THE THOUGHTFUL ENTREPRENEUR PODCAST

1754 – Helping Leaders Drive the Bottom and Top Lines with Scott K. Edinger of Edinger Consulting

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Founder of Edinger Consulting, Scott K. Edinger.

Edinger wide

Scott emphasizes that growth is not just a sales issue, but a leadership one. He underscores the importance of aligning sales with strategy. A shocking statistic he shared is that 86% of CEOs do little to nothing to align sales with strategy, which he finds tragic.

Many executives, he explains, focus on the capabilities of their products and services and expect the sales team to simply go out and sell them.

Scott also talks about the need for sales teams to focus on creating value in the sales experience rather than just communicating the product or service's value.

He suggests having conversations with customers where expertise is shared and insights are provided to help them achieve their objectives. This approach differentiates the sales team and eliminates the need for pressuring customers for a close at the end of the quarter.

However, Scott believes executives should be more engaged with their sales team and recognize that the sales experience can be a differentiating factor. He emphasizes that sales is executing the company's strategy and that success or failure occurs on every sales call.

Scott generously discusses the free resources available on his website, scottedinger.com. He has written a hundred articles for publications such as Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fast Company, and Chief Executive, and provides links to all of them on the website's articles page. These articles cover topics related to leadership, strategy, and sales.

Scott also mentions a 30-page workbook called the Growth Leader Workbook, which can be downloaded from the website's books page.

This workbook is a companion to his book and provides practical application of its ideas. The workbook contains charts and graphs that can be helpful for sales professionals.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Importance of aligning sales with strategy
  • Sales as the execution of the company's strategy
  • Differentiating through the sales experience
  • Inspiring and motivating teams for growth
  • Free resources available on Scott Edinger's website
  • Articles covering leadership, strategy, and sales
  • The Growth Leader Workbook as a companion to the book
  • Importance of creating value in the sales experience
  • Eliminating the need for pressuring customers for a close
  • Focusing on delivering value and advocating for customers' objectives

About Scott K. Edinger:

Renowned business growth consultant Scott K. Edinger, in his latest book, “The Growth Leader: Strategies to Drive the Top and Bottom Lines,” addresses the critical link between C-Suite strategy and sales force execution for sustainable business growth.

Drawing on his extensive experience working with CEOs and Senior Leaders of Fortune 500 companies, Scott emphasizes the importance of shifting focus from mere sales transactions to creating enduring customer value.

As he terms it, the key to achieving “graceful growth” is fostering effective communication between leadership and sales teams. By closing the gap between strategic vision and its implementation on the front lines, businesses can achieve a harmonious synergy that combines speed, power, and coordination.

Scott's insights underscore that genuine and lasting growth is not solely a sales challenge but a leadership imperative for organizations aiming to thrive in today's competitive landscape.

About Edinger Consulting:

Edinger Consulting is a sought-after firm, attracting clients such as AT&T, Lenovo, McDonald's, and The Los Angeles Times, all driven by the desire for substantial growth.

The consultancy, led by Scott K. Edinger, specializes in collaborating with senior leaders to formulate and implement strategies that yield enhanced top and bottom-line outcomes.

Scott, a distinguished consultant, author, advisor, and speaker, is renowned for catalyzing positive transformations within client organizations. His expertise mainly centers on leadership strategies geared towards achieving revenue growth.

Through strategic insight and practical execution, Edinger Consulting has established itself as a trusted partner for companies seeking to navigate the complexities of business expansion and achieve sustainable success in today's competitive market landscape.

Tweetable Moments:

03:50 – “When all things look equal or similar, then it's the sales experience that can differentiate you and not enough executives put their focus on that or at least put enough focus on that.”

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Edinger Consulting website at

https://www.juliankharris.co.uk/

Check out Edinger Consulting on LinkedIn at

https://www.linkedin.com/company/edinger-consulting/

Check out Scott K. Edinger on LinkedIn at

https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-edinger/

Check out Scott K. Edinger on Twitter at

https://twitter.com/scottkedinger

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Transcript

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 and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now. Scott Edinger. Scott, you are the founder of Edinger Consulting and you are management consultant. You're found on the web at Scott edinger.com. Scott, thank you so much for joining us. I'm excited.

