1610 – Making Smart Moves with Smart Moves’ Barbara Spector

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the CEO & President of SmartMoves, Barbara Spector.

Barbara Spector, Founder and CEO of Smart Moves, provides astute insights on the dynamics of sales teams and business decision-making. A strong advocate against laying off salespeople, she emphasizes that sales teams form the revenue backbone of any organization, and maintaining their strength, especially amidst uncertain times, is vital.

According to Barbara, an organization's cutback approach should be something other than revenue-centric but focus on individual performance metrics. By using comprehensive assessment tools, companies can identify high-potential salespeople who might not necessarily be the top performers but could be valuable assets in the long term.

Barbara also brings attention to the shift in sales paradigms. The role of a salesperson has transformed from just being a product promoter to a value provider who creates urgency. This involves building strong relationships with potential clients, connecting emotionally, and functioning more as consultants than conventional salespeople.


About Barbara Spector:

Barbara Spector is the author of “How to Hire a Rock Star Salesperson: Overcome the 8 Obstacles to Hiring Great Sales People.” Her expertise lies in assisting sales teams from diverse industries, such as banking, high technology, and building products, in achieving substantial sales growth of at least 17% or more.

Since 1997, her company Smart Moves Inc. has guided clients through a little-known but proven process that saves time and money and eliminates the uncertainty associated with driving reliable and escalating sales growth, even during challenging times.

Barbara's blueprint enables clients to shift from a chaotic mindset to generating millions. With her proven process, executives and sales leaders can uncover solutions to overcome obstacles that hinder top-line revenue acceleration, improve their perspective, and develop effective strategies and action plans.

Barbara's insightful comments inspire fresh perspectives on the most valuable asset in any company—the high-performing salespeople.


About SmartMoves, Inc:

SmartMoves Inc. specializes in selecting, developing, and retaining employees who are passionate about their work and receive recognition and appreciation for their contributions to their employers. The company's primary focus is to provide invaluable insights into candidates, employees, organizations, and even customers, which would typically take significant time and resources to uncover.

By leveraging these insights, Smart Moves Inc. enables organizations to save substantial amounts of time and millions of dollars that would have otherwise been wasted due to limited information.

The ultimate goal of Smart Moves Inc. is to help organizations become “Employers of Choice,” joining the ranks of a select few who are recognized for their exceptional employment practices.

With Smart Moves Inc.'s services, organizations can better understand their workforce, make informed decisions regarding employee selection and development, and create a work environment that fosters employee satisfaction and engagement. Through their expertise, Smart Moves Inc. empowers companies to maximize their human capital and create a positive and productive workplace culture.


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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now, Barb Spector. Barb, you are the CEO and president, founder of Smart Moves. You're found on the web at Smart Moves, Barb, thank you so much for joining us.

Barbara (00:01:10) - I'm so glad to see you, Josh.

Josh (00:01:11) - All right. And congratulations, by the way, on 26 years.

Josh (00:01:16) - That's quite an accomplishment.

Barbara (00:01:18) - It's been quite a ride. It's been quite a ride. And part of why our company is called Smart Moves, a lot of times we get phone calls from people looking to see if we're going to move them from one location to another or, you know, if we're doing something else that the term smart moves connotes to. But we named it Smart Movers because we really help companies make really, really educated decisions whenever it comes to dealing with any aspect of their employees, whether it's hiring them, developing them, keeping them, training them. Well, that's what we want them to make smart moves.

Josh (00:01:53) - Yeah, well, you know, obviously, you know, doing what you do for as long as you have, obviously you've seen some trends. What are the trends that you're observing right now on that side of things?

Barbara (00:02:06) - Well, very interesting question. A lot of companies are firing. People are not firing, laying people off. And there are some organizations that are also laying off their sales, some of their salespeople.

