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Why You Need Selflessness and Empathy in Sales Leadership with Marty Sacks

Transcript
Wesleyne Greer:

Hello, and welcome to another episode of

Wesleyne Greer:

the transformed sales podcast today I am so excited to have

Wesleyne Greer:

Marty Sachs with us. How are you? Marty?

Marty Sacks:

I'm well how are you doing?

Wesleyne Greer:

I am doing lovely, lovely and delightful.

Wesleyne Greer:

And just a peek behind the hood a little bit. You guys know how

Wesleyne Greer:

amazing this podcast world is. Marty and I this is my third

Wesleyne Greer:

attempt to record this episode until I know Third time's a

Wesleyne Greer:

charm, because we're both so busy. So I am so excited to do

Wesleyne Greer:

this.

Marty Sacks:

It's good to be with you.

Wesleyne Greer:

So let me tell you a little bit about Marty. He

Wesleyne Greer:

has been with Telos alliances. For over two decades, he's held

Wesleyne Greer:

a variety of roles in sales, business and product

Wesleyne Greer:

development. He has a sales role where he is over not only the

Wesleyne Greer:

sales team, the marketing team, and now No, sorry, I think I

Wesleyne Greer:

might have gotten that wrong. He's over the sales team

Wesleyne Greer:

marketing team and what we would call is it support Marty? Or did

Wesleyne Greer:

you just let that part go?

Marty Sacks:

So now I have April overseeing our strategy efforts?

Marty Sacks:

Yep, yep, the support team now works in another group for a new

Marty Sacks:

professional services organization that were standing

Marty Sacks:

up. So that group now no longer reports directly to me, although

Marty Sacks:

I get to talk to them from time to time. So we're still good

Marty Sacks:

friends.

Wesleyne Greer:

Awesome. So Marty is the Executive Vice

Wesleyne Greer:

President of Sales, Marketing and strategy. And he's been in

Wesleyne Greer:

this case been with this company for over two decades. So Marty,

Wesleyne Greer:

I am so curious, how do you stay with a company for so long and

Wesleyne Greer:

still enjoy what you do every single day?

Marty Sacks:

That's a great question. And I think the

Marty Sacks:

probably the easiest answer is it's all about the people that

Marty Sacks:

you work with, and the industry that you serve. So in my

Marty Sacks:

particular case, I started out as a technologist working for

Marty Sacks:

radio stations on the east coast of the US, and went from sort of

Marty Sacks:

one set of stations to another and then ended up moving into a

Marty Sacks:

sales role, about halfway through what's now my 40, some

Marty Sacks:

years related to media and technology. And specifically, I

Marty Sacks:

started out as a radio guy. So if you work with great people,

Marty Sacks:

if you're in an industry that you love, if you are challenged

Marty Sacks:

every day, well guess what you can get to these kind of decade

Marty Sacks:

counts, and still love to get up in the morning and be very

Marty Sacks:

excited and have great relationships in the industry.

Marty Sacks:

And just, you know, it's one day at a time, but it really goes

Marty Sacks:

back to my love for the industry and the great colleagues that

Marty Sacks:

I've worked for, or worked with for many years.

Wesleyne Greer:

So you started your career in on the other side

Wesleyne Greer:

of the supply chain, as I'll call it. So talk to us about

Wesleyne Greer:

your early career, what was that like for you?

Marty Sacks:

So the early career, you know, I had a

Marty Sacks:

disappointment early in life, where I ended up getting

Marty Sacks:

eyeglasses, and that's not necessarily such a

Marty Sacks:

disappointment. But if you want to be a military pilot in the

Marty Sacks:

70s, you needed to have perfect vision. So what turned out to be

Marty Sacks:

kind of a bad news thing, right? Getting glasses was a good news

Marty Sacks:

thing, because it allowed me to pursue this interest I had in

Marty Sacks:

electronics, and I ended up hanging around one day at my

Marty Sacks:

junior high school, they call it Middle School. Now, the

Marty Sacks:

audiovisual club, I don't even know if they have those anymore.

Marty Sacks:

But I ended up going on a tour to a TV station, and that was in

Marty Sacks:

1972. So you know, something happened, I got excited about

Marty Sacks:

it. And you know, little by little, you started to work in

Marty Sacks:

the industry that I'm in to this very day.

Wesleyne Greer:

Wow. So something in middle school is

Wesleyne Greer:

what gave you that little spark? When your first plan didn't

Wesleyne Greer:

work? You said, Okay, that's fine. I kind of have this backup

Wesleyne Greer:

plan that I think may work that I think I might like. So when

Wesleyne Greer:

you first got into this broadcast journalism world, what

Wesleyne Greer:

kind of things did you do? Were you DJ making amazing music late

Wesleyne Greer:

at night? Were you a sports reporter? What did you do?

Marty Sacks:

So I was on the other side of the microphone. So

Marty Sacks:

I was one of the people that made sure the microphone worked

Marty Sacks:

and made sure that even if the microphone work that you could

Marty Sacks:

actually hear the station. So I started out, you know, very much

Marty Sacks:

behind the scenes, and in some respects, did very little in

Marty Sacks:

front of the microphone other than a little bit in college. So

Marty Sacks:

I've always been primarily unseen, and mostly unheard when

Marty Sacks:

it comes to the actual broadcasting. But of course,

Marty Sacks:

what a lot of people don't realize or maybe some people do

Marty Sacks:

is that there's a tremendous amount that happens that you

Marty Sacks:

never see whether you're watching TV news, or you're

Marty Sacks:

listening to a song, there are so many things that have to

Marty Sacks:

happen for you to hear that song or watch that show or view the

Marty Sacks:

news or, you know, have Alexa play you a stream of audio from

Marty Sacks:

something. So there are just so many unsung heroes, and I sort

Marty Sacks:

of had that role for the first two decades of my career, just

Marty Sacks:

you know, doing more and more project work. I went to

Marty Sacks:

different cities and built radio stations, but I always came back

Marty Sacks:

to the technical side and the you know, nobody really You

Marty Sacks:

might name side, which was just fine by me.

Wesleyne Greer:

So one of the people that I used to work with,

Wesleyne Greer:

she used to call herself the brains behind the scene. So

Wesleyne Greer:

that's really what you've described, you are the brains

Wesleyne Greer:

behind the scene, how did you really take like, I'm the person

Wesleyne Greer:

who's weighing the bag? I'm not talking is not about me, how did

Wesleyne Greer:

you take that and transition into a sales role.

Marty Sacks:

So it's kind of interesting. You know, they

Marty Sacks:

often say that there are some things that you cannot control.

Marty Sacks:

But what you can control is how you react to those things. So I

Marty Sacks:

ended up having a pretty significant change. At the time,

Marty Sacks:

I was leading the technology for a specific group of radio

Marty Sacks:

stations in the DC area, which is where I grew up in

Marty Sacks:

Washington, DC, and I got a new boss. And, you know, I realized

Marty Sacks:

relatively quickly that I was probably going to want to do

Marty Sacks:

something different. And so what do you do, you start looking

Marty Sacks:

around, you start working your network. And essentially, what

Marty Sacks:

ended up happening was, I called one of my vendors, looking for

Marty Sacks:

another technology role. And he said, I don't have a technology

Marty Sacks:

role in mind. But I do have a sales role that opened up last

Marty Sacks:

night. So literally, I talked to him the next morning, after

Marty Sacks:

somebody had given notice the night before, day before,

Marty Sacks:

whatever it was, and that's how I ended up in sales. And it was

Marty Sacks:

very serendipitous it, I didn't really know anything other than

Marty Sacks:

the actual products that I would be selling, or the very products

Marty Sacks:

that I was purchasing as a technology leader. So I knew

Marty Sacks:

that particular part really well, the part I didn't know is

Marty Sacks:

now what do I do? What do I say, right? How do I talk to these

Marty Sacks:

guys that, you know, I used to go to picnics with now I got to

Marty Sacks:

try to sell them something, you know, so it was more of the how

Marty Sacks:

do I function as a seller than it was? How do I learn this

Marty Sacks:

industry that I'm going to try to sell products into so a lot

Marty Sacks:

of times people go into sales, and they move from industry to

Marty Sacks:

industry, because they have such great sales skills, you know,

Marty Sacks:

they can make that kind of a change for me, I had to learn to

Marty Sacks:

sell. And I had to learn by knowing what I was going to sell

Marty Sacks:

so that I could focus all that energy on learning the sales

Marty Sacks:

process and how to do that effectively.

