Adapter’s Advantage: Episode 55
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00:02 , Okay 321. Hello,
00:08 , I’m Mark Magna aka and I want to welcome you back to the next episode of the adapters advantage podcast today,
00:14 , my guest is Emily Mason, I want to give you a little background on Emily before we get started,
00:19 , she is the senior learning strategist and specializing in sales training at Res Med.
00:25 , Emily has over 10 years of experience in the MedTech pharma, in both sales and sales training roles and prior to resume.
00:34 , And she held positions as a sales trainer at Leo pharma and in sales roles at Pzizer and King pharmaceuticals.
00:41 , A little fun fact about her. According to strength finders her number one strength is futuristic.
00:47 , So we’re going to talk a little bit more about that and I can tell you that she’s somebody who’s very focused and and searching for a
00:57 , product, a process or a solution how any of those three can be better than it is right now and that’s something Emily I have to tell you.
01:05 , That’s right after my own heart because I’m always trying to improve things like that. So welcome to the podcast.
01:10 , Well thank you so much for having me Mark. It’s a pleasure to be here and I’m sure we’ll we’ll get to talk about very exciting things as we always do.
01:19 , So let’s jump right into it. Emily, I just mentioned all these different things that you do as a senior learning strategist at res med.
01:28 , But when people ask you, so you’re at ResMed, what do you do, what do you say?
01:34 , Yeah, I guess in in short terms if you’re asking me from the outside looking in I just, my short answer is I support the sales team of both U.
01:42 , S. And Canada for ResMed. And so I go into and we’re pretty lean and mighty team.
01:49 , So that means I cover everything from analyzing – where is the issue lie with training,
01:54 , where is any of the gaps, designing, developing, implementing. And then to your point when you said earlier just constantly evaluating and just beating it over the head with a stick.
02:02 , Like can we do it better? Is there ways to improve? How can we of course be futuristic?
02:08 , And I like to throw out some wild ideas just to get people uh get people’s head spinning just for effect.
02:14 , Well you know if you think about it just it wasn’t that long ago Emily just for for you know people listening to this now. It was only 2007 when
02:24 , the whole world was on a Blackberry. Pretty much everyone in business was on a Blackberry. And so this idea this futuristic idea I know you’re gonna tap on a piece of glass
02:34 , right? And imagine you’re gonna tap out a piece of glass and oh by the way you’re gonna tap to something you want and then three or four hours later someone’s gonna knock on your door and they’re gonna hand it to you.
02:45 , It would seem incredible right? But that futuristic has come to pass.
02:51 , So I believe we need this kind of thinking in particularly in corporate America today.
02:59 , So let’s rewind the tape a little bit and just go back to the start of your career.
03:04 , Can you tell our listeners a little bit about your journey and and who influenced you and really how you ended up in life sciences?
03:13 , Yeah, I would say that it was not a path where I said, this is where I want to end up.
03:18 , I think life sometimes takes you, takes you places and for me, a good motivator was, I just don’t wanna live in my parents basement anymore.
03:25 , Um which I think most people can attest to. So I finished college, I couldn’t find a teaching job. That was my aspiration,
03:31 , That was my dream. Um and so I took a bunch of odd jobs just to pay the bills, get insurance,
03:38 , do what I had to do to, to thrive. And in the interim, a friend of mine reached out to me and she said, hey, I’m about to get promoted.
03:44 , Why don’t you come work for this pharmaceutical company as an inside sales rep? Um, I think you’d be great at it.
03:50 , And I said, Jen, I just don’t think I’ll be that person for you talking to doctors. You know, she’s like,
03:55 , it’s essentially like teaching just with people that have a higher education. I said,
04:03 , let’s do it. So that was kind of my journey into um the, the life science space and spending a lot of my time,
04:08 , of course in pharma most recently in the med tech space, but it afforded me an opportunity to travel to different places,
04:15 , living in different places. I live in Florida, now California. Um I called on a myriad of different types of uh medical disciplines, dermatology
04:25 , as of late. Um let’s see. Women’s health care, pain doctors,
04:32 , general practitioners, you name it. So I got a good glimpse into the landscape of the health care world and what that patient journey looks like and some of the headaches that
04:42 , are part of it as well. Um and that’s where I always striving to understand like how can we make this better,
04:48 , how can we make the patient experience better, the customer experience better and enable sales reps um to be able to do that for these folks.
04:57 , And so here I am today. ResMed one of the most premier MedTech companies here in the San Diego area and we specialize in an area where if you snore need
05:07 , CPAP therapy, that’s us. We also do respiratory care amongst other things as well.
And it’s a,
05:13 , it’s a company that I’m very familiar with because like millions of other people. Um I’m one of those people who didn’t know this was a problem.
