Manage Smarter 01 — C. Lee Smith & Audrey Strong: What to Expect from Manage Smarter

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From debunking leadership myths to learning how to manage with and measure, you'll learn something new with every episode and will be able to implement positive change immediately.

This inaugural episode features co-​hosts Audrey Strong and SalesFuel CEO Lee Smith explaining the purpose of this podcast and the importance of the manager position, especially at the field level.

In this episode, Audrey and Lee discuss:

  • Purpose behind this podcast
  • Driving improvement
  • The manager position
  • Having a two way conversation

Key Takeaways:

  • Lee has been doing sales for 30 years and wants to share his knowledge of business management
  • If you're not looking at your measurements, you're really not managing
  • Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
  • There are so many different and wonderful approaches to good management and good leadership

Connect with SalesFuel:

Manage Smarter 01 — C. Lee Smith & Audrey Strong: What to Expect from Manage Smarter Transcript

What to Expect from the Manage Smarter Podcast


Thank you for listening to the Manage Smarter Podcast. Your hosts C. Lee Smith and Audrey Strong navigate new ways to hire, develop, and retain talent, helping your team soar at a higher performance. This is the Manage Smarter Podcast.

Audrey Strong:  Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Manage Smarter Podcast. It's our inaugural podcast and I am so pleased that you're here and listening. My name is Audrey Strong. I'm the Director of Communications for SalesFuel, and our esteemed CEO C. Lee Smith is here as well, my co-​host. Hi, Lee.

Lee Smith: Hi, Audrey. Good to talk to you again.

Audrey:  Well, so we're glad everybody's here. Thanks for all of you for tuning in. And we hope that you will rate us and review us hopefully well. But we're supposed to talk a little bit about the purpose behind this podcast. So let's talk a little bit, Lee, you're the genesis of SalesFuel, you're the brains of it, as we say, tell us a little bit about yourself and why you wanted to do a podcast.

Lee:  Well, I started out in rural West Virginia. That's where I went to high school. Then managed to jump the river over to Athens, Ohio, to Ohio University where I met you, Audrey. So we've been friends for years, I mean, almost decades now. From that, it that's where I learned the sales trade and fell in love with sales, and have been doing sales for 30 years now. So one of the things that we wanted to do here at SalesFuel, we focus so much on all of our tools, and our services, and our programs, and platforms, on the salesperson. Then it became very apparent to us, though, that what was kind of getting in the way and what often gets in the way a lot of times this management, management is there, it really should be there to help keep things orderly and to improve things. But sometimes management a lot of times just gets in the way. And so with that in mind, it became very clear to us that we needed to spend a little bit more time on management. At the same point in time, it became very clear to us that sales is not only a result of the salesperson's effort. Sales is a result of everybody's efforts, so everybody in a company has a direct or indirect impact on sales. So I don't care if you're an engineer that's creating a product that's to be sold. If that engineer is engaged, and loves their job, and has a passion for the product, and a passion for the company, and a passion for the customer, they're going to do better work than the person maybe who's not.

Now granted, intelligence and talent and skill, of course, are the biggest factors. But that is a nice intangible and we see that whether you're client-​facing or not client-​facing, that became very apparent to us. So we kind of broadened out our mission here at SalesFuel recently over the past few years to focus on really improving all aspects of a company so that sales can be improved and profit can be increased.

So the purpose of this, why I want to do a podcast, is there's so many things that we want to share. And sometimes it's difficult to find time to sit down and write it all up. We wanted to also interview very interesting people. I often get many questions whenever I do a webinar, for example, I'll get questions in from the audience after the fact that maybe listened to the recorded version. And, you know, there's really not a convenient way then to answer their questions verbally like I would on a webcast or webinar, I mean. And so the podcast seemed like a perfect venue for that.

There's enough sales podcasts out there. We have a video podcast called Sell Smarter that we do every month but there's enough of those types of things. What we really felt like was missing, though, was a podcast on management, and not just on management, but actually applying the aspects and concepts of moneyball, if you remember the book or the movie about the Oakland A's and the analytics there, it's like, so how do we take metrics and analytics and KPIs and things of that nature, and dive a little bit deeper into that? People always say, "Well, if I can't measure it, I can't manage it." And it's like, "Well, then if you're not looking at your measurements, you're really not managing either." When we interview interesting people that manage other people or lead other people, managers are really leaders, whether they want to be or not. I mean, that's how they're viewed by the employees so that has to happen. But if they're doing it, though, without looking at a lot of different metrics, you're basically just doing it off of gut feel. And so we want to help people get away from that. So that is pretty much how the Manage Smarter Podcast was born.