Wesleyne Greer:

So one of the great things that I love to talk

Wesleyne Greer:

about on the podcast is the fact that a lot of times as sales

Wesleyne Greer:

leaders, we are looking for that ready made salesperson, right

Wesleyne Greer:

the person who has some technical knowledge is a good

Wesleyne Greer:

salesperson knows the market all of that however, you said I knew

Wesleyne Greer:

the technical stuff, I was on the other side, I was buying

Wesleyne Greer:

these things. So I know what a buyer actually likes. I know

Wesleyne Greer:

what annoys the buyer, I know what actually matters to them,

Wesleyne Greer:

right. And so it's like when you go when you're on that other

Wesleyne Greer:

side, and then you flip and you're like, but I don't know

Wesleyne Greer:

how to sell it, you actually really do know how to sell it,

Wesleyne Greer:

because you know how you like to be sold to and so you do unto

Wesleyne Greer:

others as you would like to be done unto you.

Marty Sacks:

Yeah, in fact, you're speaking the truth.

Marty Sacks:

Because I said a moment ago, I didn't know what to do. But in a

Marty Sacks:

way I did. Because just as you described, you know, I had a

Marty Sacks:

certain mental image of how I wanted people to do business

Marty Sacks:

with me how to sell to me. And what I realized was that it was

Marty Sacks:

all about figuring out a way to add value in a way that nobody

Marty Sacks:

else can, or that fewer people can. So think about it, if we

Marty Sacks:

all sell the same reading glasses, you know, when we all

Marty Sacks:

sell within pennies of each other, guess what, we have some

Marty Sacks:

limits there, right? We're never going to be able to really

Marty Sacks:

differentiate ourselves. And we have to sell lots of these to be

Marty Sacks:

successful. But if we can figure out a way to sell these, and to

Marty Sacks:

sell these and somehow have them work together, okay, somehow we

Marty Sacks:

can differentiate ourselves, then, you know, we have more

Marty Sacks:

options. And I think that's what I learned was that if I could

Marty Sacks:

figure out a way to put together packages of equipment, and then

Marty Sacks:

that wasn't new in my industry, but I put together packages from

Marty Sacks:

maybe some additional companies that other people didn't put

Marty Sacks:

together packages, including, you know, I learned how to help

Marty Sacks:

people adopt new technologies, they may not necessarily know

Marty Sacks:

all about them. I didn't know all about them. But I knew who

Marty Sacks:

to call to be able to put these pieces together in a way that

Marty Sacks:

would work for these particular clients. And over time, what I

Marty Sacks:

learned was that did my very best to always add more value

Marty Sacks:

than my competitor because most customers will pay for that

Marty Sacks:

value. Gladly, because you save them time you save them hassle.

Marty Sacks:

You save them the embarrassment of something not working because

Marty Sacks:

they save $15. So I think it was a process of me learning how to

Marty Sacks:

create that differentiation. And sometimes I was successful, and

Marty Sacks:

sometimes I wasn't. But I think that over time, I learned ways

Marty Sacks:

to differentiate. And that ultimately was what helped me to

Marty Sacks:

stay in sales as opposed to you know, needing to do something

Marty Sacks:

else because I was not as successful as I wanted to be to

Marty Sacks:

provide for my family and do the other things in my life. So

Marty Sacks:

yeah, that's Lori,

Wesleyne Greer:

wow. And the way that you kind of took the

Wesleyne Greer:

autonomy that you had to create packages, not just this is what

Wesleyne Greer:

you need, this is what I'm gonna give you. But from your

Wesleyne Greer:

knowledge of, again, on the other side of the supply chain,

Wesleyne Greer:

this is what a person in this position needs this is what

Wesleyne Greer:

would be valuable to them. And so as you continue to build that

Wesleyne Greer:

value and help your customers, understand it, grow your

Wesleyne Greer:

business and grow your business. And at what point in your career

Wesleyne Greer:

did you say, I think I want to lead people like me, instead of

Wesleyne Greer:

just being an individual contributor,

Marty Sacks:

I was probably slower to go more into a leader

Marty Sacks:

role, then, you know, I mean, I had people advising me, I should

Marty Sacks:

think about that, and maybe I didn't listen as well as I

Marty Sacks:

should have. And it's a really, you know, it's a timing thing.

Marty Sacks:

And I think that where I finally, I guess, where it

Marty Sacks:

finally clicked for me was the fact that, you know, I joined an

Marty Sacks:

organization that had more than one employee doing sales. And,

Marty Sacks:

you know, naturally, there's going to be somebody that that

Marty Sacks:

might gravitate more towards leading that team, or, you know,

Marty Sacks:

at least showing up at meetings, helping to lead that team,

Marty Sacks:

whatever it might be. And so it wasn't a click of a switch, it

Marty Sacks:

was much more of a kind of a slow realization. And I think

Marty Sacks:

that to a certain extent, leading means serving. So I

Marty Sacks:

think one of the things I learned was that I never really

Marty Sacks:

led as much as I tried to help other people succeed. And I

Marty Sacks:

think ultimately, you know, the best quality of a leader is

Marty Sacks:

caring for the people that are on your team, or that are on the

Marty Sacks:

team, right? It's not my team, it's the team. And that in the

Marty Sacks:

process of doing that you help them succeed, and you sort of,

Marty Sacks:

you know, then help them more succeed. And, you know, it's

Marty Sacks:

really, you just wake up one day and go, Huh, wow, okay. But it

Marty Sacks:

wasn't something I deliberately said, you know, in 10 years, I'm

Marty Sacks:

going to be a leader, you know, that wasn't really what crossed

Marty Sacks:

my mind on that.

Wesleyne Greer:

And so how long was that time, though? Like, I

Wesleyne Greer:

know that you said you weren't jumping up and ready. But how

Wesleyne Greer:

long were you actually in that individual contributor sales

Wesleyne Greer:

role?

Marty Sacks:

I guess, probably for good 10 years or so. And,

Marty Sacks:

you know, I mean, depends on how you count it exactly. But

Marty Sacks:

probably nine to 10 years in, I was starting to be a dedicated

Marty Sacks:

leader. And, yeah, that's about right.

Wesleyne Greer:

So as that dedicated leader, what are some

Wesleyne Greer:

of those that give us the year, the first 90 days? What are some

Wesleyne Greer:

of these are like, Oh, my gosh, what am I doing here? What's

Wesleyne Greer:

happening?

Marty Sacks:

Well, one of the things I guess I learned on the

Marty Sacks:

beginning stages was the company I was doing some of that

Marty Sacks:

original leading for was going through some changes. And so one

Marty Sacks:

of the things that is difficult for a leader, especially a sales

Marty Sacks:

leader is to maintain the success of the business while

Marty Sacks:

you're trying to change the business. So I used to tell

Marty Sacks:

people, it's a little like driving your car down the

Marty Sacks:

highway at 60 miles an hour and change your oil at the same

Marty Sacks:

time, it's a little hard. So I think one of the things I

Marty Sacks:

learned was just this idea that you have to sort of pick the

Marty Sacks:

areas that are most important, because you're not going to have

Marty Sacks:

time to do all the things that you normally need to do to lead

Marty Sacks:

and, you know, institute new comp plans and create new

Marty Sacks:

contracts for your resellers. And there's just a lot that has

Marty Sacks:

to happen when change is upon you. And so you constantly have

Marty Sacks:

to prioritize. And I think that's the one thing I've

Marty Sacks:

learned is prioritize, right? The idea that you can't do it

Marty Sacks:

all. So what's the thing that you want, at the end of the day,

Marty Sacks:

you will be most motivated to have accomplished and that, you

Marty Sacks:

know, some people would say that negatively, what's the one thing

Marty Sacks:

that you would be really ticked off about if you didn't have it

Marty Sacks:

done at the end of the day, but look at it from the positive,

Marty Sacks:

which is you know, what is most important, and that's hard,

Marty Sacks:

that's hard, especially if you have a family, you know, you're

Marty Sacks:

trying to juggle all these balls in the air and not drop any of

Marty Sacks:

them. And that's probably the biggest lesson I learned the

Marty Sacks:

hard way. Because I found myself focusing on things that weren't

Marty Sacks:

as important to the detriment of the things that were so you

Marty Sacks:

constantly have to prioritize as a leader. And even to this day,

Marty Sacks:

there are times where I just go, you know, now it's a little

Marty Sacks:

easier. At my advanced age, I'm able to triage what's important

Marty Sacks:

and what's not a little better than I could when I was younger,

Marty Sacks:

shall we say? And so there are some advantages to a little this

Marty Sacks:

stuff here. And, you know, definitely, that prioritization

Marty Sacks:

thing is huge. I mean, if I had to go back and do it all again,

Marty Sacks:

the one thing I would do is make better use of my time as a

Marty Sacks:

husband, as a dad, as a worker, as a technologist, as a

Marty Sacks:

salesperson, whatever, right? That's the one thing if I rewind

Marty Sacks:

the tape all the way back and be much better use of my time.

