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Reverse Engineering Your Sales Meetings with Kevin O’Connell, Vice President Global Sales at Seismic

This week on the Revenue Insights Podcast, we’re joined by Kevin O’Connell, Vice President Global Sales at Seismic.

In this episode, Kevin discusses his experience driving the sales team at Seismic. He talks us through the importance of preparation for all aspects of sales and how he operationalizes good preparation across his team. He further delves into the value of mutual action plans and how being candid with clients can turn around high risk customer accounts.

Kevin O’Connell is an experienced sales leader with expertise across sales, operations, and marketing, with a consistent track record of hitting and exceeding revenue growth targets. He is the current Vice President of Global Sales at Seismic, the global leader in enablement, helping organizations engage customers, enable teams, and ignite revenue growth. 

Kevin O’Connell on LinkedIn

Seismic Website

How Champions Think Book

Time Stamps:

  • 00:27 – Kevin’s background
  • 01:45 – Learning lessons across different sub sectors
  • 04:43 – Principles for preparation for all types of sales meetings
  • 09:15 – Kevin’s experience starting at Seismic
  • 15:07 – Rolling out a candid attitude to the entire sales team
  • 17:12 – Integrating the science of selling into sales approaches and strategies
  • 20:53 – Mutual action plans
  • 23:07 – Proving that enablement leads to revenue growth
  • 26:43 – Driving intelligence into the sales process
  • 28:59 – Kevin’s book recommendation

Highlights: 

Preparation is Key

Across his varied career, the biggest lesson Kevin has learned is that there is no substitute for preparation. For almost every situation, he reverse engineers the process, looking at the outcome that he is trying to achieve, and mapping back from there to determine the process. To reinforce this with his team he says to always focus on what you are trying to achieve, and where the gaps are in the process towards achieving that.

The Value of Mutual Action Plans

One great example of how Seismic meticulously executes on deals is through mutual actual plans. These are step-by-step granular plans, worked on with the customer, that maps out the remaining steps to get large enterprise deals over the line. For each use case, they delve into the specifics that are needed; they may start out with ten checkboxes but end up with thirty for the nuances of that specific circumstance. These allow for the customers to be engaged and Seismic to be aligned with them. 

The Importance of Being Candid with Customers

Since joining Seismic, one of Kevin’s proudest advancements is the work he has done on being honest and candid with clients. He has been turning around high risk customer accounts by encouraging candor from them. This allows them to air issues as and when they arise and ensure they are a partnership moving forwards. It takes the client relationship to a deeper, more personal, level, showing them that you’re not just there to sell to them. 

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