Barbara (00:02:19) - And that's the worst thing they can possibly do because that's the revenue generating arm of their company. The other thing that we've seen, there's been so many trends. First we had we're now we're at quiet. Are we a quiet quitting or quiet staying? I'm not sure which been before that we had the great resignation. I think things are finally calming down. But there's a lot of uncertainty in the marketplace because we have a few days until the debt ceiling either gets raised or we're in deep poopoo. And so companies are very nervous and what I'm finding is that the most important thing they can do right now is to take care of their people. And I mean that from the standpoint of really creating empathy. And if they're working with a sales team, they really need to develop them. And we do a lot of work with sales teams. So I think the biggest thing is the uncertainty and understanding that if you have a growth mindset to start with and not a closed mindset or a fixed mindset as it's known as you can weather the storm, you can find a way to pivot just like we had to pivot through the pandemic, just like we had to pivot, pivot when we had the 2008 housing meltdown, just like we had to pivot the 2000 bust.

Barbara (00:03:41) - Right. It's just time to pivot, that's all. And if we keep our head on straight, we can weather the storm.

Josh (00:03:48) - Yeah, and I've heard that advice given before where it's like, you know, don't ever cut back on sales and marketing. But I would imagine there's some cases, right, when we're evaluating how something's performing and go, Well, we don't want to do that. So let's because that's clearly not been working over the past year. I mean, we want to, you know, always be analyzing and making sure that we're spending money in the right ways, of course. So when is it when is it appropriate to make cutbacks?

Barbara (00:04:18) - Are you talking about in a sales force? Yes. Yeah. So the first thing that you have to do is the way I use an expression. If you can't measure it, you can't fix it. So there are means by which an organization can first determine who of their people stands, not only is going to succeed, but who should they keep on board because they have that strong potential, even if they have not been the star in the organization.

Barbara (00:04:47) - And there's ways to determine that. But to do it just based on looking at a spreadsheet and who's brought in the most revenue and who's brought in the least amount is not the way to go about it, because there's a lot of people who are like the B players who have tremendous potential if you had the right tools to develop them. So there's ways to actually measure that, to determine who should we really let go of regardless of what's going on in the economy?

Josh (00:05:18) - Yeah. And what trends are you seeing specifically in sales teams today?

Barbara (00:05:25) - Being a little bit more specific. When you say trends in sales teams, if you can.

Josh (00:05:28) - Right. So, you know, again, there's a lot of technologies. I think there's a lot of. You know, obviously we're learning things, right. And I'd say that, you know, for thinking about maybe it's B2B sales and a sales team there, you know, are they, you know, are there they're just new best practices that you're seeing commonly that maybe yep I'm seeing I'm seeing lean sales teams do this blah blah blah blah.

Josh (00:05:56) - I don't know.

Barbara (00:05:56) - Got it. Got it. Okay. So one of the things that actually is. It isn't just now. It's actually has been in place forever as a tremendous need. But it's more important than ever. And I call it a trend for today is that salespeople don't know how to sell enough value and create enough urgency in their sales. So get right now because companies are concerned about, oh, they won't buy from us if we don't have the best price. That's a bad mindset, right? But you can't get over it. A salesperson can't get over it. And this is one of these trends. They have to be able to sell the value of the company, the value of the product and the value of themselves. Because people buy from people they love and trust and like never mind love. And more importantly, if we can't connect to people emotionally. They can't see the value of either the product or the service or the company. It's critically important and it's more, as I call it, a trend because it's more important today than it's ever been.

Barbara (00:07:06) - The building of.

Josh (00:07:07) - Why is that? Why now? Yeah.

Barbara (00:07:09) - Because. Great question. Why now? Let me just let me think about that for a second. Sales actually changed dramatically after 2008. It used to be a salesperson could just show up. And what I like to say sardonically throw up. They could just make their presentation and more often than not, they could close as many deals as they needed to. But we have a much more sophisticated audience today, and it's more sophisticated because of social media. And social media demands that people build relationships, that we don't go off and just be salesy. So the reason it's so important today is that it's what the market demands. The market demands it. People need relationship, especially since so much of business is being done over Zoom. It's very easy to have a disconnect. And if we do things the old fashioned way, the way it was done literally 20 years ago when I started in the business, actually, it was more than 20 years ago.

Barbara (00:08:12) - It doesn't work anymore. People feel detached and so it's impossible to get the win rates in companies. You know that term win rates. Does that make sense to you? Should I explain it?