Wesleyne Greer:

I really love that you said your number one

Wesleyne Greer:

tip is prioritization and time management. It's not figuring

Wesleyne Greer:

out how to get the troops in line. It's not beating them over

Wesleyne Greer:

the head with their KPIs or coming up with KPIs. It's me and

Wesleyne Greer:

as leaders, so many At times we put those things that need to be

Wesleyne Greer:

done on ourselves on the backburner. We're like, oh, but

Wesleyne Greer:

this is wrong, and only 50% of the team is producing. And my

Wesleyne Greer:

boss told me to do this, and this is not working. Let me go,

Wesleyne Greer:

go go. But when we stop and take a minute, and really just take a

Wesleyne Greer:

moment to say, How can I become a better human being today? And

Wesleyne Greer:

every day? That is what helps us lead better?

Marty Sacks:

Yeah, cuz quite frankly, you know, I've heard

Marty Sacks:

this said before, kind of different ways. But you know,

Marty Sacks:

one way to say it is nobody cares how much you know, until

Marty Sacks:

they know how much you care, right? Kind of a trite saying,

Marty Sacks:

right. But if you think about it really makes sense. And I think

Marty Sacks:

that the other thing that I think is, unfortunately, where I

Marty Sacks:

failed as a leader in the past is I haven't always walked the

Marty Sacks:

walk. Right. So I talked the talk, right, I've got all the

Marty Sacks:

right sayings and things, you know, and I can tell you a mile

Marty Sacks:

long, all these things, right. But I wasn't necessarily always

Marty Sacks:

doing the things that I was telling other people to do. So

Marty Sacks:

you know, full disclosure, you know, somebody that's watching

Marty Sacks:

this that knows me, you know, I have to be honest, because

Marty Sacks:

they'll call me out, you know, I've learned because I made a

Marty Sacks:

lot of mistakes. And I think that's the one thing I would

Marty Sacks:

tell anybody, no matter where they are in their career, no

Marty Sacks:

matter what industry, no matter what their line of work is, is

Marty Sacks:

that if you make mistakes, if you learn from your mistakes, I

Marty Sacks:

think you're gonna succeed. Because most people, a lot of

Marty Sacks:

people are afraid to stretch and make a mistake, right? You know,

Marty Sacks:

they'd like that comfort zone, and nobody grows in a comfort

Marty Sacks:

zone. But not everybody is in a safe environment, to be able to

Marty Sacks:

make mistakes and survive them. So you know, there are lots of

Marty Sacks:

stories of people, you know, getting removed from an

Marty Sacks:

organization for making a mistake. And I think that the

Marty Sacks:

idea here is, you know, for anybody listening to your

Marty Sacks:

podcast, that's a leader, make it safe for people to make

Marty Sacks:

mistakes, not integrity mistakes, right? You got to be

Marty Sacks:

honest, you got to treat customers fairly, you can't

Marty Sacks:

compromise your integrity, that's a deal breaker, but other

Marty Sacks:

than integrity issues, I would say that's the one thing that I

Marty Sacks:

would encourage any leader that wants to be successful is to be

Marty Sacks:

a safe place, maintain a safe environment so that people make

Marty Sacks:

mistakes, and they learn from them. You know, guess what?

Marty Sacks:

They're more valuable to you. So yeah, to me, that's a big one

Marty Sacks:

right there,

Wesleyne Greer:

give us a real example of something has

Wesleyne Greer:

happened in your current position, or in your previous

Wesleyne Greer:

positions where you actually had to put this into action. There

Wesleyne Greer:

are

Marty Sacks:

a few, but I, at one point, I was with an

Marty Sacks:

organization that was running into financial trouble. And at

Marty Sacks:

the time, I had the privilege of leading that organization. And

Marty Sacks:

unfortunately, we were going through a tough patch, and I had

Marty Sacks:

to lay myself off. So you know, and my wife had just been

Marty Sacks:

diagnosed with an illness. So it was a very, very difficult time

Marty Sacks:

is a very difficult choice to make. But it was the right

Marty Sacks:

choice to make because the organization was more important

Marty Sacks:

than one individual. So that's probably the best example that I

Marty Sacks:

can talk about in terms of difficult decision. And it

Marty Sacks:

wasn't easy, but I was rewarded in multiple ways for making that

Marty Sacks:

decision. One was because I could look myself in the mirror,

Marty Sacks:

no, I've made the right choice. So to thine own self be true,

Marty Sacks:

right, the integrity thing, I think the other thing was that I

Marty Sacks:

set an example for people that were closest to me, my friends,

Marty Sacks:

my family, because they knew what had happened. And

Marty Sacks:

ultimately, it all ended up working out just fine. But at

Marty Sacks:

the time, it was a bit painful. And boy, did I learn a lot from

Marty Sacks:

that,

Wesleyne Greer:

that is very amazing. It really shows your

Wesleyne Greer:

self, Lis nature and how much you value people. And a lot of

Wesleyne Greer:

times I say as leaders, for me, it's not just the person who's

Wesleyne Greer:

on my team, the person who's working in the company, I'm

Wesleyne Greer:

thinking about their families, right? Like, okay, kids are

Wesleyne Greer:

going back to school. So I'm not thinking about my kids gonna

Wesleyne Greer:

write something about everybody, kids who has to go back to

Wesleyne Greer:

school, everybody who's buy school clothes, and do this and

Wesleyne Greer:

do that. Because literally as leaders, that is how we impact

Wesleyne Greer:

lives, day to day. And so for you to look at the numbers, look

Wesleyne Greer:

at the situation and say, it is better for me to lay myself off

Wesleyne Greer:

so that five or 10 or 12 other people can keep their jobs. That

Wesleyne Greer:

is very, very, very, very amazing. I mean, that's Yeah,

Marty Sacks:

it wasn't quite that many, they could keep their

Marty Sacks:

jobs. I wasn't paid that much. But I will tell you, I know I

Marty Sacks:

just had to put that in there. But I will tell you that I'm on

Marty Sacks:

a team now with a number of leaders that during COVID made

Marty Sacks:

some very difficult choices about their own salaries, to

Marty Sacks:

avoid laying off anybody here at our company. So we were very

Marty Sacks:

fortunate, not every company had the flexibility and sort of the

Marty Sacks:

financial wherewithal to be able to do this. But during the

Marty Sacks:

COVID, the worst of the COVID period, you know, say about 18

Marty Sacks:

months there, we didn't lay off a single person. We continued to

Marty Sacks:

pay everybody's health care and all that sort of stuff. And this

Marty Sacks:

was partly because our team did some sacrifice across the entire

Marty Sacks:

team. And partly that's because the senior executives here took

Marty Sacks:

a significant salary reduction for a short period of time to

Marty Sacks:

make sure that we had the ability And so that we didn't

Marty Sacks:

have to lay a single person off. So I'm really proud of this team

Marty Sacks:

and our leaders, not my leaders, right? The our CEOs, co CEOs,

Marty Sacks:

and our CFO banded together and help us ride this through. So

Marty Sacks:

you know, company's very, very strong, always has been strong,

Marty Sacks:

very, very strong. Now, you know, and that's, again, a very

Marty Sacks:

vivid example to me of what leadership is about, because

Marty Sacks:

that wasn't my idea. That was their idea. And I was happy to

Marty Sacks:

jump on board and be a part of that. So yeah.

Wesleyne Greer:

So what you just demonstrated is a culture,

Wesleyne Greer:

right? You guys have a culture of empathy, a culture of really

Wesleyne Greer:

digging deep and figuring out what does the organization need?

Wesleyne Greer:

Not what do I an individual and maybe my household name, but

Wesleyne Greer:

what as an organization? How can we ensure that our employees are

Wesleyne Greer:

all able to continue paying their rent and their mortgage

Wesleyne Greer:

and their car notes, right? Because that's what it's about.

Wesleyne Greer:

When you're at a level of being an executive in the C suite,

Wesleyne Greer:

senior executive? Yes, you make good money. And yes, we know

Wesleyne Greer:

that we need money to live, but we can cut back and tighten our

Wesleyne Greer:

belt sometimes, and to have a culture where senior executives

Wesleyne Greer:

all get online, and you don't have a dissenter, I mean, that

Wesleyne Greer:

is a great testament to the work you guys are doing there.