05:21 , Of course my wife knew it was a problem but I didn’t know it was a problem and I don’t know that I was ready to admit that it was a problem and coincidentally I will tell you Emily,
05:31 , just as an interesting aside, we now have another client at Allego who specializes in the at home testing of
05:41 , whether or not you have sleep apnea. Right? So, so we’re kind of getting in the whole thing and to end and I can tell you that the product and I know
05:51 , that’s part of what’s meaningful, um, that you are helping to promote with the sales team.
05:57 , Um, no question makes a difference in people’s lives because I’m one of them.
06:02 , for sure. I think you hit the nail on the head. I always, I always position that questions and new hires at who is our biggest competitor and people inevitably will say the other big competitors
06:12 , in the market. But truly it’s the lack of awareness and I think that it’s definitely coming along, but we still have a ways to go.
06:19 , Um, a lot of folks don’t self recognize that they have sleep apnea per se. So yeah,
06:24 , a lot of opportunities to get patient awareness and to get them tested and see what therapy is right for them.
06:30 , Well, I know you, you probably can’t say it, but I think I can and that is at least one subject matter expert that I know,
06:37 , you know, has, has said, you know, the interesting thing is it’s a very clinical term sleep apnea.
06:42 , If you use that word apnea to the average person on the street, I don’t know what you’re talking about, but if you say to them, no, it’s actually what’s happening is sleep suffocation syndrome.
06:51 , Because there are periods of time where you literally stop breathing, which not only disrupts your sleep,
06:56 , but it affects all kinds of different aspects of your body’s function. And when you think of it that way,
07:02 , all of a sudden you realize, wow, that sounds like something I need to address.
07:08 , absolutely. It’s definitely something to take seriously. And in a sense, you can imagine if your sleep interrupted so many other things in your life will will fall ill to it as well if it’s not corrected.
07:18 , So I’m glad you’re on a journey for getting that that fixed, Right?
07:24 , It’s working
family members that also on this journey as well. Yeah,
07:29 , I I’m happy to report all as well on that front.
Um, so Emily,
07:34 , let’s just talk about a pivot point. I mean, you mentioned you were on the track for teaching and then that didn’t work out.
07:41 , And then your friend calls and sort of destiny, uh, you know, intervened again. Um,
07:46 , is there a particular personal pivot point or a moment of learning that has helped change the trajectory of your career?
07:55 , You know, I think it’s just a general understanding of looking with inside yourself. I think so many times we think in a very linear pattern of how we want our life to be.
08:04 , And so when you come into college, you’re like, I’m gonna be an engineer, I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that. But I think there’s so many things that we learn as people just on our own or through our studies that allow us
08:14 , to be a lot more well rounded that I thought of teaching, but teaching happens on so many levels.
08:20 , It’s not just teaching in a classroom with grade school, high school kids. Teaching can happen with adults and adult learning.
08:29 , And I think that was an eye opener for me is is how do I expand these skills beyond just what I thought that pathway looked like and getting into life sciences,
08:39 , I’ve been able to really explore that space. I think I probably started in this pattern. Like most people do,
08:44 , they were in the field and sales reps and then they’re like, oh, let’s do training as a stepping stone for that next part of our career.
08:51 , But for me, I got this training role and I was like, you know what, This is kind of where I’ve always wanted to be.
08:57 , So I, I really enjoyed exploring it in more depth, really understanding like what is adult learning,
09:04 , What makes people tick? How, why can we remember certain things and forget other things? Um,
09:09 , and I enjoy different mediums to, to bring this training to life. So exploring things like utilizing Allego to,
09:15 , to bring that to life. That’s been pretty cool. I like doing very … I’m a disruptor and thought, I like to throw weird things out in the marketplace and watch people react just as of
09:25 , late, I told people no presentations at the national meeting, there’s no clickers provided that’s causing disruption.
09:32 , Um, I like the idea of telling folks, hey, welcome to your new role as a sales reps and they’re looking for their binders with their,
09:39 , with their piece of paper and like you’re not gonna find it. Um, you’ll have a digital asset, you’re welcome to print it,
09:45 , but it’s not gonna be provided for you. So there’s a lot of disruptive thoughts that I have that people are like,
09:51 , wait a second, they pump the brakes immediately I think, but it’s just getting people to go over the hurdle and start recognizing how do people learn,
09:58 , let’s bring it back to that and are we on the right path.
