Have you been struggling to scale your business despite your best efforts? Are you tired of being pulled back into the nitty-gritty of sales, rather than leading your team?
If so, you need to know about Walter Crosby's innovative leadership approach.
Walter Crosby is a renowned expert in helping entrepreneurs and CEOs scale their businesses. His approach emphasizes the importance of both techniques and values, recognizing that success requires both strategic thinking and strong leadership skills. By focusing on these two pillars, Crosby helps his clients move beyond the daily grind of sales and marketing to build thriving businesses that can weather any storm.
In this episode, you'll learn more about Walter Crosby's leadership approach and how it can help you take your business to the next level.
So, if you want to learn from a true expert in the field, and discover the techniques and values that can take your business to new heights, be sure to watch this episode. You won't be disappointed!
Listen to the Episode
Atiba de Souza: Hey, hey, welcome to another episode of the Build Your Team show. Now, today we've got to — and he doesn't know I'm about to do this — we're about to give a huge birthday shout out to my guest today cuz his birthday is coming up. By the time this airs probably will be his birthday will just pass. My guest, Walter Crosby.
And as always, Build Your Team is brought to you by Client Attraction Pros. Hey, it's time that you become the thought leader of your industry, and we're gonna help you do that and make it fast, easy, and fun.
Atiba de Souza: First, thank you for being here. Thank you for letting me put you on the spot by the way.
Walter Crosby: That's fine. Whatever makes you happy, Atiba. That's good. Thank you.
Atiba de Souza: Hey, we gotta have a little bit of fun, right? With all the stuff that's going on in the world and everything else. But Walter, I wanna go back with you for a little bit. If we could because you've been in business for a while. You've been successful in business, helped a lot of other people in business for a while.
But I wanna go back to when you were at that place of solopreneur. Maybe it was just you, maybe it was just you and family, or just you by yourself, but you were about to hire, or you needed to hire your first true employee outside person, right? I wanna go back there and just ask you, what were some of the things that you were thinking about, feeling or experiencing back then about bringing in that first person?
Walter Crosby: That's a good question. I think it doesn't matter how many times you've gone through and hired folks. That first time, the third time, doesn't matter. It's, is this person going to be a fit for the other people on the team? Are they gonna fit our culture? And did I give them a fair shot at understanding that prior to them saying, "Yes, I want to come aboard?", and us extending an offer.
I've always thought about competency in whatever that role is. It's my responsibility to help bring them along and to show them the way we do it, to have a process in place, right? And that here's how we do it. They might have a better idea as they get through it and get into it, and we can talk about it.
But the company's part, they have to have some basics for the role. But as it relates to salespeople, setting those expectations is I believe the responsibility of the person doing the hiring, and we need to lay that out to be fair, because they have to make a decision just like the employer does and if we don't give 'em that chance to make a good decision, giving them all of the facts, it's not fair. And whether they're the right fit or not, doesn't make 'em a good or bad person. It just, it is what it is. And getting them to play nice in the sandbox with the rest of the team and telling them what accountability looks like, what the expectations are, that's my job as an employer.
Atiba de Souza: Yes.
Walter Crosby: I think it's those two things, right? Did I explain the role properly and did I set the expectations right? Whenever I screw up the last one, it's a problem. But then I've also had situations where I've explained it and I've documented it and I've shared with them, "This is what it looks like," and then they like, "Oh, I didn't realize you were serious about that." It's like, "Oh, okay." So that I don't pick responsibility for. But it happened.
Atiba de Souza: I'm laughing because I know that reality. I know that conversation, right? Real quick, we just had this happen last week, but on the flip side, we had a guy who was brand new with us and we said, "Okay, here's what we need done," and, he was really coming, he wasn't an employee coming as a consultant. How long is it gonna take you? And we're talking on Thursday. He said, "Oh, I'll be done by Monday." I'm thinking, "Great. I wasn't expecting it that fast." The following Thursday. He wasn't half done.
Walter Crosby: He didn't tell you which Monday though. Did
Atiba de Souza: he?
Maybe that's what my problem was.
Walter Crosby: I've learned to ask the question when they're like, "I'll have that done Monday," and they're like, "Cool. Which Monday? The next one, or the one after that one, or the one after that?" Yeah.
Atiba de Souza: Or some random one in the future, right?