Marty Sacks:

The team here is remarkable. And I couldn't agree

Marty Sacks:

with you more just that idea, that sort of that selflessness

Marty Sacks:

that came, it's pretty interesting, because I haven't

Marty Sacks:

always been on teams like that. So I don't take that for

Marty Sacks:

granted. I've been on teams that have been very political, very

Marty Sacks:

siloed, I've been on teams where quite frankly, the people

Marty Sacks:

outside the company, were friendlier than the people

Marty Sacks:

inside the company. So I mean, I've, I've kind of been there

Marty Sacks:

done that probably not as much as some people that are viewing

Marty Sacks:

this, but seems to times I've been in some really funky

Marty Sacks:

places, and boy, what I've learned, and so to be in a place

Marty Sacks:

like telos, and, you know, being working with the people I am is

Marty Sacks:

a great blessing. I don't take it for granted. I'm very

Marty Sacks:

thankful to be here and very privileged to be on this team.

Marty Sacks:

So yeah, no question. I've seen it both ways.

Wesleyne Greer:

Wow, you've given us so many lessons in

Wesleyne Greer:

leadership, and accountability and creating a culture where

Wesleyne Greer:

people want to work where they want to stay and where you as a

Wesleyne Greer:

leader can show up. So I know when I asked you to tell me

Wesleyne Greer:

something that has impacted your career, you may not have too

Wesleyne Greer:

much more, because you give me so much. So now I'm gonna ask

Wesleyne Greer:

you to pull something else. Why? The way that you lead a

Wesleyne Greer:

situation personally or professionally,

Marty Sacks:

so I've got one, all I got is one, you've taken

Marty Sacks:

everything that I've got. But I've got one for sure. So one of

Marty Sacks:

the things I learned this was early in my technology career.

Marty Sacks:

So my exposure to technology leaders was largely, you know,

Marty Sacks:

very smart individuals, but maybe a little bit lacking in

Marty Sacks:

some of the social skills, right, sort of how to interact

Marty Sacks:

with people how to get your point met, you know, how to

Marty Sacks:

creatively confront, you know, behaviors, just this idea of,

Marty Sacks:

you know, how to live the rest of your life when you're not

Marty Sacks:

doing technology. And so I came up in the early parts of my

Marty Sacks:

career not having good examples of how to do that, right. My

Marty Sacks:

parents weren't really that way. They didn't really deal with

Marty Sacks:

their emotions at times very effectively. So I was really

Marty Sacks:

lacking that in the beginning of my career. And I ended up

Marty Sacks:

working right as I graduated high school, I changed jobs and

Marty Sacks:

worked for one of the most successful radio stations here

Marty Sacks:

in the Washington DC area at the time. And I met a guy who became

Marty Sacks:

a lifelong friend. I've known this guy over 40 years. And more

Marty Sacks:

than that, I can't do the math, not enough fingers. But I think

Marty Sacks:

the point here is that for the first time ever early in my

Marty Sacks:

career, I worked with a guy who had an amazing people skill. So

Marty Sacks:

he was brilliant technologically, don't get me

Marty Sacks:

wrong, he was nobody's fool when it came to how to do the actual

Marty Sacks:

blocking and tackling of the work we do at that point in

Marty Sacks:

time. But man, did this guy have people skills and I watched how

Marty Sacks:

he interacted I watch how he, you know, I read what he wrote,

Marty Sacks:

I learned to write reading his stuff. And, you know, I watched

Marty Sacks:

him model much of the same behaviors. We've talked about,

Marty Sacks:

you know, selfless leadership and caring for your people. And

Marty Sacks:

I remember him taking me to an executives dinner one time in my

Marty Sacks:

blue jeans in Los Angeles, I didn't have any real clothes. I

Marty Sacks:

was out doing a project, but we had just celebrated something

Marty Sacks:

big. And he said, Look, these guys are celebrating, they

Marty Sacks:

didn't even work on it. This guy, me, Marty. He brought me

Marty Sacks:

along to this ritzy restaurant. I remember, you know, I was like

Marty Sacks:

20 years old, and I'm like, What am I doing here? Right? I'm

Marty Sacks:

looking around and all these people are wearing suits. And

Marty Sacks:

I'm sitting there in my jeans and a T shirt. And the steak was

Marty Sacks:

great. Let me tell you what, it was a great experience. But I

Marty Sacks:

learned how to take care of people from this guy. His name

Marty Sacks:

is Smitty. So he's been a lifelong friend. He's been a

Marty Sacks:

great mentor. You know, when my wife went through medical stuff,

Marty Sacks:

his wife was always sending stuff to her just very caring,

Marty Sacks:

very caring people. And so I learned, you know, I had a great

Marty Sacks:

example. And so that is, you know, when I Talk about

Marty Sacks:

mentorship. I've been fortunate my entire life to have so many

Marty Sacks:

great mentors. He's probably the first major mentor I ever had.

Marty Sacks:

So yeah, big time.

Wesleyne Greer:

That's amazing,

Marty Sacks:

I think so

Wesleyne Greer:

that someone helped us get to where we are

Wesleyne Greer:

today. And so we're responsible to reach back and pull somebody

Wesleyne Greer:

else up. And it really sounds like in everything that you do

Wesleyne Greer:

you practice that, right. You remember Smitty, and how much he

Wesleyne Greer:

just brought just a straggling, 20 year old and jeans and a T

Wesleyne Greer:

shirt or fancy meeting. And he's literally showing you this is

Wesleyne Greer:

how you show up. And this is how you talk to important

Wesleyne Greer:

executives, and he was mentoring you and teaching you. And this

Wesleyne Greer:

is one key reason why when I work with leaders in companies,

Wesleyne Greer:

I say you are not allowed to go to a meeting, external meeting

Wesleyne Greer:

without somebody on your team with you. Like you cannot do it.

Wesleyne Greer:

It is like a thing that I need you and grant your brand. You

Wesleyne Greer:

should never go to a meeting alone as a leader, because

Wesleyne Greer:

that's how salespeople learn. They learn on the fly.

Marty Sacks:

Absolutely, right. I think there's a book that was

Marty Sacks:

written years ago, Never Eat Alone. And I'm pretty sure

Marty Sacks:

that's the principle that they talk about there. So it's that

Marty Sacks:

idea of you're always teaching. Well, Marty,

Wesleyne Greer:

this has been an amazing, amazing conversation.

Marty Sacks:

I've enjoyed it. Thank you for having me. I

Marty Sacks:

really appreciate it. Me too.

Wesleyne Greer:

I'm so glad it was we waited a while to get

Wesleyne Greer:

here. But I'm so glad we're able to connect and to chat. And what

Wesleyne Greer:

is the one best way that listeners can reach out to you

Wesleyne Greer:

if they're interested in chatting more?

Marty Sacks:

Best thing to do is email me. It's Marty dot sacks

Marty Sacks:

at TELUS alliance.com. Feel free to reach out I'm happy to

Marty Sacks:

interact with any of your listeners. Hi, Sam,

Wesleyne Greer:

make sure you tell them in the email that you

Wesleyne Greer:

heard him on the transformed sales podcast. So he doesn't

Wesleyne Greer:

think that you're just somebody's trying to sell them

Wesleyne Greer:

some more stuff. To actually want to learn from him and talk

Wesleyne Greer:

to him and develop as a leader as a salesperson.

Marty Sacks:

Absolutely, I'd welcome the opportunity. Well,

Marty Sacks:

thank

Wesleyne Greer:

you so much, Marty, for your time, your

Wesleyne Greer:

talent, your expertise, and sharing how the company culture

Wesleyne Greer:

within Telos has really helped you lead and show up. That's the

Wesleyne Greer:

way you best express yourself. So thank you so much for sharing

Wesleyne Greer:

that with us today. We definitely appreciate it.

Marty Sacks:

Great to see you. Thanks again for inviting me. I

Marty Sacks:

really appreciate it.

Wesleyne Greer:

Awesome. And that was another episode of the

Wesleyne Greer:

transform sales podcast. Remember in everything that you

Wesleyne Greer:

do every single day, find one way to transform your sales

Get Your FREE GUIDE to A Build High-Performance Sales Team

Highlights

  • [01:30] – Working for a company for over 2 decades without losing interest.
  • [05:12] – From being the brains behind the scenes to taking up a sales role.
  • [10:25] – Making the decision to slowly shift towards sales leadership.
  • [12:43] – The critical importance of prioritization and time management.
  • [17:11] – Great sales teams founded on a culture of selflessness and empathy.
  • [22:25] – Never Eat Alone: Why you should mentor and support fellow salespeople.

In this episode of the Transformed Sales Podcast, I interviewed the Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Strategy at Telos Alliance, Marty Sacks. Marty has been with Telos Alliance for over two decades. He’s held a variety of roles in sales, business, and product development and currently oversees the company’s strategic efforts. 

Marty started his career in radio in Washington in 1976 and has worked in engineering, equipment sales, and trade publishing. He joined Telos in 1999 as national sales director. He will be very candid about his incredible journey from being the behind-the-scenes tech guru making things happen to the effective sales leader that he is today. Tune in to tap into the immense sales leadership wisdom he had to share.