Scott (00:01:11) - To be here talking with you, Josh.

Josh (00:01:12) - Just down the road for me and over in Tampa.

Josh (00:01:16) - I'm over in East Orlando. So Scott, tell me about the work that you do. And also I need to point out you are the author of the new book. It's called The Growth Leader. Will talk about that and What Leaders need to know strategies to drive the top and bottom lines. We'll get to that in just a moment. But Scott, give me an overview of who you work with, what you do, and kind of the impact you have in the world today.

Scott (00:01:39) - Right. Well, the book title is part of it, The Growth Leader Strategies to Drive the top and Bottom Lines. And that's a lot of my work. My expertise is in helping executives to lead their companies to growth, no matter how that gets defined. You know, there's a lot of ways to think about that, whether it be, you know, the obvious or revenue, net income. And of course, who doesn't want that, but number of products or services in the market, maybe it's measures of customer satisfaction, any manner of growth, no matter how you calculate it.

Scott (00:02:07) - That is my focus. Because if you're leading an organization today, growth is the name of the game. It's always the objective for executives. It does not require much leadership to maintain the status quo. So that's where I focus. That's the work I do with executives. And that's always at the intersection of strategy, leadership and sales.

Josh (00:02:28) - Yes, we think about the roles of a leader today, particularly when we think of a lot of SMB founders slash CEOs. Listen to this. When we think specifically about the leadership responsibilities regarding growth, I guess, where does our focus need to be? And, you know, our attention and our activity so that we can be a leader for growth?

Scott (00:02:53) - Yeah, well, particularly in the SMB market, one of the things I find, whether it be venture backed startups or, you know, mid true mid-market sized companies is a focus on differentiating on what you offer, the products, the services, the capabilities, which is of course vital those you have to have that.

Scott (00:03:12) - But there's a missing link here and that is differentiating in how you offer it. And the growth leader I call that the sales experience. And this is when I talk about the connection between strategy and leadership and sales, that there is a strategy to differentiate in the market, not only on what you provide. Of course, that has to be great and differentiated in the eyes of customers. But when all things look equal or similar, you know that happens to many of us, then it's the sales experience that can differentiate you. And not enough executives put their focus on that, or at least put enough focus on that.

Josh (00:03:50) - And you just recently post, I really want to have you talk about this in terms of growth being a leadership issue and not a sales issue. And then you go on to talk about research in this LinkedIn post that you'd recently shared. 86% of CEOs do little to nothing to align sales with strategy. All right. What's tragic doing.

Scott (00:04:14) - It's tragic. Right. Well, here's the typical the 86% here that they focus on the capabilities of products and services.

Scott (00:04:22) - And they say we're going to sell solutions in the market and sales. Just get out there and sell it. And what they usually mean is go tell our customers about how great our solutions are, pitch it, close it, whatever, but find a way to get the business. And instead of being more strategic, this 86% is often disconnected or not involved with sales. It's sort of a like I said, just go sell it when instead what leaders could be doing, what executives could be doing to drive a more powerful kind of growth that helps expand margins and grow revenue is to be more engaged with their sales team, recognizing that the sales experience can be differentiating number one and number two, that sales is the execution of your strategy every day, dozens of times a day, maybe hundreds of times a day, depending on your size. And if you recognize those two things, then you start to engage with your sales team very differently. Beyond saying get out there and sell, make the number. There's a lot behind that.

Scott (00:05:20) - But those are the two big ones.

Josh (00:05:23) - Yeah. So sales leadership a bit more than giving away a Cadillac Eldorado for first place, a set of steak knives for second, you're fired for third, right.

Scott (00:05:33) - Exactly. So this whole idea of understanding for executives that there aren't any customers at headquarters, and your strategy does not get executed in the boardroom. It happens in the field with customers. And success or failure of your strategy occurs on every sales call. It's the only place where every element of your go to market strategy comes to life. It either wins or loses right there.