Audrey:  You know, I kind of see it almost more of like a 10,000 foot thing too in that I thought it would be really great for our brand to be more interactive and have more of a two-​way conversation with our stakeholders and the new people who don't know what we do or are interested in what we do. And then the other thing that I was thinking, from my perspective, doing public relations and communications for the company, is that managing and being a leader and a manager like you said, whether you want to be a leader or not, is about communicating. And I can definitely shed some light on helping people think a little bit more before they speak and how to respond rather than react. I mean, I've definitely been guilty of that for my years in newsrooms, like freaking out over something when I really should have thought about it first before I said anything. And then the other thing I thought about was managers, that topic, just management in general is like an infinite space. There are so many different opinions and approaches that we could do like 1 million episodes of this and never be done. You know what I mean?

Lee:  Oh, certainly. Communication is a great example. I mean, it's really the heart of what good management and good leadership is all about. I mean, show me a leader who's really bright and intelligent and very strategic and everything like that but can't communicate their thoughts and ideas and can't motivate the masses and can't share their vision in a way that they can see it and embrace it themselves, and I'll show you somebody who's not very good leader. So all good leaders have one thing in common, maybe they're not the smartest people, maybe they're not the most strategic people, maybe they're not the richest people, maybe they're not the most powerful people, but they're all really good communicators. And so that's why I definitely feel like that's what you bring to the table there, Audrey.

And then the other thing I was thinking about there, too, in that area, and we're talking about analytics, those analytics that need to be applied then to each individual person to understand how they behave, what motivates them, how they communicate, how they receive communication, and knowing that information allows a manager to adapt and be adaptive in how they manage each individual person. Because while it's good and important to have a management philosophy, you just can't apply that philosophy to everybody all the time. You have to be able to adapt that not only to the person, but also to the situation. That's where having data comes into play. And that's how Manage Smarter is born. The depth of communication, adaptive learning, adaptive management,

Audrey:  We're going to be traveling a lot this winter, going into the holidays, and then early into next year. Do you want to toss out a few of the potential guests that we're going to be having coming up?

Lee:  Yeah, well, I mean, we're going to have — naturally since we're SalesFuel, we're going to have people from the sales like Jeffrey Gitomer, Tony Alessandra, people like that, who are well known in the sales industry. But also then to a lot of different managers. So we're going to be at the leadership and talent development summit, that's in San Diego in January. And that's a really great conference, because it's all about developing leaders, developing people, and developing revenue.

Audrey:  LTDSsummit​.com

Lee:  That's right. That's the website, get your tickets now because they're going fast. There is a nice combination of leaders, managers, sales people, and people involved in talent development, and as well as executive coaches and business coaches as well, what a great mix of people. Because the idea there is you grow your people, you grow your revenue. And that's the easiest and best way to do it because hiring these days is such a minefield. And yeah, going to be talking about that, I'm sure, in several podcasts. Firing is also a huge minefield, it's not just as easy as saying "you're fired" and all your problems are gone. In some of the cases, that's when your problems begin if you're not careful. And we'll be talking about that in future podcasts for sure. But there'll be a lot of that going on at LTDS. So a lot of the speakers that are there, a lot of the attendees that are there, we will be bringing in then as guests on the show. And yeah, we'll be talking a little bit about personal branding, Audrey that’s where you’ll come into play, and just a whole lot of different concepts then on interviewing and customer service, attitude, building culture. We'll be having a lot of our own experts here from the SalesFuel on the podcast. But we'll also be branching out there and having very interesting people that have a lot of information to share with you guys, and we're having them on the podcast as well.

Audrey:  Yeah. And so just to be totally transparent, we are still deciding, Lee, how often we're going to be publishing and on what day we'll be pushing content out. But stay tuned, and we will over communicate that with you all. And then obviously, so we're not like raging hypocrites, we want a two-​way a conversation with you. If there's somebody you want us to talk to or a question or a topic that you want us to cover, you can certainly send it to my email. I'm astrong@​salesfuel.​com, and I can fuel those until we get our podcast website and email set up. But we certainly wanted to reach out and give you some ways to communicate with us right away, @SalesFuel is our Twitter. And Lee, you have your personal Twitter, which is?

Lee:  @cleesmith, and also as well the website for the podcast is, believe it or not, managesmarter​.com.

Audrey:  Yeah, so we're pulling it all together but we wanted to get this initial recording done and explain what this is about, and we look forward to interacting with all of you.

Lee:  That sounds great, Audrey. Anything else you want to cover today?

Audrey:  No, I think that's it. Stay tuned and we'll let you know when the next episodes are coming. Stay tuned. Thanks, everybody.

Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed the show, please rate and recommend on iTunes, Overcast or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also get more great information at salesfuel​.com.

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