Quotes

“To a certain extent, leading means serving” – Marty Sacks

“The best quality of a leader is caring for the people that are on their team and helping them succeed” – Marty Sacks

“One of the things that are difficult for a sales leader is to maintain the success of a business while you’re trying to change the business” – Marty Sacks

“You constantly have to prioritize as a sales leader” – Marty Sacks

“If you make mistakes, if you learn from your mistakes, I think you’re gonna succeed because most people are afraid to stretch and make a mistake, and they like a comfort zone, but nobody grows in a comfort zone” – Marty Sacks

Learn More About Marty Sacks in the Links Below:

Connect with Wesleyne Greer:

  • Wesleyne’s Website – https://transformedsales.com/
  • Wesleyne on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/wesleynegreer/
  • Wesleyne on Facebook – https://web.facebook.com/wesleynegreer
  • Wesleyne on Twitter – https://twitter.com/wesleynegreer
  • Email Her at WGreer@TransformedSales.com
Transcript
Wesleyne Greer:

Hello, and welcome to another episode of

Wesleyne Greer:

the transformed sales podcast today I am so excited to have

Wesleyne Greer:

Marty Sachs with us. How are you? Marty?

Marty Sacks:

I'm well how are you doing?

Wesleyne Greer:

I am doing lovely, lovely and delightful.

Wesleyne Greer:

And just a peek behind the hood a little bit. You guys know how

Wesleyne Greer:

amazing this podcast world is. Marty and I this is my third

Wesleyne Greer:

attempt to record this episode until I know Third time's a

Wesleyne Greer:

charm, because we're both so busy. So I am so excited to do

Wesleyne Greer:

this.

Marty Sacks:

It's good to be with you.

Wesleyne Greer:

So let me tell you a little bit about Marty. He

Wesleyne Greer:

has been with Telos alliances. For over two decades, he's held

Wesleyne Greer:

a variety of roles in sales, business and product

Wesleyne Greer:

development. He has a sales role where he is over not only the

Wesleyne Greer:

sales team, the marketing team, and now No, sorry, I think I

Wesleyne Greer:

might have gotten that wrong. He's over the sales team

Wesleyne Greer:

marketing team and what we would call is it support Marty? Or did

Wesleyne Greer:

you just let that part go?

Marty Sacks:

So now I have April overseeing our strategy efforts?

Marty Sacks:

Yep, yep, the support team now works in another group for a new

Marty Sacks:

professional services organization that were standing

Marty Sacks:

up. So that group now no longer reports directly to me, although

Marty Sacks:

I get to talk to them from time to time. So we're still good

Marty Sacks:

friends.

Wesleyne Greer:

Awesome. So Marty is the Executive Vice

Wesleyne Greer:

President of Sales, Marketing and strategy. And he's been in

Wesleyne Greer:

this case been with this company for over two decades. So Marty,

Wesleyne Greer:

I am so curious, how do you stay with a company for so long and

Wesleyne Greer:

still enjoy what you do every single day?

Marty Sacks:

That's a great question. And I think the

Marty Sacks:

probably the easiest answer is it's all about the people that

Marty Sacks:

you work with, and the industry that you serve. So in my

Marty Sacks:

particular case, I started out as a technologist working for

Marty Sacks:

radio stations on the east coast of the US, and went from sort of

Marty Sacks:

one set of stations to another and then ended up moving into a

Marty Sacks:

sales role, about halfway through what's now my 40, some

Marty Sacks:

years related to media and technology. And specifically, I

Marty Sacks:

started out as a radio guy. So if you work with great people,

Marty Sacks:

if you're in an industry that you love, if you are challenged

Marty Sacks:

every day, well guess what you can get to these kind of decade

Marty Sacks:

counts, and still love to get up in the morning and be very

Marty Sacks:

excited and have great relationships in the industry.

Marty Sacks:

And just, you know, it's one day at a time, but it really goes

Marty Sacks:

back to my love for the industry and the great colleagues that

Marty Sacks:

I've worked for, or worked with for many years.

Wesleyne Greer:

So you started your career in on the other side

Wesleyne Greer:

of the supply chain, as I'll call it. So talk to us about

Wesleyne Greer:

your early career, what was that like for you?

Marty Sacks:

So the early career, you know, I had a

Marty Sacks:

disappointment early in life, where I ended up getting

Marty Sacks:

eyeglasses, and that's not necessarily such a

Marty Sacks:

disappointment. But if you want to be a military pilot in the

Marty Sacks:

70s, you needed to have perfect vision. So what turned out to be

Marty Sacks:

kind of a bad news thing, right? Getting glasses was a good news

Marty Sacks:

thing, because it allowed me to pursue this interest I had in

Marty Sacks:

electronics, and I ended up hanging around one day at my

Marty Sacks:

junior high school, they call it Middle School. Now, the

Marty Sacks:

audiovisual club, I don't even know if they have those anymore.

Marty Sacks:

But I ended up going on a tour to a TV station, and that was in

Marty Sacks:

1972. So you know, something happened, I got excited about

Marty Sacks:

it. And you know, little by little, you started to work in

Marty Sacks:

the industry that I'm in to this very day.

Wesleyne Greer:

Wow. So something in middle school is

Wesleyne Greer:

what gave you that little spark? When your first plan didn't

Wesleyne Greer:

work? You said, Okay, that's fine. I kind of have this backup

Wesleyne Greer:

plan that I think may work that I think I might like. So when

Wesleyne Greer:

you first got into this broadcast journalism world, what

Wesleyne Greer:

kind of things did you do? Were you DJ making amazing music late

Wesleyne Greer:

at night? Were you a sports reporter? What did you do?

Marty Sacks:

So I was on the other side of the microphone. So

Marty Sacks:

I was one of the people that made sure the microphone worked

Marty Sacks:

and made sure that even if the microphone work that you could

Marty Sacks:

actually hear the station. So I started out, you know, very much

Marty Sacks:

behind the scenes, and in some respects, did very little in

Marty Sacks:

front of the microphone other than a little bit in college. So

Marty Sacks:

I've always been primarily unseen, and mostly unheard when

Marty Sacks:

it comes to the actual broadcasting. But of course,

Marty Sacks:

what a lot of people don't realize or maybe some people do

Marty Sacks:

is that there's a tremendous amount that happens that you

Marty Sacks:

never see whether you're watching TV news, or you're

Marty Sacks:

listening to a song, there are so many things that have to

Marty Sacks:

happen for you to hear that song or watch that show or view the

Marty Sacks:

news or, you know, have Alexa play you a stream of audio from

Marty Sacks:

something. So there are just so many unsung heroes, and I sort

Marty Sacks:

of had that role for the first two decades of my career, just

Marty Sacks:

you know, doing more and more project work. I went to

Marty Sacks:

different cities and built radio stations, but I always came back

Marty Sacks:

to the technical side and the you know, nobody really You

Marty Sacks:

might name side, which was just fine by me.

Wesleyne Greer:

So one of the people that I used to work with,

Wesleyne Greer:

she used to call herself the brains behind the scene. So

Wesleyne Greer:

that's really what you've described, you are the brains

Wesleyne Greer:

behind the scene, how did you really take like, I'm the person

Wesleyne Greer:

who's weighing the bag? I'm not talking is not about me, how did

Wesleyne Greer:

you take that and transition into a sales role.

Marty Sacks:

So it's kind of interesting. You know, they

Marty Sacks:

often say that there are some things that you cannot control.

Marty Sacks:

But what you can control is how you react to those things. So I

Marty Sacks:

ended up having a pretty significant change. At the time,

Marty Sacks:

I was leading the technology for a specific group of radio

Marty Sacks:

stations in the DC area, which is where I grew up in

Marty Sacks:

Washington, DC, and I got a new boss. And, you know, I realized

Marty Sacks:

relatively quickly that I was probably going to want to do

Marty Sacks:

something different. And so what do you do, you start looking

Marty Sacks:

around, you start working your network. And essentially, what

Marty Sacks:

ended up happening was, I called one of my vendors, looking for

Marty Sacks:

another technology role. And he said, I don't have a technology

Marty Sacks:

role in mind. But I do have a sales role that opened up last

Marty Sacks:

night. So literally, I talked to him the next morning, after

Marty Sacks:

somebody had given notice the night before, day before,

Marty Sacks:

whatever it was, and that's how I ended up in sales. And it was

Marty Sacks:

very serendipitous it, I didn't really know anything other than

Marty Sacks:

the actual products that I would be selling, or the very products

Marty Sacks:

that I was purchasing as a technology leader. So I knew

Marty Sacks:

that particular part really well, the part I didn't know is

Marty Sacks:

now what do I do? What do I say, right? How do I talk to these

Marty Sacks:

guys that, you know, I used to go to picnics with now I got to

Marty Sacks:

try to sell them something, you know, so it was more of the how

Marty Sacks:

do I function as a seller than it was? How do I learn this

Marty Sacks:

industry that I'm going to try to sell products into so a lot

Marty Sacks:

of times people go into sales, and they move from industry to

Marty Sacks:

industry, because they have such great sales skills, you know,

Marty Sacks:

they can make that kind of a change for me, I had to learn to

Marty Sacks:

sell. And I had to learn by knowing what I was going to sell

Marty Sacks:

so that I could focus all that energy on learning the sales

Marty Sacks:

process and how to do that effectively.