So Emily, there’s an interesting thread and you know,
10:04 , you can, it’s often easier to see this in other people than in yourself, But as you just outlined that story, I realized that you didn’t want to be a teacher or I stand corrected,
10:12 , you couldn’t find a job getting a teacher and you thought, well, right? Um, but here’s what’s so interesting,
10:17 , not only are you in effect playing a teaching role right right now,
10:23 , in this, in this particular role, but when you really think about it as an example with the newest product that,
10:29 , that your company has released a big part of what your sales reps do is education,
10:36 , that’s what they’re doing, right. You just said a moment ago, it’s the biggest competitor you have is not necessarily another company,
10:43 , It’s a lack of awareness. So, so it’s just kind of interesting how in a way we all,
10:48 , um, you know, if you, if you’re open to it, you end up very often exactly where you’re supposed to be,
10:55 , you just sometimes don’t realize that as you’re going to the path. And I will tell you as an aside in one of our previous podcasts where I had Ben Zander who I
11:05 , think you remember from, from our S3 conference, I asked him that question and he said,
11:12 , Emily, I am a teacher. He didn’t say I’m a conductor, he didn’t say I’m a cellist.
11:18 , He didn’t say I’m all these other things he said in in the end, I’m a teacher, that’s what I do.
11:23 , So you got that going for you, uh,
11:28 , some good, some good company.
So let’s pivot a little bit more to this world of training where you’ve developed this expertise and,
11:36 , and in a post pandemic world, how do you envision the balance kind of on a go forward basis between in person and virtual and,
11:44 , and how do you see that shifting relative to sales training or sales enablement.
11:50 , And I think in a lot of ways it already has. So we’ve already changed a lot of our approach, especially as it relates to onboarding in this capacity.
11:57 , And I think this opportunity to bring back in the idea of virtual,
12:03 , right? I think virtual is kind of teetered with pre covid, but now people are a lot more um acclimated to the tools and resources to be virtual.
12:12 , So we’re bringing that back into life with our onboarding experience and I, and something that I constantly am doing with our team is challenging the thought “we’ve done
12:22 , it this way. Do we continue to have to do it this way? Is this the best way? Is there a better way to do things?”
12:28 , And so I, I definitely see that we’re bringing more virtual to life than we ever have.
12:33 , And I’ve, I’ve done a flipped classroom mentality where folks will watch the video the night before with the subject matter expert.
12:41 , Maybe they do some sort of um in Allego for instance, they might do an exercise or some questions to answer.
12:48 , Um and it’s really neat because in the subject matter expert has information to that as well. They get that routed to them.
12:54 , They can see the video pop up, they go in the next day and it’s super personalized. Like, hey,
12:59 , great job yesterday with those, those videos explaining this algorithm, um, something I want to call it that you did really well is blah,
13:06 , Something that I think we can work on constructively as blah. But I think that’s so cool. Like you’re really making a hyper personalized link through the training overnight and
13:16 , that’s all because of the virtual um virtual space and this hybrid learning approach. We didn’t,
13:22 , it’s not that we didn’t have that ready accessible at our fingers before, but I think it’s something that in the in light of Covid,
13:28 , we kind of put into motion and we’re like, wait a second, this kind of works, let’s build on this, I do think,
13:34 , but I do think there’s a time and a place that instructor led training, right, that we can’t negate the fact that and and and also meeting with customers in person,
13:42 , there is a value to that. But I think it’s very it’s got to be very strategic like when would you meet with them?
13:48 , What’s the goal, what do you want to accomplish and if you do have that face to face time with them,
13:54 , don’t spend it presenting, do something that you can do in that moment because you are live,
14:01 , right? And that’s that’s something I’ve I’ve also formed a really big belief about in this time.
14:07 , I am not bringing people to the SAN Diego office to watch presentations. That’s those days are gone unless you still want to do it.
14:14 , But in my world those days are gone, I don’t have that, right? So it’s it’s I like I kind of like it because it challenges us like why were we doing what we’re doing?
14:23 , So Emily, I’m just gonna build off of that there’s two things. One, it’s been said that we buy one of the roundtable members
14:33 , that you’re part of. That we over indexed on in person before the pandemic.
14:38 , We thought every meeting had to be in person and most sales organizations were busy counting or did you do four meetings today?
14:43 , You do five meetings to five meetings a day as if it was because it was the only thing people could count,
14:49 , right? So it was easy to do that. But now what I think to your point there’s really an intentionality that’s come to the fore which is to say there are parts
14:59 , of this process where an in person makes sense, especially with it with a newer customer.
15:05 , But that doesn’t mean that the part of the process is the very first part of the discovery when you haven’t even,
15:11 , you don’t even know what’s going on yet. So so the idea that I’m going to fly across the country from Boston to San Diego to do a 30 minute meeting to meet you for the first time when I don’t know if there’s even
15:21 , anything here, it just doesn’t make sense. And there was a lot of that going on. So I think to your point it’s almost like the pendulum was too far one way the pendulum swung the other way maybe
15:31 , during the pandemic and now it’s settling back more into the middle, which is where does this matter?
15:37 , But the beauty of your disrupter thinking is, is think about being on the flip side of that coin and saying,
15:44 , hey, we’re going to a national sales meeting, there’s not gonna be any power point Like right off the bat.
15:49 , It’s alright, well what are they going to do? And then the second piece, I’ll tell you that you just said is is something that needs to be amplified.