Josh (00:08:23) - Sure. Well feel free.

Barbara (00:08:25) - Yes. Yeah. So let's imagine that a company has 50 deals opportunities in their pipeline, right? But the amount that they close is considered what their win rate is. So we have been able to see that win rates are increased dramatically when an organization of salespeople knows how to sell value and they know how to create urgency. And the best way to do that is to really be a consultant to that prospect, not a salesperson.

Josh (00:08:57) - Yeah. What does that look like?

Barbara (00:09:01) - What does that look like? Well, it's a conversation in which, first of all, I'm doing more listening than I'm talking. I'm truly interested in helping you uncover whatever the problem is that you're experiencing. And I ask a lot of questions to help you identify. How much is that costing the company? What does it mean to you if you don't get it fixed? And what's it going to mean to you if you do? So a lot of salespeople are actually uncomfortable asking those kinds of questions.

Barbara (00:09:31) - And as a result, their win rates are not so great. Yeah. So we have to go through a it's almost like being an unlicensed psychologist, you know, and taking that much care and that much interest in the person that we're talking to so that we're more interested in the buyer's cycle than the sellers cycle. Does that make sense?

Josh (00:09:55) - Yeah. Where does so where does smart moves fit within this. So how are you engaging with your clients and what are you helping to manage or helping them to create?

Barbara (00:10:05) - Great question. So we've talked a little bit about this unknown and the unknown that a particularly a CEO and CEO, he or she is usually 2 or 3 steps removed from a sales organization. So one of the things that we're able to do with them is to provide the actual diagnostic of the whole organization. We want to know where the gaps in the sales people, where are they in the sales managers, where are they in the sales leaders, and where are they even in their systems and their processes and their strategies.

Barbara (00:10:39) - So if we can get a handle on those very scientifically, it creates an opportunity for the organization to really target the things they need to improve on and take the action that they need to take to grow revenue.

Josh (00:10:55) - And so your website, Smart Moves What resources would you recommend there? Or someone's listening to our conversation and they want to learn more about what you do.

Barbara (00:11:07) - Well, if they're interested on the sales side, there's actually a page called sales Sales Evaluations. I believe if you go on to the site, we've got a bunch of tabs up at the top. There's a particular tab called assessments. We and we do all types of assessments because again, I am a firm believer if you can't measure it, you can't fix it. So if somebody is looking to improve their existing sales force, we have something called a sales force evaluation. There's a link to that in my site. A lot of companies are interested. There's a lot of talk that, you know, hiring is slowing down.

Barbara (00:11:45) - Well, we haven't experienced that. We're finding that throughout every industry from tech. Believe it or not, which is where they're having a lot of layoffs to manufacturing, to more blue collar jobs. They're hiring like crazy. And so on my site, there's a place where you can learn about assessments that help companies hire great people. And we also do interview training. We cover the whole gamut. It's the whole life cycle. And as it relates to talent management except for benefits and compensation. I don't touch that. Nope, nope, nope.

Josh (00:12:21) - Awesome. All right. Again, Barb Specter, your website, Smart Moves, Thank you again so much. Is there anything else that someone's listening or a conversation that you know, kind of like your call to the world or, you know what you would recommend business leaders pay attention to and focus on today?

Barbara (00:12:41) - Well, there's a couple of things. First of all, we have a free gift for everybody. I spoke about mindset and how important that is, particularly in a sales organization, but actually anywhere.

Barbara (00:12:51) - And so I have a special report that's available. And what it will do is it will actually identify the nine hidden mindsets in most salespeople and four things you can do about it. And the link to that is to simply go to Http the guide dot via the guide dot vip,, but VIP, the guide dot VIP. And if somebody would like to talk to me, you'll see right by my name. In my in my name right there on the link on the zoom link VIP chat with Barb and we can set up a time to talk.

Josh (00:13:29) - All right. Barb Spector, again, thank you so much for joining us against your website, Smart Moves, Thanks, Barb.

Barbara (00:13:35) - My pleasure. Josh, so glad you had me on your call.

Josh (00:13:43) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up My Influence slash guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free.

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