Wesleyne Greer:

So one of the great things that I love to talk

Wesleyne Greer:

about on the podcast is the fact that a lot of times as sales

Wesleyne Greer:

leaders, we are looking for that ready made salesperson, right

Wesleyne Greer:

the person who has some technical knowledge is a good

Wesleyne Greer:

salesperson knows the market all of that however, you said I knew

Wesleyne Greer:

the technical stuff, I was on the other side, I was buying

Wesleyne Greer:

these things. So I know what a buyer actually likes. I know

Wesleyne Greer:

what annoys the buyer, I know what actually matters to them,

Wesleyne Greer:

right. And so it's like when you go when you're on that other

Wesleyne Greer:

side, and then you flip and you're like, but I don't know

Wesleyne Greer:

how to sell it, you actually really do know how to sell it,

Wesleyne Greer:

because you know how you like to be sold to and so you do unto

Wesleyne Greer:

others as you would like to be done unto you.

Marty Sacks:

Yeah, in fact, you're speaking the truth.

Marty Sacks:

Because I said a moment ago, I didn't know what to do. But in a

Marty Sacks:

way I did. Because just as you described, you know, I had a

Marty Sacks:

certain mental image of how I wanted people to do business

Marty Sacks:

with me how to sell to me. And what I realized was that it was

Marty Sacks:

all about figuring out a way to add value in a way that nobody

Marty Sacks:

else can, or that fewer people can. So think about it, if we

Marty Sacks:

all sell the same reading glasses, you know, when we all

Marty Sacks:

sell within pennies of each other, guess what, we have some

Marty Sacks:

limits there, right? We're never going to be able to really

Marty Sacks:

differentiate ourselves. And we have to sell lots of these to be

Marty Sacks:

successful. But if we can figure out a way to sell these, and to

Marty Sacks:

sell these and somehow have them work together, okay, somehow we

Marty Sacks:

can differentiate ourselves, then, you know, we have more

Marty Sacks:

options. And I think that's what I learned was that if I could

Marty Sacks:

figure out a way to put together packages of equipment, and then

Marty Sacks:

that wasn't new in my industry, but I put together packages from

Marty Sacks:

maybe some additional companies that other people didn't put

Marty Sacks:

together packages, including, you know, I learned how to help

Marty Sacks:

people adopt new technologies, they may not necessarily know

Marty Sacks:

all about them. I didn't know all about them. But I knew who

Marty Sacks:

to call to be able to put these pieces together in a way that

Marty Sacks:

would work for these particular clients. And over time, what I

Marty Sacks:

learned was that did my very best to always add more value

Marty Sacks:

than my competitor because most customers will pay for that

Marty Sacks:

value. Gladly, because you save them time you save them hassle.

Marty Sacks:

You save them the embarrassment of something not working because

Marty Sacks:

they save $15. So I think it was a process of me learning how to

Marty Sacks:

create that differentiation. And sometimes I was successful, and

Marty Sacks:

sometimes I wasn't. But I think that over time, I learned ways

Marty Sacks:

to differentiate. And that ultimately was what helped me to

Marty Sacks:

stay in sales as opposed to you know, needing to do something

Marty Sacks:

else because I was not as successful as I wanted to be to

Marty Sacks:

provide for my family and do the other things in my life. So

Marty Sacks:

yeah, that's Lori,

Wesleyne Greer:

wow. And the way that you kind of took the

Wesleyne Greer:

autonomy that you had to create packages, not just this is what

Wesleyne Greer:

you need, this is what I'm gonna give you. But from your

Wesleyne Greer:

knowledge of, again, on the other side of the supply chain,

Wesleyne Greer:

this is what a person in this position needs this is what

Wesleyne Greer:

would be valuable to them. And so as you continue to build that

Wesleyne Greer:

value and help your customers, understand it, grow your

Wesleyne Greer:

business and grow your business. And at what point in your career

Wesleyne Greer:

did you say, I think I want to lead people like me, instead of

Wesleyne Greer:

just being an individual contributor,

Marty Sacks:

I was probably slower to go more into a leader

Marty Sacks:

role, then, you know, I mean, I had people advising me, I should

Marty Sacks:

think about that, and maybe I didn't listen as well as I

Marty Sacks:

should have. And it's a really, you know, it's a timing thing.

Marty Sacks:

And I think that where I finally, I guess, where it

Marty Sacks:

finally clicked for me was the fact that, you know, I joined an

Marty Sacks:

organization that had more than one employee doing sales. And,

Marty Sacks:

you know, naturally, there's going to be somebody that that

Marty Sacks:

might gravitate more towards leading that team, or, you know,

Marty Sacks:

at least showing up at meetings, helping to lead that team,

Marty Sacks:

whatever it might be. And so it wasn't a click of a switch, it

Marty Sacks:

was much more of a kind of a slow realization. And I think

Marty Sacks:

that to a certain extent, leading means serving. So I

Marty Sacks:

think one of the things I learned was that I never really

Marty Sacks:

led as much as I tried to help other people succeed. And I

Marty Sacks:

think ultimately, you know, the best quality of a leader is

Marty Sacks:

caring for the people that are on your team, or that are on the

Marty Sacks:

team, right? It's not my team, it's the team. And that in the

Marty Sacks:

process of doing that you help them succeed, and you sort of,

Marty Sacks:

you know, then help them more succeed. And, you know, it's

Marty Sacks:

really, you just wake up one day and go, Huh, wow, okay. But it

Marty Sacks:

wasn't something I deliberately said, you know, in 10 years, I'm

Marty Sacks:

going to be a leader, you know, that wasn't really what crossed

Marty Sacks:

my mind on that.

Wesleyne Greer:

And so how long was that time, though? Like, I

Wesleyne Greer:

know that you said you weren't jumping up and ready. But how

Wesleyne Greer:

long were you actually in that individual contributor sales

Wesleyne Greer:

role?

Marty Sacks:

I guess, probably for good 10 years or so. And,

Marty Sacks:

you know, I mean, depends on how you count it exactly. But

Marty Sacks:

probably nine to 10 years in, I was starting to be a dedicated

Marty Sacks:

leader. And, yeah, that's about right.

Wesleyne Greer:

So as that dedicated leader, what are some

Wesleyne Greer:

of those that give us the year, the first 90 days? What are some

Wesleyne Greer:

of these are like, Oh, my gosh, what am I doing here? What's

Wesleyne Greer:

happening?

Marty Sacks:

Well, one of the things I guess I learned on the

Marty Sacks:

beginning stages was the company I was doing some of that

Marty Sacks:

original leading for was going through some changes. And so one

Marty Sacks:

of the things that is difficult for a leader, especially a sales

Marty Sacks:

leader is to maintain the success of the business while

Marty Sacks:

you're trying to change the business. So I used to tell

Marty Sacks:

people, it's a little like driving your car down the

Marty Sacks:

highway at 60 miles an hour and change your oil at the same

Marty Sacks:

time, it's a little hard. So I think one of the things I

Marty Sacks:

learned was just this idea that you have to sort of pick the

Marty Sacks:

areas that are most important, because you're not going to have

Marty Sacks:

time to do all the things that you normally need to do to lead

Marty Sacks:

and, you know, institute new comp plans and create new

Marty Sacks:

contracts for your resellers. And there's just a lot that has

Marty Sacks:

to happen when change is upon you. And so you constantly have

Marty Sacks:

to prioritize. And I think that's the one thing I've

Marty Sacks:

learned is prioritize, right? The idea that you can't do it

Marty Sacks:

all. So what's the thing that you want, at the end of the day,

Marty Sacks:

you will be most motivated to have accomplished and that, you

Marty Sacks:

know, some people would say that negatively, what's the one thing

Marty Sacks:

that you would be really ticked off about if you didn't have it

Marty Sacks:

done at the end of the day, but look at it from the positive,

Marty Sacks:

which is you know, what is most important, and that's hard,

Marty Sacks:

that's hard, especially if you have a family, you know, you're

Marty Sacks:

trying to juggle all these balls in the air and not drop any of

Marty Sacks:

them. And that's probably the biggest lesson I learned the

Marty Sacks:

hard way. Because I found myself focusing on things that weren't

Marty Sacks:

as important to the detriment of the things that were so you

Marty Sacks:

constantly have to prioritize as a leader. And even to this day,

Marty Sacks:

there are times where I just go, you know, now it's a little

Marty Sacks:

easier. At my advanced age, I'm able to triage what's important

Marty Sacks:

and what's not a little better than I could when I was younger,

Marty Sacks:

shall we say? And so there are some advantages to a little this

Marty Sacks:

stuff here. And, you know, definitely, that prioritization

Marty Sacks:

thing is huge. I mean, if I had to go back and do it all again,

Marty Sacks:

the one thing I would do is make better use of my time as a

Marty Sacks:

husband, as a dad, as a worker, as a technologist, as a

Marty Sacks:

salesperson, whatever, right? That's the one thing if I rewind

Marty Sacks:

the tape all the way back and be much better use of my time.