Walter Crosby: There you go. Yeah.
Atiba de Souza: That's why I was laughing cause I completely resonate with that. But let's dive in there because we talk here on this channel a lot about fit and hire for fit first. Because if, like you said, if they can be competent, but if they don't fit, it's gonna be bad. It's gonna be really, really bad, right? What are some of the techniques that you've used that to really make sure that you're instilling that fit and as you say, cuz it's your responsibility, so how do you do that?
Walter Crosby: I think it depends upon the role. If it's more of an admin role or somebody that's customer facing, but more administrative type role, I'm evaluating their engagement with me or whoever's doing the hiring for me, the first two or three metrics that they're looking at is, do they bring the right energy to the party? Is it authentic? Because if you take 'em down a little rabbit hole and come back, did they come with you or are they still over here with the bad thing that made 'em mad over here, right? Are they still holding on to that? It's about testing and listening throughout the conversation right?
Because we'll do a phone screen. We'll do interviews. I use different assessments to help me understand. I always do the assessments at the beginning. Everybody gets treated the same way for the same role. Well, the EOC wants us to do that. So it's important.
But I also think it's about being fair. So I also will ask the people that they're going to engage with as part of the team, and not just the manager, but one of the people that have been around and experienced bad team players, people that weren't able to work together because there's a certain amount of self-policing in the group themselves. We're like, "Hey, that's not how we do it here. We don't talk to people like that. We don't lose our crap in that way." So there's a series of things that we're doing, but I'm looking for authenticity.
I'm looking for the energy. Are they engaged in really listening to what we're asking? And are they giving us pat answers or are they really trying to answer the question? And from a sales perspective, I'm really looking for somebody that is able to listen more than they do speak and that they don't get rattled.
So from a sales interview part, I'm gonna treat them much like a prospect will treat them.
Atiba de Souza: Yes.
Walter Crosby: I'm gonna do it professionally. I'm gonna be polite. But I'm gonna try cutting people off in the conversation. I'll tell 'em that at the beginning and I think you give me the answer that I'm looking for.
I may just cut you off and say, thank you and we'll move to the next question. And if I dive a little deeper and they give me silly answers — I had one guy had on his resume, he was the top salesperson in the Midwest division. I said, "That's awesome, man. Congratulations. You get a little plaque or trophy." He's, "No, no, no, none of that." I'm like, "How many people in the Midwest region?"
Atiba de Souza: One.
Walter Crosby: Just him. I got a smile on my face and I'm like, "I love the creativity. That's awesome." But what I was really looking for was his reaction. And his reaction was, "Yeah, I know. I was looking for some positives in the role."
I'm like, "I get it. But you answered honestly. That's great. I appreciate it." So that honesty piece is important too. Did I answer that question?
Atiba de Souza: Absolutely. And what I'm hearing, I believe, is that you are approaching this as well with understanding what you value in each of these roles as you're looking for it. So you have an understanding of definition of fit, and it's not even just singular, it's almost a 360 definition of fit, right?
You as the owner, maybe a manager, maybe a coworker as well which I think is great.
Walter Crosby: That's a really good way to describe it cuz you know companies will have core values and sometimes they're just put up a poster up on the wall and it's where it stops. And then other companies really live their core values and it's obvious when they do.
I think I've done that without realizing that I'm really looking at what's important to us from a value point of view cuz I want somebody who's going to take responsibility for the outcomes of our customers and our clients. So it doesn't matter if it's an office administrator, a salesperson, somebody that's delivering a product to support that.
They all have ability to create value in their role and to make decisions. I was working at a manufacturing place once, and I was telling the story to somebody the other day that the guy on the dock, the loading dock, he would handle the shipping and he decided one day that they had 40 boxes that were going out, and he pulled one of the boxes and he shipped the 39.
And the customer was looking for this stuff and they needed it. And he came to me and said, "Hey, this is what I did." And I'm like, "Hey, why'd we do that, Gary?" He said, "Well, that box was damaged." I looked inside and there was a couple of things in there that weren't right. So I put those back and we can either overnight them or you can drop them off for them but I just didn't think it was right to ship it out broken and have them have to deal with."