Josh (00:05:59) - So the book is the growth leader strategies to drive the top and bottom lines. Congratulations. I mean, as we're recording this, this was just published right about a week ago. Right. And it's on Kindle. You've got the audiobook version as well.

Scott (00:06:16) - Yeah, we've got the audiobook version. And I had the misfortune of being the person who recorded that I volunteered. I thought it would sound cool. I put this on LinkedIn also.

Scott (00:06:26) - I was like, it sounded like I'd be the kind of actor who did my own stunts. Yes. You know, I would record my own audiobook versus hiring a professional voice actor. And boy, did I learn a lesson about that. Harder than it looks.

Josh (00:06:38) - Yeah, that's. I've heard it takes a long time to get to do it. Well, well, congratulations on that. Currently as we're recording this, you've got a lot of strong reviews and ratings. Five stars all the way. It's also currently the number one new release in management science. So congratulations. Thank you. Definitely getting some traction Scott this is exciting. Who should be reading this book and what would you expect the transformation to be by the time they read and apply?

Scott (00:07:05) - Well, who should be reading a book? If you are a leader who is responsible for the future value of your enterprise, whatever that is, are you responsible for next year's financials, three years results, earnings per share, stock price, whatever it is a valuation.

Scott (00:07:22) - If you are responsible for the future value of your business, this book is for you because it is about differentiation. It's about inspiring and motivating your teams to high levels of performance. It's about winning in the market. Those things are required. So that's the first question you asked. Who's it for? Future value of the business. You're the leader of that. This is for you. I wrote it specifically for you. And then as it relates to results, I would expect 2 or 3 things to be different. The first would be an aha moment to recognize that you can differentiate and you can win more than your fair share of business and the market. If you put a little bit of attention on how you sell, how your team goes to market versus just what you provide, here's what I mean by that. To start thinking about the sales experience as a vital part of the customer experience. Yeah. And recognizing that it has to create value, you have to provide insight and expertise and help your customers to think differently.

Scott (00:08:22) - If you do that, you'll find new ways to win in the market. That's first. Second, I would hope that anybody reading the book recognizes that I need to be more inspiring, that I will not get the growth that I want by declaration. I will not get the growth I want just by acquiring businesses or creating products and services. I have to bring out the best in my team, and that will only happen if I connect with them, if I inspire them to do more.

Josh (00:08:50) - Yeah. All right.

Josh (00:08:51) - Also, Scott, you've done a lot of management consulting. You've worked with companies like AT&T, Lenovo, McDonald's, The times they've hired you. And what does that engagement look like?

Scott (00:09:04) - It usually starts with my work with a senior executive. It might be C-suite leader. It might be an EVP level leading a division. It might be a founder of an organization. It always starts with beginning to frame a go to market strategy that says, this is how we're going to win. This is the part of the market we're going to win, and here's how we're going to differentiate.

Scott (00:09:24) - And then most importantly, don't leave this part off. How are we going to execute? What are we going to do to make this happen. So it always starts with that kind of strategy. It often gets into working with a management or leadership team. How are we going to drive this strategy through our business in particular, not neglecting the sales organization who usually become an appendage to a business? It's like we've got everybody at headquarters and sales just needs to get out there. So how do I align all of my teams on execution? And then depending on my level of involvement, I sometimes get into the actual execution work, developing talent at the mid-levels and front lines of a team that's rarer. Most of it is in advisory capacity with executives.

Josh (00:10:09) - Yeah. Your website is Scott Henninger. Com and I know you've got some by the way your good LinkedIn follow I'd recommend connecting you with on LinkedIn. But boy you've got a lot of great case studies on your website. But talk about maybe you know someone that's been listening to our conversation and they want more.

Josh (00:10:28) - Scott obviously go by the book. It's called The Growth Leader Strategies to Drive the Top and bottom line. It's on Amazon. It's on everywhere. But Scott, do you also have additional resources where someone that's just getting to know, you may be interested to get a little bit more of your work out there?