Wesleyne Greer:

I really love that you said your number one

Wesleyne Greer:

tip is prioritization and time management. It's not figuring

Wesleyne Greer:

out how to get the troops in line. It's not beating them over

Wesleyne Greer:

the head with their KPIs or coming up with KPIs. It's me and

Wesleyne Greer:

as leaders, so many At times we put those things that need to be

Wesleyne Greer:

done on ourselves on the backburner. We're like, oh, but

Wesleyne Greer:

this is wrong, and only 50% of the team is producing. And my

Wesleyne Greer:

boss told me to do this, and this is not working. Let me go,

Wesleyne Greer:

go go. But when we stop and take a minute, and really just take a

Wesleyne Greer:

moment to say, How can I become a better human being today? And

Wesleyne Greer:

every day? That is what helps us lead better?

Marty Sacks:

Yeah, cuz quite frankly, you know, I've heard

Marty Sacks:

this said before, kind of different ways. But you know,

Marty Sacks:

one way to say it is nobody cares how much you know, until

Marty Sacks:

they know how much you care, right? Kind of a trite saying,

Marty Sacks:

right. But if you think about it really makes sense. And I think

Marty Sacks:

that the other thing that I think is, unfortunately, where I

Marty Sacks:

failed as a leader in the past is I haven't always walked the

Marty Sacks:

walk. Right. So I talked the talk, right, I've got all the

Marty Sacks:

right sayings and things, you know, and I can tell you a mile

Marty Sacks:

long, all these things, right. But I wasn't necessarily always

Marty Sacks:

doing the things that I was telling other people to do. So

Marty Sacks:

you know, full disclosure, you know, somebody that's watching

Marty Sacks:

this that knows me, you know, I have to be honest, because

Marty Sacks:

they'll call me out, you know, I've learned because I made a

Marty Sacks:

lot of mistakes. And I think that's the one thing I would

Marty Sacks:

tell anybody, no matter where they are in their career, no

Marty Sacks:

matter what industry, no matter what their line of work is, is

Marty Sacks:

that if you make mistakes, if you learn from your mistakes, I

Marty Sacks:

think you're gonna succeed. Because most people, a lot of

Marty Sacks:

people are afraid to stretch and make a mistake, right? You know,

Marty Sacks:

they'd like that comfort zone, and nobody grows in a comfort

Marty Sacks:

zone. But not everybody is in a safe environment, to be able to

Marty Sacks:

make mistakes and survive them. So you know, there are lots of

Marty Sacks:

stories of people, you know, getting removed from an

Marty Sacks:

organization for making a mistake. And I think that the

Marty Sacks:

idea here is, you know, for anybody listening to your

Marty Sacks:

podcast, that's a leader, make it safe for people to make

Marty Sacks:

mistakes, not integrity mistakes, right? You got to be

Marty Sacks:

honest, you got to treat customers fairly, you can't

Marty Sacks:

compromise your integrity, that's a deal breaker, but other

Marty Sacks:

than integrity issues, I would say that's the one thing that I

Marty Sacks:

would encourage any leader that wants to be successful is to be

Marty Sacks:

a safe place, maintain a safe environment so that people make

Marty Sacks:

mistakes, and they learn from them. You know, guess what?

Marty Sacks:

They're more valuable to you. So yeah, to me, that's a big one

Marty Sacks:

right there,

Wesleyne Greer:

give us a real example of something has

Wesleyne Greer:

happened in your current position, or in your previous

Wesleyne Greer:

positions where you actually had to put this into action. There

Wesleyne Greer:

are

Marty Sacks:

a few, but I, at one point, I was with an

Marty Sacks:

organization that was running into financial trouble. And at

Marty Sacks:

the time, I had the privilege of leading that organization. And

Marty Sacks:

unfortunately, we were going through a tough patch, and I had

Marty Sacks:

to lay myself off. So you know, and my wife had just been

Marty Sacks:

diagnosed with an illness. So it was a very, very difficult time

Marty Sacks:

is a very difficult choice to make. But it was the right

Marty Sacks:

choice to make because the organization was more important

Marty Sacks:

than one individual. So that's probably the best example that I

Marty Sacks:

can talk about in terms of difficult decision. And it

Marty Sacks:

wasn't easy, but I was rewarded in multiple ways for making that

Marty Sacks:

decision. One was because I could look myself in the mirror,

Marty Sacks:

no, I've made the right choice. So to thine own self be true,

Marty Sacks:

right, the integrity thing, I think the other thing was that I

Marty Sacks:

set an example for people that were closest to me, my friends,

Marty Sacks:

my family, because they knew what had happened. And

Marty Sacks:

ultimately, it all ended up working out just fine. But at

Marty Sacks:

the time, it was a bit painful. And boy, did I learn a lot from

Marty Sacks:

that,

Wesleyne Greer:

that is very amazing. It really shows your

Wesleyne Greer:

self, Lis nature and how much you value people. And a lot of

Wesleyne Greer:

times I say as leaders, for me, it's not just the person who's

Wesleyne Greer:

on my team, the person who's working in the company, I'm

Wesleyne Greer:

thinking about their families, right? Like, okay, kids are

Wesleyne Greer:

going back to school. So I'm not thinking about my kids gonna

Wesleyne Greer:

write something about everybody, kids who has to go back to

Wesleyne Greer:

school, everybody who's buy school clothes, and do this and

Wesleyne Greer:

do that. Because literally as leaders, that is how we impact

Wesleyne Greer:

lives, day to day. And so for you to look at the numbers, look

Wesleyne Greer:

at the situation and say, it is better for me to lay myself off

Wesleyne Greer:

so that five or 10 or 12 other people can keep their jobs. That

Wesleyne Greer:

is very, very, very, very amazing. I mean, that's Yeah,

Marty Sacks:

it wasn't quite that many, they could keep their

Marty Sacks:

jobs. I wasn't paid that much. But I will tell you, I know I

Marty Sacks:

just had to put that in there. But I will tell you that I'm on

Marty Sacks:

a team now with a number of leaders that during COVID made

Marty Sacks:

some very difficult choices about their own salaries, to

Marty Sacks:

avoid laying off anybody here at our company. So we were very

Marty Sacks:

fortunate, not every company had the flexibility and sort of the

Marty Sacks:

financial wherewithal to be able to do this. But during the

Marty Sacks:

COVID, the worst of the COVID period, you know, say about 18

Marty Sacks:

months there, we didn't lay off a single person. We continued to

Marty Sacks:

pay everybody's health care and all that sort of stuff. And this

Marty Sacks:

was partly because our team did some sacrifice across the entire

Marty Sacks:

team. And partly that's because the senior executives here took

Marty Sacks:

a significant salary reduction for a short period of time to

Marty Sacks:

make sure that we had the ability And so that we didn't

Marty Sacks:

have to lay a single person off. So I'm really proud of this team

Marty Sacks:

and our leaders, not my leaders, right? The our CEOs, co CEOs,

Marty Sacks:

and our CFO banded together and help us ride this through. So

Marty Sacks:

you know, company's very, very strong, always has been strong,

Marty Sacks:

very, very strong. Now, you know, and that's, again, a very

Marty Sacks:

vivid example to me of what leadership is about, because

Marty Sacks:

that wasn't my idea. That was their idea. And I was happy to

Marty Sacks:

jump on board and be a part of that. So yeah.

Wesleyne Greer:

So what you just demonstrated is a culture,

Wesleyne Greer:

right? You guys have a culture of empathy, a culture of really

Wesleyne Greer:

digging deep and figuring out what does the organization need?

