do have to take some risk and leap of faith to understand, okay, I can get this deal done, but I know I ultimately don’t have the champion involved who would need to renew this, but they had some extra budget. That it’s okay for us to make those deals and put those through the system as long as we’re honest with them on the CSM side of, “Okay, it wasn’t a perfect sales process, we definitely miss XYZ, you’re going to need to talk to so and so, but here you go.” I think if they could just be a little bit more empathetic as well to the sales team and how difficult that would be. I think that that would just make the handover process a little bit better for everyone. I don’t know, empathy I guess.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, it’s good. I mean, you’re really calling for just a stronger relationships. More conversation, more understanding. Probably as you’re talking about in the sales and prospect situation or sales and future customer situation more why, just a little bit more why going both ways to get to that shared understanding.

Ethan Beute:
For folks who’ve enjoyed this conversation so far, I’ve got a couple more that you will also love on the Customer Experience Podcast. You can access all these at bombbomb.com/podcast. I’m thinking of a couple in particular though, episode 58 with Ruthie Shoulder who is co-founder and CEO of the Participation Agency. They’re an experiential marketing agency that produces physical, tangible events to tie to your digital experiences. We called that one Uniting Customers and Brands Through Experiential Marketing. That’s episode 58. And on episode 71 with Ed Breault, CMO at Aprimo, Differentiating Your Brand by Humanizing the Experience. And that nugget that you offered just a few minutes Tori, about a customer choosing Ceros, not just for the merits and the value and the benefits of the platform, but also for the way that your rep made that other person feel.

Ethan Beute:
That is how you differentiate your brand by humanizing the experience. And again, we have a full conversation on that on episode 71. So, Tori, this has been great. I really appreciate you sharing openly your time, your thoughts, and your insights on building out your team there. Before I let you go. I’d love for you to thank or mention a person who’s had a positive impact on your life or your career, and to give a shout out to a company that you really respect for the way they deliver for you as a customer.

Tori Belkin:
Yeah, absolutely. So a person in my life, I would say it’s the CEO of Ceros, Simon Berg. I have stayed at Ceros for as long as I have and would stick around for as long as they’ll have me, because of him. He’s such an inspiring leader and really challenges you to push your boundaries and your limits and try new things, which I think is why Ceros has been so successful to date, but on a personal level has pushed me to really grow. And he’s all about if I can help you do something that benefits Ceros because you’re better at it. That’s great. But if I can help you and help you grow, that keeps you beyond your career at Ceros that’s even better, which I just love and admire about him so much.

Tori Belkin:
In terms of customer experience and different things that I’ve worked with. I’d like to give a shout out to one of our sales enablement platforms, Guru. Their customer success team is unparalleled, unmatched. I look forward to our check-in every other week because they’re just so fun and everything that they do is so actionable. They’re very quick with followups and they really help us get the most out of the software, but they’re just genuinely really great human beings as well. So shout out to that whole CS team.

Ethan Beute:
Awesome. I really liked both of those and it really speaks to the importance of leadership. And I’m sure that what you have learned from your CEO is something you aspire to give to other folks on your team. So that one day, a few years from now, they might say the same thing about you.

Tori Belkin:
I hope so.

Ethan Beute:
If someone wants to follow up on this conversation, I assume if they’re listening at this point that they enjoyed it and they might want to connect with you and learn more about Ceros, where are a couple places you would send people.

Tori Belkin:
Yeah, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. It’s just Tory Belkin and you can find me, or my email address is Tori.Belkin@Ceros.com.

Ethan Beute:
Awesome. I will link up your LinkedIn profile, the homepage of your website and of course, Guru and, and more at bombbomb.com/podcast. Thank you everyone for listening. Again, you can always check these out at bombbomb.com/podcast. And of course, you can subscribe wherever. Leave a rating or review. That’s always really helpful. And Tori, thank you again so much for your time.

Tori Belkin:
Awesome. Thank you for having me. This is a lot of fun.

 
 

Video Highlights: Staying Human-First In Your Sales Process

Check out the top five video highlights from the discussion with Tori Belkin of Ceros below…

1. Why Experiential Content

 

 

2. Definition of Personalization

 

 

3. Avoiding a Bad Buying Experience

 

 

4. Being Conversational in Sales

 

 

5. Winning on the Experience

 

 

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Ethan Beute

Ethan Beute | About The Author

Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, co-author of Rehumanize Your Business, and host of The Customer Experience Podcast, Ethan collects and tells stories of clearer communication, human connection, and higher conversion with simple, personal videos. BA: University of Michigan. MBA: University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Fresh air & clean water.