Scott (00:10:45) - Yes. Well, of course, let's start with the free stuff, because that's, you know, the easiest, right? So if you go to the website Scott Edinger. Com make a point to being easy. Like you can't be easier to find me on the web. It's just my name. But if you go there and you go to the articles page, I've written a hundred articles for Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fast Company chief executive. There are links to all of them, so you can go to them. There's a quick summary of all of them and links to all of them, and you could just browse the titles which interests you. They're all about leadership, strategy, sales.

Scott (00:11:14) - How do you drive the results? And then if you have bought the book or if you go buy the book, then there's a 30 page workbook, the Growth Leader Workbook, and you can download that. It's on the website, on the books page. If you go there, enter your information. You can get a free download 30 page workbook. It's a great companion on application of the ideas that are in the book.

Josh (00:11:37) - Yeah, look at that. Oh very cool. I see lots of charts and graphs in the workbook. Again, the the website for that. Scott Edinger it's linked. If you're listening to this podcast in a podcast app, you'll see all the low notes just right there. Click on the information icon. Just click around. You'll find the direct link to Scott's website. Go get the workbook. Hey Scott, I want to circle back because we have a few more minutes. I want to ask you just a bit more about what you see working well in sales today in terms of, again, how we should be inspiring our sales teams because I think, you know, coming in a sales professional has their own goals, right.

Josh (00:12:18) - And as a leader, we may have slightly different goals, but together we want to kind of come together where everybody wins. Yeah. But what do you see in terms of like that duality there and the role of a leader, particularly in light of what is working well today?

Scott (00:12:35) - Yeah. If you're the leader of an organization, then shifting the focus of your sales team from just communicating the value of what you offer to creating value, and if you focus on creating value in the sales experience, which, by the way, got research in the book, 25% of the decision factor focus on creating value. That will not happen with a pitch. It won't happen with the capabilities presentation. It'll happen in a conversation where you can share expertise, where you can help customers think differently about their issues, help them to see the unintended consequences of challenges that they've struggled with. But you offer a unique vantage point to your customers because you've seen their movie hundreds of times, right? So use that experience to help them see things differently.

Scott (00:13:21) - Not to pitch, not to try to close, but to help them with insights that could help them to achieve their objectives. You do that. You will differentiate in the way your sales team goes to market, and you'll get all the business you need without trying to pressure for a close at the end of the quarter.

Josh (00:13:40) - I absolutely love that because, you know, if there's one thing I think I think most of us love, well, I hope we. Again, we have our own wants, needs and desires and so forth. But I think at the end of the day, I mean, we want to create impact. We want to advocate for the well-being and success and happiness of others. At least I hope so. Right? That feels good. I can tell you that in sales, a sales professional that is truly focused on just delivering value in good in the lives of their potential customers, it feels so much better coming to work rather than you got to close baby clothes, you know?

Scott (00:14:19) - And by the way, like it flat out doesn't work.

Scott (00:14:22) - When I talk with executives and say, I need closers, I need people with the fire in the belly, I often will say, when was the last time you had someone sit across from you trying to sell you something that was trying to close you hard, that was hungry, that needed a deal? How was that? Did it make you want to buy? Of course it didn't. So there's a section in the book I read about sales stigma. We still have this idea of what it takes to be successful in sales that is fundamentally misguided and wrong.

Josh (00:14:51) - Yeah. All right. Scott Edinger, again, your website, Scott Edinger go get the free workbook. Yes. Just click on books. Scroll down to where it says Start leading today. Order the ebook and download the free workbook right here. Scott Edinger, it's been great having you really appreciate your insights, especially that that last bit at the end there. To anyone who's responsible for growth within your organization, really lean into being customer centric.

Josh (00:15:18) - I mean, truly deliver value. And I believe, you know, I forget who it's like you're paid relative to the value you bring to the marketplace, right? And that, you know, that compensation is a very natural byproduct of that value that you truly bring.

Scott (00:15:32) - Sure. Absolutely. You know.

Josh (00:15:35) - Yeah. Scott, thank you so much for joining us again. Scott Edinger comm. Thanks, Scott.

Scott (00:15:38) - Thanks so much. Josh. Great to be here.

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