15:58 , I learned this with my daughter who’s now 19. She was in high school.
16:03 , I remember her watching a Khan Academy video at night, her teacher had recommended. So,
16:09 , so she’s watching and she’s telling me a little bit about it and she’s like, yeah, dad, why would I go and sit in the classroom and watch this video with everybody else?
16:19 , We’re going to go in the classroom, we’re going to talk about the video. And by the way, if you haven’t watched the video that’s on you and what I didn’t realize is even in the high school class,
16:27 , there’s a self policing mechanism, which is to say if you’re the person who didn’t do the work now you are a drag on all the rest of us because you have nothing to contribute.
16:36 , Right? So so that this notion of flipped classroom, even as it relates to new hire, it’s like, look,
16:41 , you got to do this work to get to the new hire and that’s what’s gonna make it productive and by the way,
16:47 , if you’re not willing to do that, like on your first day on the job, it probably doesn’t bode well.
16:52 , No. And, and I love to introduce this stuff to new people for that for a lot of reasons. I think when you’re new to an organization,
16:59 , you’re very receptive. So if you provide a tool for them early on, they grow acclimated to it,
17:05 , they understand it, which is a harder thing to do than introduce something later when you’re more tenured. Like, hey, try this out now.
17:11 , So I, I love to bring in any kind of new tools or ways to do better, especially for the onboarding folks,
17:17 , they’re very eager. They’re, they’re, they’re a joy to deal with that purpose. And the other thing I’ve done as well,
17:23 , it’s not just, you know, watching, you know, videos and doing modules, but also kind of building out that experiential experience for them as well. so I can prompt
17:33 , them to do things like, hey, by the way, go home tonight and I want you to try the therapy on and then come back and tell me your three key takeaways with this or I want
17:43 , you to observe in the field with so and so and what are three things you wanna make sure you’ll never forget to do when you do this,
17:51 , you know, and report back. So you’re doing a lot of, it’s not if you’re putting them in different environments and having them come back and have that self learner reflection,
18:01 , which adds that kind of stickiness to it as well and you’re pushing them along the continuum versus having a sales,
18:08 , another sales trainer whose tenured, trying to pull them along because they’re obviously busy with their day job.
18:13 , So this is really um driven by the learner, but you’re giving them the tools to feel like they have what they need to do it.
18:20 , Um, so that’s something that we’ve definitely started to implement as well to, to drive that continual learning on their own.
18:28 , So Emily, I’m going to just to connect the dots on that one. If you, if you go back in time, um 100 certainly 200 years,
18:35 , you realize that from Roman times to roughly the early 19 hundreds, the number one way young people learn to do anything was through an apprenticeship,
18:45 , right? That’s just go back in history, you learn from someone else. And if you think about it, whether you are a butcher,
18:50 , a baker or uh, candlestick maker as it goes,
18:56 , right, what, what happened in that environment is by definition it was relevant,
19:02 , learning no matter what you were doing it, they said sweep the floor, if they said pump the fire, right? Whatever it was,
19:08 , it was relevant because this is your profession, this is your trade and you’re learning from an expert,
19:13 , right? And so then we then we sort of somehow stuck in the academic classroom model,
19:21 , which for certain things, you know, there are certain elements where that makes sense in the corporate arena,
19:26 , but more and more, I think what we’re all realizing is not necessarily in sales. If you’re going to be in the classroom,
19:32 , let it be a dialogue or something interactive or something experiential. So the way that you just outlined that is go home,
19:39 , try this on, think about the three things that that you you would perceive from a patient’s experience,
19:45 , think about the confidence that gives you when you’ve actually done it versus people who are selling something like,
19:51 , I don’t know, I’ve never taken it, I don’t know anything about it. I don’t know anyone who takes it, like it’s, it’s much harder to be compelling when you don’t have any personal experience.
20:00 , Yeah, for sure, I completely agree. And I think that’s pretty interesting that we have kind of deviated in some capacity with certain positions and roles in
20:10 , the workforce, where some still do that kind of journeyman apprentice approach. We’re a lot more academic classroom based still.
20:18 , Um but I think there’s something that we can start messing those two worlds together. Mark, you’re giving me great ideas and I think I’m gonna walk away challenging more thoughts after
20:28 , today.
Well you think about it, like if you know anyone who’s a plumber right there, like there’s a journeyman process,
20:34 , right? And it’s like literally a process and you don’t get your plumber’s license until you’ve done this, you want to fly a plane,
20:39 , okay, You’re gonna put in 1000 hours or whatever it is with someone who knows what they’re doing.
20:45 , So I just think that maybe again, in terms of that pendulum, it just swung a little too far to say we’re going to make it like because that was all the rage.
20:53 , It’s a corporate university. Well, the problem is we all know that a lot of people don’t learn well in university.