And he didn't realize this. I said, "You know, Gary, that's amazing. Thank you. You made an executive decision to do the right thing for the customer, and I don't think that's ever a bad idea. And you came to me and told me what you did. So now I can call the customer and say, 'Hey, this is what he did. This is why he did it.'"
And that customer, two weeks later shows up at the office and he's like, "Hey, where's Gary at?" And I'm like, 'Well, he is in the back, shipping dock." And I said, "Just go back there and why are you looking for him?" He's like, "Well, I got this stuff."
He had a big box of swag from his company, right? Like a Yeti cooler things.
Atiba de Souza: Yeah. Yeah.
Walter Crosby: Which he was appreciative of what that man did to avoid problems. And I think that's important. You can't ask that question on in an interview, but I think you can look for those attributes in how somebody thinks. It really makes a difference sometimes.
Atiba de Souza: No, it makes a huge difference. And as a business owner, I'm sure it helps you sleep better at night too, right?
Walter Crosby: There's other problems that keep me up, but those —
Atiba de Souza: Well, yes. I mean, at least it's not that problem keeping you up, right? But yeah, when you know that your team is playing and pulling and all going in the same direction for the customer, it changes the environment.
And so speaking of the environment, there's something that you said a little bit earlier that I wanted to come back to cause it's something that I don't know if everybody wants this. I think once you have it, you don't know how you lived without it. And that's a self-policing culture.
Walter Crosby: Oh yeah.
Atiba de Souza: Right?
Walter Crosby: I think that's important. Yeah.
Atiba de Souza: How'd you create it? Or did you create it?
Walter Crosby: I don't think I did that with intention. I think we did it with hiring the right people with the right mindset, screwing that up a few times and then having the team say, "Why did you hire that person?" Like, well, A, B, and C. " Did you look at the other thing?" Yeah, you're right.
So I think it was a team effort to get to that point and that you have to be willing to make some mistakes, acknowledge them and then listen to the people that have been helping you as a team. I think that's always something that we need to do as a leader to be able to look in the mirror and think, "Yeah, I screwed that up and they're right."
And it's not always about giving people money, it's sometimes it's just listening to them and taking action on their ideas, is a huge piece of it.
Atiba de Souza: Yeah.
Walter Crosby: A good point.
Atiba de Souza: Absolutely. Absolutely. It was something in this iteration of our company that we lucked into, to be completely honest with you, and it just so happened that two of the very early hires on in this iteration of the company were people who were self-policing kind of culture people.
And they've pretty much run that and made sure that things were great and it had hit the, what I call, as the owner, the high watermark last October. October into November last year. We had just hired someone and I had to go speak in Germany and then was vacationing with my wife in Germany. And this person was around for maybe about three weeks or so, and I guess while I was gone, decided — well, they started before — but really while I was gone, decided to start cutting up and not showing up for meetings, not responding to things, not doing the stuff on time, and the team rose up and wrote her up, gave her warnings, and then let her go.
Walter Crosby: Wow. But you gave them the authority to do that.
Atiba de Souza: Yes.
Walter Crosby: You had to trust them to be able to make the right decisions and they went through the process.
Atiba de Souza: Yes.
Walter Crosby: You gave them the tools. They followed the tools. You trusted them to do that. They trusted themselves to take that big step cuz when you come back stateside, somebody had to say, "Oh yeah, we decided to let her go. But we followed the process and it's disappointing, but it is what it is." I think we do that. It would be great if we could say we did it on purpose.
But, I think I would be diluting myself if I did that, if I said that. But by putting the right people on the team, acknowledging that and trying to find more of those folks and let them help figure that out, that's how you create a good team and being open. Yeah, we gotta be open though.
Atiba de Souza: Absolutely. So let me ask you this question. I'm gonna taking a little bit of a left turn, but not totally, based on what you just said just now. I know you've been through interview processes because you already talked about that obviously, and building teams. Have you ever been in a situation where you are interviewing for a particular role and someone else applies, who they're not right for the role that you're interviewing for they may be right for a role that you know you need some time in the future, but more importantly, you realize "They'd be a really great fit on this team." I don't have a role for 'em today. They can't do the one that I was hiring for. Do you hire that person or let them go?
