The Race to Intimacy. What can your sellers do about it?


If you don’t already listen to the All In Podcast, from a sellers perspective it’s a great prognosticator of where the puck is going. You have 3 Billionaires and 1 Centamillionaire reviewing the world from a vantage point that most of us don’t get – in the belly of the biggest deals in the world. Last week’s episode had a brief clip about how companies are in a Race to Intimacy.

Let’s explore this from the lens of a seller.

Here are the three topics this week:

1. The Race to Intimacy. What can your sellers do about it?

2. I’ve seen this playbook before. You have time to learn AI-based sales skills.

3. The future of Enablement-as-a-Service disrupting Sales Training events.

The Race to Intimacy. What can your sellers do about it?


A company’s website was optimized for SEO keywords. Over time, buyers read through the BS of keyword stuffing. More and more customers want to feel they “know you”.

People like Sam Parr who run My First Million Podcast have talked about how podcasting gets so intimate with their audience that when he meets fans of the show, they approach him as if they’re old college roommates. There is an incredibly intimate (I know Sam) feeling that comes with podcasting.

Near Future:

Back to companies – websites are moving towards a “Conversational UI”. An experience that can make you feel like when you “get to know” characters in a movie. You start to empathize with them. You start to feel you know why they do the things that they do.

As a coach to sellers, I can’t stress enough how I feel in my heart-of-hearts that “what’s old is new again”.  The idea is that account-based sellers (the core relationship builders with customers) will need to control their own brand authentication with their customers. At a tactical level, this has AE’s all around the world:

  • Start podcasts
  • Start newsletters
  • Start YouTube video series
  • Post consistently on LinkedIn
  • Create Digital Sales Rooms
  • Host / Join webinars or LinkedIn Lives

There is no shortage of mediums to draw customers inward. But the key here is to help customers “feel they know you”.

I’ve seen this playbook before. You have time to learn AI-based sales skills.

In the summer of 2012 (11 years ago), I started to develop the 1st sales training curriculum on Social Selling. Every year I was so scared that:

  • I’ll have 100 competitors
  • LinkedIn will give the same training away for free
  • Every seller in the world will learn this overnight.

Year-by-Year until about 2017/2018, I was convinced this was our last year to train in Social Selling. And then a light switch went on in my head. Why don’t we partner with some research firms to understand the true adoption curve of Social Selling inside and outside our customer base?

The result – it was Pareto’s Law. 20% of sellers had/and will always adopt a new skill, and 80% will dabble or not implement it at all. 11 years later, the results are largely the same.

I remember Jill Rowley telling me a story about the same adoption curve of both CRM and Marketing Automation. It took 10-20 years for either to become a main staple in GTM budgets.

You can argue that “this time will be different” because Generative AI will be like a super Moore’s Law (2x more powerful, and 2x less expensive every year)… but no matter how fast the technology evolves, the human sellers that leverage AI as a co-pilot will generally adopt at the same pace:

  • 20% will become A-Players. Part of their DNA.
  • 50% will become B-Players. Occasional usage/use cases.
  • 30% will become C-Players. These are the same type of sellers that aren’t really on LinkedIn yet. These are the sellers that rarely use their CRM.

So don’t panic. You have time. The technology will by its very nature evolve faster than you.

Pioneers take the arrows, Settlers take the land.

Let the use cases evolve over the next 18 months, and then learn to build yourself a 2025-2030 sales foundation.

The future of Enablement-as-a-Service disrupting Sales Training events.

I had a unique opportunity to talk to the lead M&A advisor for basically every sales training transaction that’s mattered over the last 10 years. The value of this conversation for you (the sales leader / AE reading this) is M&A advisors help you understand where the ball is going, not just where it’s been.

The market is going through a massive transformation. The old relics are selling their project-based IP, and the new dogs are reimagining how learning is best utilized for the sales experience. No longer is it good enough to have a large basket of training courseware or some really great gray-haired sales trainers. Sales training needs to have KPIs no different than a SaaS product. And that’s why sales enablement is “As-a-Service” itself right now,

  1. No one is keen to spend $100,000’s or $1,000,000’s for event-based learning anymore.
  2. Don’t even call it learning anymore. The only metric that matters is application. Transfer the knowledge any way you want, but make sure that my sellers are getting a 3x, 5x, and 10x ROI on this spend from this application in 6-12 months.

This is why we are disrupting ourselves. My company Sales for Life pioneered Social Selling. The business model was a mixture of event and subscription-based learning. We are merging that IP/Training into Pipeline Signals over the upcoming months to continue building a subscription service that truly meets the needs of the sales community.

  1. Free SKO/QBR speaking engagements with a subscription.
  2. Quarterly program roll-outs with outcomes-based certifications (case study defenses).
  3. Unlimited sellers in each program (no cost per user).
  4. Unlimited usage of our “hooks”. Hook #1 right now is:
  • Signal Intelligence Monitoring. Monitor all your customers and prospects for Job Change Alerts. That sales intelligence can be delivered via. CSV or Integrated into your CRM/Sales Engagement platform.
  • In the future, we have a list of no-code/low-code tech Hooks to aid the sales community.

Turns out that what we’re building and scaling at Pipeline Signals aligns with the future.
Our new website at Pipeline Signals launches any day. Check it out here

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Each AE needs to understand their “Self-Generated Quota Gap” – the percentage of quota THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR not covered from inbound sources. They have to create this sales pipeline themselves.

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