21:00 , A and, and furthermore, we also know there’s a lot of people who, who partied and who learned stuff at school,
21:06 , but they didn’t actually learn how to do the job, Right? So maybe maybe the university wasn’t the right metaphor even though we’re quote knowledge workers,
21:14 , because what you’ve just described, knowledge of the product is just one facet of a much broader portfolio of skills that they need.
21:22 , Um, that’s not necessarily all best suited to a classroom.
21:28 , Yeah. So there’s, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of different ways we can continue to shape shift this. And I think technology is allowing us to reconsider how we do things a certain cultural,
21:38 , um, life things like covid have, have definitely challenged the status quo.
21:44 , So that hasn’t stopped for me. I think my brain continues to do things and I think it’s important to just continue to experiment and,
21:51 , and, and fail? Right? And fail? And and realized, okay, that didn’t work, But why didn’t it work and could we do it a couple of millimeters better this way.
22:00 , And would it work then? Well, let’s find out. So I, I failed a number of times where you know, and I think that any trainer can tell you they stopped before,
22:07 , you know, stood before a classroom like, oh, this isn’t going well. I’m not really sure how to get back.
22:13 , That’s so funny because that’s a perfect segue to what I want to talk to you about next because maybe the hardest form of communication period.
22:22 , I mean if you think about this and a hierarchy, you know, that most people,
22:27 , by by, according to the book of lists, the number one fear in the United States is public speaking,
22:33 , right? Death is number two, then you have public speaking, but people don’t realize is what’s even just a little bit harder than public speaking is stand up comedy.
22:44 , It’s, it’s like the really the hardest thing, even for people who think they’re funny, right, to stand up and sort of bare your soul and,
22:52 , and find immediately that feedback that either they don’t think you’re funny, right, or or they love it.
22:59 , So, um, in the, in the phrase Emily that laughter is the best medicine given that you’ve had some exposure to improv and stand up.
23:07 , Um, what have you learned from your experience on that path of stand up comedy and improv that relates to supporting sales organizations.
23:17 , Yeah, I would say failure sucks as a feeling, but it’s probably the best gift to maneuver quickly and and to to
23:28 , realign and to be successful. Um I love stand up for the realness of it.
23:34 , You know, you get, you think you’re funny, you’ve got your material, you practice it, you practice it,
23:40 , you know, the punches or seemingly what you thought were punches and then you get up on stage and you press your testes and it’s it’s it’s just real honest
23:50 , feedback. No one sitting there, like you can do it, it’s not that
23:57 , and I I think, you know, I think we live in a world that it’s interesting, it’s all in kind of how your psychology works. Like some people get like that motivation from that positivity,
24:06 , like you can do it. I’m not one of those people. I I hate the sting of failure,
24:11 , but I love it so much more because it’s it’s truly the most honest way for me to get better. That’s the way I look at it.
24:17 , Um I don’t know if it’s for everybody, especially stand up. So, but if you’re hearing me talk right now,
24:23 , maybe improv is more for you because I do feel like improv is more of one of those, I got your back kind of set up,
24:28 , so no one’s ever really gonna fail an improv, it can really kind of collectively think, right,
24:34 , no doubt you’re in a group together and by the way, you’re usually having fun, even if the audience doesn’t like having fun with the rest of the troop.
24:42 , For sure, we may we may want to refund your ticket because we do feel bad. Yeah,
24:48 , we ourselves are just having a great time for sure.
I’ve been to one in boston called the Improv Asylum and they had two shows,
24:56 , they actually three shows, they had 8, 10, and on some nights they have midnight, right? And I have never been to the midnight show at eight o’clock one was really,
25:04 , really good. This one particular night and long story short, they, because I had been there a number of times they offered us tickets to come back and it was for the midnight one which pretty late for me.
25:14 , But the vibe, it was the same people, the dynamic like the raunchiness,
25:19 , like it was a totally different experience at midnight than it had been. You know, it went, it went from PG to way past R by the time we got to midnight.
25:28 , But what I recognize is for me, it wasn’t as funny, but they actually were having a great time.
25:36 , So, so it caused me to realize that when you’re in that world and I think there’s an analog here to selling some of the endorphins that you’re talking about in that adrenaline rush,
25:45 , some of it comes of course from delivering for the audience and then some of it is the camaraderie of being part of a team.
25:52 , So to me, what you just described represents both of them. So at ResMed there’s there’s the feeling that you get from helping healthcare professional to solve this problem.
26:02 , But then there’s a separate, almost swim lane of emotion that is being part of a team um that you can interact and collaborate with.
26:11 , Yeah, for sure, for sure you get you get the collective experience of both worlds. And so I’ve I’ve actually tried to incorporate some elements of my
26:21 , learning from improv into sales training cause I do believe there’s a lot of overlap with it,
26:27 , right? And and how and how you get from Point A to point B and just we talk about customer experience and patient experience quite a bit.