Walter Crosby: Damn, it's really tough questions. I think you try to hire the person if you have the resources and the wherewithal to do that. You can't put yourself in harm's way in the company and the rest of the team. So I would say that there might be a middle ground where you say to that person, "I really love all of these things about you, and I think you're a culture fit, and I think you would, but I don't have the spot yet. I'm not there," or whatever the reason is, right? "I would be really transparent, but I need to be able to stay in touch with you and our paths need to be cross again and I know you're gonna go do things that you need to do for yourself, but I'd like to be able to stay in touch. So when I do have this, to me the most important thing is a culture fit and you hit all the marks."
I don't think you can bring somebody on if you don't have the resources to do that, if it's gonna cause other challenges, you can create other problems.
Atiba de Souza: Absolutely.
Walter Crosby: But I don't think you let that person go without some kind of outreach there for future, at least get agreement. And if they're the right person, they'll understand that.
Atiba de Souza: Yeah.
Walter Crosby: And respect.
Atiba de Souza: Definitely. And your point about having the resources is a very valid one. Cause obviously, if you can't take on the salary, you can't take on the salary, right? I'll tell you, I have made the hard choice of deciding not to hire for the position that I was hiring for and to hire the person who was the right fit for a position that didn't exist yet.
And it's never bitten me in the tail. Now, was it hard for a couple of months? Yeah, because again, I was facing that whole resource thing, like I got budget for this. You show up, I'm gonna allocate the budget to you instead. But we needed that. So it's still gonna be hard on the team and everybody else in that period.
But the difference that having — and you said it earlier — the difference of having the right people on the bus, it just changes so much.
Walter Crosby: So when you bring that person on
Atiba de Souza: Yeah.
Walter Crosby: in the situation you have in your head right now, did you see a path to be able to have her be helpful to the team, to get an ROI out of it? Did you have a plan in mind to like, we've gotta figure this out?
Atiba de Souza: Yeah. Yeah. So, if you're in that place where you're — for me, this is my experience with that — if you find this person, then they are the absolute right fit, but not the right time, that is the conversation that you have with them before you hire them and you tell 'em, "Look, we're gonna blaze a trail together here, and if you are not cool with that, that's fine. This isn't right for you. You're still not the right person. You just proved that you weren't the right person. I was wrong. Fair and fine. Let's move on." But if they're great with that, then it does come back to, "Okay. Here's the plan, and now let's work to execute this together." And that's when I said it becomes tough for a few months because you're still missing a key piece that you wanted to hire for, but you've brought somebody else in.
So lemme give you an example. We hired a couple years ago before we were ready, a production manager. We weren't looking for a production manager at a time. And this young lady applied for a different position and when I saw her background, I was like, "That's our production manager." But we weren't ready for that for another three months.
Well, she came and the work that she did in that three months got us about two years ahead.
Walter Crosby: So smart decision.
Atiba de Souza: Yeah.
Walter Crosby: It comes down to whether you can be uncomfortable or not. I've been in situations where it was just not possible. But if it is possible cuz uncomfortable is different than impossible.
Atiba de Souza: Yes.
Walter Crosby: I've been in positions where I've taken less out to accommodate that need, but it's a difficult decision. But the other thing you have to have is be clear about what that next step is in your scenario, you knew what the production manager needed to do.
Atiba de Souza: Yes.
Walter Crosby: So you could have that whole vision mapped out.
Atiba de Souza: Yes. And that's to your point. And if you don't have that, like there was a gentleman that showed up that we interviewed and he was fantastic. This was about a month ago. He was absolutely fantastic. But he didn't fit the role that we needed. Like he wasn't good enough for what we needed. But man, he would've been right on the bus.
But I was just like, "I don't really need that skillset though. I love you. I think you're a wonderful person." And in his case, he's a master of Excel, right?
Walter Crosby: Okay.
Atiba de Souza: He's one of those wizards with all that Excel stuff, right?
Walter Crosby: Who makes the tables talk to each other and do different things. Yeah.
Atiba de Souza: And make 'em dance and sing at you and everything else, right? I'm like, "Yo, that's awesome, but we need that like once a year."
Walter Crosby: Yeah. Those are hard decisions that we have to make sometimes. There has to be a path forward, even if it's uncomfortable, you gotta be able to see that next step, two or three. You're playing chess?
Atiba de Souza: Always.
Walter Crosby: Sometimes people are playing Checkers.