Wesleyne Greer:

Not what do I an individual and maybe my household name, but

Wesleyne Greer:

what as an organization? How can we ensure that our employees are

Wesleyne Greer:

all able to continue paying their rent and their mortgage

Wesleyne Greer:

and their car notes, right? Because that's what it's about.

Wesleyne Greer:

When you're at a level of being an executive in the C suite,

Wesleyne Greer:

senior executive? Yes, you make good money. And yes, we know

Wesleyne Greer:

that we need money to live, but we can cut back and tighten our

Wesleyne Greer:

belt sometimes, and to have a culture where senior executives

Wesleyne Greer:

all get online, and you don't have a dissenter, I mean, that

Wesleyne Greer:

is a great testament to the work you guys are doing there.

Marty Sacks:

The team here is remarkable. And I couldn't agree

Marty Sacks:

with you more just that idea, that sort of that selflessness

Marty Sacks:

that came, it's pretty interesting, because I haven't

Marty Sacks:

always been on teams like that. So I don't take that for

Marty Sacks:

granted. I've been on teams that have been very political, very

Marty Sacks:

siloed, I've been on teams where quite frankly, the people

Marty Sacks:

outside the company, were friendlier than the people

Marty Sacks:

inside the company. So I mean, I've, I've kind of been there

Marty Sacks:

done that probably not as much as some people that are viewing

Marty Sacks:

this, but seems to times I've been in some really funky

Marty Sacks:

places, and boy, what I've learned, and so to be in a place

Marty Sacks:

like telos, and, you know, being working with the people I am is

Marty Sacks:

a great blessing. I don't take it for granted. I'm very

Marty Sacks:

thankful to be here and very privileged to be on this team.

Marty Sacks:

So yeah, no question. I've seen it both ways.

Wesleyne Greer:

Wow, you've given us so many lessons in

Wesleyne Greer:

leadership, and accountability and creating a culture where

Wesleyne Greer:

people want to work where they want to stay and where you as a

Wesleyne Greer:

leader can show up. So I know when I asked you to tell me

Wesleyne Greer:

something that has impacted your career, you may not have too

Wesleyne Greer:

much more, because you give me so much. So now I'm gonna ask

Wesleyne Greer:

you to pull something else. Why? The way that you lead a

Wesleyne Greer:

situation personally or professionally,

Marty Sacks:

so I've got one, all I got is one, you've taken

Marty Sacks:

everything that I've got. But I've got one for sure. So one of

Marty Sacks:

the things I learned this was early in my technology career.

Marty Sacks:

So my exposure to technology leaders was largely, you know,

Marty Sacks:

very smart individuals, but maybe a little bit lacking in

Marty Sacks:

some of the social skills, right, sort of how to interact

Marty Sacks:

with people how to get your point met, you know, how to

Marty Sacks:

creatively confront, you know, behaviors, just this idea of,

Marty Sacks:

you know, how to live the rest of your life when you're not

Marty Sacks:

doing technology. And so I came up in the early parts of my

Marty Sacks:

career not having good examples of how to do that, right. My

Marty Sacks:

parents weren't really that way. They didn't really deal with

Marty Sacks:

their emotions at times very effectively. So I was really

Marty Sacks:

lacking that in the beginning of my career. And I ended up

Marty Sacks:

working right as I graduated high school, I changed jobs and

Marty Sacks:

worked for one of the most successful radio stations here

Marty Sacks:

in the Washington DC area at the time. And I met a guy who became

Marty Sacks:

a lifelong friend. I've known this guy over 40 years. And more

Marty Sacks:

than that, I can't do the math, not enough fingers. But I think

Marty Sacks:

the point here is that for the first time ever early in my

Marty Sacks:

career, I worked with a guy who had an amazing people skill. So

Marty Sacks:

he was brilliant technologically, don't get me

Marty Sacks:

wrong, he was nobody's fool when it came to how to do the actual

Marty Sacks:

blocking and tackling of the work we do at that point in

Marty Sacks:

time. But man, did this guy have people skills and I watched how

Marty Sacks:

he interacted I watch how he, you know, I read what he wrote,

Marty Sacks:

I learned to write reading his stuff. And, you know, I watched

Marty Sacks:

him model much of the same behaviors. We've talked about,

Marty Sacks:

you know, selfless leadership and caring for your people. And

Marty Sacks:

I remember him taking me to an executives dinner one time in my

Marty Sacks:

blue jeans in Los Angeles, I didn't have any real clothes. I

Marty Sacks:

was out doing a project, but we had just celebrated something

Marty Sacks:

big. And he said, Look, these guys are celebrating, they

Marty Sacks:

didn't even work on it. This guy, me, Marty. He brought me

Marty Sacks:

along to this ritzy restaurant. I remember, you know, I was like

Marty Sacks:

20 years old, and I'm like, What am I doing here? Right? I'm

Marty Sacks:

looking around and all these people are wearing suits. And

Marty Sacks:

I'm sitting there in my jeans and a T shirt. And the steak was

Marty Sacks:

great. Let me tell you what, it was a great experience. But I

Marty Sacks:

learned how to take care of people from this guy. His name

Marty Sacks:

is Smitty. So he's been a lifelong friend. He's been a

Marty Sacks:

great mentor. You know, when my wife went through medical stuff,

Marty Sacks:

his wife was always sending stuff to her just very caring,

Marty Sacks:

very caring people. And so I learned, you know, I had a great

Marty Sacks:

example. And so that is, you know, when I Talk about

Marty Sacks:

mentorship. I've been fortunate my entire life to have so many

Marty Sacks:

great mentors. He's probably the first major mentor I ever had.

Marty Sacks:

So yeah, big time.

Wesleyne Greer:

That's amazing,

Marty Sacks:

I think so

Wesleyne Greer:

that someone helped us get to where we are

Wesleyne Greer:

today. And so we're responsible to reach back and pull somebody

Wesleyne Greer:

else up. And it really sounds like in everything that you do

Wesleyne Greer:

you practice that, right. You remember Smitty, and how much he

Wesleyne Greer:

just brought just a straggling, 20 year old and jeans and a T

Wesleyne Greer:

shirt or fancy meeting. And he's literally showing you this is

Wesleyne Greer:

how you show up. And this is how you talk to important

Wesleyne Greer:

executives, and he was mentoring you and teaching you. And this

Wesleyne Greer:

is one key reason why when I work with leaders in companies,

Wesleyne Greer:

I say you are not allowed to go to a meeting, external meeting

Wesleyne Greer:

without somebody on your team with you. Like you cannot do it.

Wesleyne Greer:

It is like a thing that I need you and grant your brand. You

Wesleyne Greer:

should never go to a meeting alone as a leader, because

Wesleyne Greer:

that's how salespeople learn. They learn on the fly.

Marty Sacks:

Absolutely, right. I think there's a book that was

Marty Sacks:

written years ago, Never Eat Alone. And I'm pretty sure

Marty Sacks:

that's the principle that they talk about there. So it's that

Marty Sacks:

idea of you're always teaching. Well, Marty,

Wesleyne Greer:

this has been an amazing, amazing conversation.

Marty Sacks:

I've enjoyed it. Thank you for having me. I

Marty Sacks:

really appreciate it. Me too.

Wesleyne Greer:

I'm so glad it was we waited a while to get

Wesleyne Greer:

here. But I'm so glad we're able to connect and to chat. And what

Wesleyne Greer:

is the one best way that listeners can reach out to you

Wesleyne Greer:

if they're interested in chatting more?

Marty Sacks:

Best thing to do is email me. It's Marty dot sacks

Marty Sacks:

at TELUS alliance.com. Feel free to reach out I'm happy to

Marty Sacks:

interact with any of your listeners. Hi, Sam,

Wesleyne Greer:

make sure you tell them in the email that you

Wesleyne Greer:

heard him on the transformed sales podcast. So he doesn't

Wesleyne Greer:

think that you're just somebody's trying to sell them

Wesleyne Greer:

some more stuff. To actually want to learn from him and talk

Wesleyne Greer:

to him and develop as a leader as a salesperson.

Marty Sacks:

Absolutely, I'd welcome the opportunity. Well,

Marty Sacks:

thank

Wesleyne Greer:

you so much, Marty, for your time, your

Wesleyne Greer:

talent, your expertise, and sharing how the company culture

Wesleyne Greer:

within Telos has really helped you lead and show up. That's the

Wesleyne Greer:

way you best express yourself. So thank you so much for sharing

Wesleyne Greer:

that with us today. We definitely appreciate it.

Marty Sacks:

Great to see you. Thanks again for inviting me. I

Marty Sacks:

really appreciate it.

Wesleyne Greer:

Awesome. And that was another episode of the

Wesleyne Greer:

transform sales podcast. Remember in everything that you

Wesleyne Greer:

do every single day, find one way to transform your sales

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