26:34 , But I think as a sales rep you have the opportunity to create that experience. Um and so how you interact with folks and and understand yourself along the way makes a big
26:45 , difference in how you drive success and build rapport with your customers.
You just made me think of a video that I’m going to share with you that I think is going to be great for one of your upcoming classes?
26:56 , Let’s let’s pivot Emily just do a couple more things here. What do you see as the biggest challenge facing sellers today and this doesn’t
27:06 , have to just be in med device or life sciences, but in the aggregate, as you look around, What do you see as the biggest challenge?
27:14 , I think the biggest challenge for sellers is they need to find a way to clearly define their value to the customer.
27:24 , Why should, why should a customer lean into you? When should a customer lean into you?
27:29 , Um, and then you have to understand all the different dynamics of the channels that play out with the customer because by the time a customer gets to you,
27:36 , you don’t, you don’t have to go end to end explaining things from, from 101 people come to you and they already have a great deal of knowledge.
27:43 , So how do you meet them where they are and drive value? Um, I think about this experience a lot just recently. I bought this beach chair and
27:53 , I thought the whole, I got I got target marketed for it. So right there. Great job on their, on their behalf.
27:59 , They found a way to infiltrate. Know where. I hang out socially online.
28:05 , They positioned it in the right colors, the right way. Kind of built this. I built a narrative for them. Like I can’t imagine,
28:11 , I can’t imagine going to the beach without this chair, you know, like, and I told myself in my head,
28:16 , I was like the reason why I haven’t gone on the beach in the past three months, even living close to the beach is because I don’t have this chair, how could how could I,
28:23 , I went, I went end to end and the entire experience was done virtually. Like they hooked me in virtually through a social channel.
28:32 , I was able to order it with ease through their website and I was able to receive this very nicely, open the box up, super marketed perfectly with water
28:42 , logos on it. And like I feel like I’m at the beach already. Fantastic. I get to the beach. I realized,
28:48 , I don’t know how to open the damn thing up. Don’t worry. There’s a, don’t worry. There’s a QR code on there.
28:54 , I just scan it takes me straight to Youtube, which I love learning things on youtube. My hangout,
29:00 , pull it up. I’m like, okay, boom. I’m good to go. That entire experience was, I loved it and it was entirely virtual.
29:08 , So I would imagine like where would a sales rep? And I kind of challenge knowing what I know about, where would a sales rep have come into play during that experience?
29:17 , That would have drove some value. Right. And I think that’s something we have to challenge to if,
29:22 , if we’re getting to this place where there’s so many different channels happening with the customer. Um,
29:27 , where do you fit into that channel? Are you aware of the customer experience and what they’re having come at them from different angles.
29:34 , So you know how to leverage in a timely fashion.
That’s a really interesting point. Let me,
29:39 , let me build on that one for a minute because I just mentioned you this company called Lofta that happens to sell your product,
29:45 , right? Let me tell you what they did. Um, when, when I knew that I needed to do this because of a recall issue,
29:54 , um, with another company, I went online exactly what you just, they didn’t target me in this case.
30:01 , I went to them, but I got to the website and what I really liked was sort of the fresh, clean look of the website,
30:06 , which was very different than the very much old school brick and mortar store that I had bought the previous product from.
30:14 , And what was interesting Emily is that it was actually on a Saturday and there was a chat thing like,
30:20 , you know, can we help you? And remember my wife saying, well they’re not gonna respond to you today, right?
30:26 , And sure enough, I’m like, well, let’s see and boom, the phone rings and the guy’s name was max,
30:31 , right? And so he’s like, yeah, this is max from Lofta, you know, how can I help you? I’m like, thanks for calling.
30:36 , Like, this is great. So this was a perfect example. I had no idea this company existed.
30:42 , I found it, I jumped into the sales process and what he knew is I wasn’t at zero because I had been using this product,
30:49 , but I was at, I was new to them. And long story short, he explained money back guarantee we can get the thing Fedex in two days and then Emily when I opened it,
30:57 , the way they package it is almost apple esque. The box opens like this and the direction like it was all very well thought out.
31:06 , So to your point in some sales process is the one you just described with the chair.
31:12 , There’s a reason there’s not a salesperson selling that because they can actually do the whole thing end to end. But,
31:17 , but if it’s a medical device, as you know, the odds that just instagram video sort of could get you all the way down the path versus a chair are pretty slim.
31:27 , But the question you’ve asked is spot on where – at what step of the sales process?
31:34 , If you think of an 80 20 analysis there’s 20% of the sales process that has 80% of the impact.
31:39 , How do I show up during those times that really matter? Like this guy max did.
31:45 , correct. So you have to understand all those moving parts to know When it makes sense. And also you can,
31:50 , as a sales rep, you can drive a lot of those tools and functionality to put in front of them. Right? So if you’re meeting with folks for a meeting,
31:57 , you can position some collateral things that you’ll be speaking about in advance to drive that conversation forward.
32:04 , So you’re not necessarily starting from a 101. But I think I think to your point to of course, you know, with the medical device,
32:10 , it does require a lot more hand holding and walk through etcetera for the patient for the customer and it’s just a matter of understanding what’s the value I bring to this customer and how
32:20 , can I effectively sell within that experience of what they’ve already had on their table um leading into this.
32:26 , Yeah, it’s a meeting them where they are is a it’s actually a magical skill.
32:32 , And if you think about it, one of the frustrations as a teacher in a traditional public school classroom is this kid is on the fast track.
32:41 , This kid’s on the slow track and you’re trying to be in between and nobody’s happy, right? Because this one wants to move faster and this one’s having more trouble.
32:49 , Right? And so being able to, it’s hard in the in the traditional academic model to personalize learning but we’ve got a lot of technology as as we’ve been talking
32:59 , about that can help do that.
So let me, let me pivot from that point Emily,
33:04 , just in our last question or two here around your experience of deploying sales,
33:10 , enablement technology to large sales force is um what have you found that is the most important element to make that successful?
33:20 , Yeah, I would say when it comes to driving some sort of software change or tool to implement the sales reps,
33:27 , you have to do things in a way that are micro dosed, you have, you have to make sure that I would also challenge.
33:35 , You have to have champions. Like you’re, you’re naturally in any kind of technological adoption,
33:41 , you’re always gonna have the early adopters, the ones that leg. That’s true with a sales force as well.
33:47 , So I think it’s important to micro dose it. There’s a lot of functionality within the software platforms.
33:53 , Where do you want to start? And then from there, who’s doing it really well who really understand at a deeper level and how can they champion the execution of this and bring their fellow colleagues
34:03 , along to? Um I think you’ll find as a trainer if you’re just pushing it up by yourself,
34:08 , it can be a lonely place, right. There’s somebody out there that’s that’s seeing the vision similar to you and they can help guide it in a way that translates their fellow field reps as well.
34:19 , So I think if you just you micro dose it, get the champion behind it. That’s that’s exceptional.
34:24 , I will back up and say fun fact. This idea of enablement is very like this.
34:29 , This wasn’t something that I I studied or I went down this path. This is an example from the earlier,
34:34 , the question about the pivot. Um I was given Allego in the in this company.
34:40 , I I started off with the sales trainer, I think I’m gonna go in talk about selling model selling skills and then lo and behold some changes happened like,
34:49 , oh you’re the administrator for this software. and I said, I have never, I don’t even know what I’m doing with this,
34:55 , what the heck is happening. Um So it’s, it’s kudos to these types of software,
35:00 , like Allego that someone like myself can get in as administrator and start learning things on my own.
35:05 , And I didn’t know what it was all about, but it’s it’s been a very exciting journey for me to see what I can do on my team with a limited headcount to scale learning
35:16 , and to customize the learning for each person’s need regardless of when they come into on board or what the need is,
35:23 , I feel like this has been a great partner, it’s probably covered at least two headcounts in my world.
35:29 , Um so it’s been a it’s been a fun learning journey for sure. I think I’ve gone through that roller coaster of adoption on my own accord
35:36 , What’s so great about the point you just made is that all of that improv skill, if you think about it paid off,
35:42 , I get paid off right there because you’re like, I don’t know anything. But then again, most improv of troops,
35:47 , you don’t know anything anyway, right, you’re like, here’s the word, let’s go. And and so by definition by doing that,
35:54 , you brought the beginner’s mind to it and you’ve gone on to have one of the most successful deployment in the med device space among many of your
36:04 , peers and part of that is bringing the innovation to your company.
36:10 , But the second part of that is having sales leadership that supports it and helps amplify it because as,
36:16 , as you well know, um, with the sales team not reporting directly to you, you can’t, you’re, you’re like Ben Zander who’s leading an orchestra,
36:24 , they don’t report to you, right, They, and you’re not playing an instrument. So you got to have the,
36:32 , the, what I’ll call the complement of support from senior leaders in order to actually effectuate that change that you’re talking about.
36:41 , But I love actually I hadn’t heard it said, I’ve heard lots of different, similar terms of bite size learning and the like,
36:50 , but I hadn’t actually heard micro dosing and uh I like that.
36:55 , Yeah, I’m pretty sure I heard it through osmosis of one of the many podcast or things I auditory li listen to on a daily somewhere,
37:04 , somewhere came to me, I won’t coin that is my own.
Well, I’ll take it, I’m gonna,
37:09 , I’m gonna model it.
Um, last question for you, what do you think is the most important skill that salespeople need to either learn or improve today?
37:20 , I would say, you know what? You have to be curious,
37:25 , You 100% have to be curious if you want to thrive and and see why things happen the way they do and challenge.
37:33 , It’s, it’s so impactful to how you drive solutions for a customer,
37:38 , how you think about the world that they live in the world that you live in and how you can bridge that divide.
37:44 , Um, Curiosity to me is, is definitely number one. I think you have to go and that requires you to go beyond your role.
37:52 , Like if you sell product A you’ve got to know everything that goes, a part of product A to be wildly successful,
37:59 , like, well, what’s, what’s the other products in the market? Um what are some of the challenges my my customers are facing?
38:06 , What does that feel like, What does that look like? How does that sound? Um, what what can I do to kind of mitigate this particular barrier?
38:15 , Um, how can I position this more effectively? So I think that constant asking of questions and thinking and questions and not statements and what you’re gonna say next is truly
38:25 , gonna drive major success and I’ve seen it time and time again with just uh former sales reps that I’ve worked with that have routinely had presidents club wins.
38:34 , They were just innately curious people. they really wanted to dig in and understand.
38:39 , And I don’t know if you can necessarily, you can tell people to be more curious. It helps when you’re really interested,
38:44 , right? I think people sometimes are naturally curious people. I would say, I’m selectively curious.
38:50 , Like there’s things that I have a, I have a passion for that. I’m like, I need to understand that more in depth. Like what’s going on here.
38:56 , Um I wish I was more overtly curious on a lot of different areas,
39:01 , but I think I’m more selective curiosity, but I would challenge that whatever you do if your sales rep love what you do,
39:06 , so that that curiosity factor comes easily for you, otherwise it’s something that you’re gonna have to wanna build into your mix to be on cutting edge and differentiate,
39:17 , differentiate yourself in the marketplace.
Well, I didn’t know how you’re going to answer it, but that is one of the things that we wrote about in mastering virtual selling that curiosity is indeed,
39:25 , and we mentioned the story about Da Vinci and that the beauty about being selectively curious is that you didn’t fill up your brain with how to open the chair until
39:36 , you got to the beach and that’s when you needed to know right? And, and even Da Vinci,
39:41 , by the way, for all of his genius, one of his biggest challenges, he was so curious and so interested in everything that he had a lot of projects that were started that didn’t get finished right.
39:50 , And so, so what you recognize is almost like if you can have one person who’s really curious and,
39:57 , and they’re they’re coming up with all these different ideas and then someone the next level down who’s able to filter those ideas and say,
40:02 , okay of the 10 of them, there’s really only two or three of them that are really strong. we’re gonna focus on these.
40:07 , So I echo that piece of curiosity and what I would add to it Emily is this,
40:15 , that, um, the way that you just approach that you think about, if you’re going to be positioned as a salesperson and what we’re seeing more and more of salespeople being
40:25 , positioned as subject matter experts themselves, not just orchestrators of bringing in other smes,
40:31 , but being it themselves almost like an influencer. Um, then you need to know the landscape that you’re in.
40:37 , You need to know who the competitors are. You need to read what’s going on and, and the flip side of the coin is,
40:42 , you don’t have to do that. But the people who are at the top of their game, that’s what they do and the people who are sort of just getting by and they just want to know their product and just want to do their,
40:52 , their thing. Um, there’s a role to play there. It’s just not at the top
right? 100% 100%.
40:59 , Well, listen, this has been a great conversation, it’s so much fun to talk with you. Um,
41:04 , if people want to learn more about you, what’s the best way to do that And if they want to learn more about ResMed what’s the best way to do that.
41:12 , Yeah. So I would say, uh, you can see me on linkedin. So I think that’s probably the best way to get a hold of me,
41:18 , I routinely check in there. Um, and if you want to reach out, have a, have a old,
41:23 , old school phone call, I still like utilizing the phone to, so I’m not, I’m not immune to that at all. I actually prefer that mode of communication.
41:31 , Uh, and then as far as ResMed you can get a ResMed dot com, there’s a lot of great insights on there. A lot of um,
41:37 , if you’re, if you’re somebody that’s questioning if sleep apnea is something maybe in your world or something you wanna learn more about,
41:43 , that’s definitely a place to begin.
Emily, real pleasure. And uh,
41:48 , I look forward to continuing this conversation.
Thank you so much. Mark, appreciate you having me here today.
Emily Mason is a senior learning strategist specializing in sales training at ResMed. ResMed is a pioneer of solutions that treat and keep people out of the hospital, empowering them to live healthier, higher-quality lives. Its cloud-connected medical devices transform care for people with sleep apnea, COPD and other chronic diseases.
Emily has over 10 years of experience in medtech and pharmaceutical sales and sales training. Prior to joining ResMed, she held positions as a sales trainer at LEO pharma and sales roles at Pfizer and King pharmaceuticals. According to StrengthsFinder, her number one strength is “Futuristic”.
Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Northern Kentucky University.