Atiba de Souza: Well, okay, so let's talk about that. Let's talk about that because you're right, there are a lot of people who get in business and they play checkers, right? They're business owners and they treat it like it's a job, and they're almost like they're an employee themselves, and it's a checkers match, right? How did you transition from or was there ever a transition for you from realizing, This isn't checkers, this is chess, and that I need to be more strategic?"
Walter Crosby: I don't. It may sound arrogant, but I don't think I played checkers when I was doing my own thing. I think I learned in my roles as a salesperson through my career, I always looked at that as having a company within a company.
So I was running my own little business within the company
Atiba de Souza: Gotcha.
Walter Crosby: And I had autonomy. I had to follow rules, right? I used to ask the employer, "Hey, where are the bounds here?" Right?
Atiba de Souza: Right.
Walter Crosby: And they're like, "What do you mean where the bounds? Boundaries are where they always are." I'm like, "Yeah, but I'm gonna go outta bounds from time to time and I want to be able to be the first one to tell you that I went out of bounds."
And they're like, "Just don't go out bounds," right? And I always did. At that point, I learned that you have to be looking two or three moves down the board. I worked for a gentleman who could see 5, 6, 7 moves down the board and if in business, he wasn't a good chess player, but he could look down and see what was gonna happen next. And I learned that from him. So when I went out on my own, I didn't really feel like a big difference because I always thought entrepreneurial. I always thought about is, would I spend my money on this?
Well, then, I may have expensed it, but it would be like, that would be my criteria. Can I defend this? Would I be willing to pay for this outta my own pocket if the boss didn't wanna cover that. I think it was always there. I think I got better at it.
I don't think I can see eight moves down the board, but I think I've gotten better at trying to see what's gonna happen if I do this right and what does that mean for those people? And does it add value? Cuz that's what we're looking at. Does it help the team and does it help the customer?
Those are the criteria. And does it elevate the profession? Cause that's one of our goals.
Atiba de Souza: Yeah, that's a really great point. I'm glad that you also said that the ability to look ahead is something that can be learned cause I think so many people feel like you have to be clairvoyant in order to do it. right? And it's not that you learn from experience, right?
You learn from other people's experiences, hopefully if you're smart, right? I guess it's one of those things that if you're going to be — and this is personal opinion — if you're going to be a good business leader, you have to get good at? Right?
You have to be able to multiple ships in motion looking like they're going in different directions because each ship has to go pick up a different thing to then converge on a final point. Sometimes nine months, a year, two years from now, right?
Walter Crosby: You're running a logistical center, sometimes it feels like.
Atiba de Souza: Sometimes? Every day. Every day.
Walter Crosby: And sometimes you know what you wanna have happen and then something else happens. And I think that's another level as is being able to pivot, right? And it's like, well, we were trying to do X and then we ran into this thing. Now we have to either go through it, around it or over it.
And that becomes the next decision. To me learning from somebody else's mistakes when they're willing to share with you the whole story cuz sometimes people leave out some key details that are important, but if you have the relationship with other leaders and they're sharing in the right environment, you can really learn from those.
But getting our own nose blooded to me, those are the life lessons that we don't forget. I learned, I think I was about eight years old, that you have gravity's serious and you can't ride a bike up a side of a fence and continue on down the fence very far. You can do it a little bit, but eventually you fall and —
Atiba de Souza: It's a good lesson to learn.
Walter Crosby: Yeah, I had to learn it the hard way cause I saw other people do it. I'm like, "Ah, you're not just not going fast enough." So we learned to Clint Eastwood said, "A man's gotta know our own limitations." And I think we gotta know where those are, but we want to push them and stretch them and try to understand what could happen next.
And that's part of what being an entrepreneur is challenging the status quo and taking a little bit more risk and doing it in a way that doesn't blow up everything.
Atiba de Souza: Yeah, I totally agree with you and also the introspection there too. The ability to look at a situation and truly learn from it versus having it paralyze you, put you in fair, cause you to avoid and maybe you could talk to this, one of the things for me right now, as we're training a new generation of leaders in the company, and we're training people right now who didn't have a lot of leadership experience in the past to be managers, to be leaders in the company is recognizing how often people don't learn from their mistakes, how often they don't stop long enough to pay attention to, "Okay, I know what happened, but why did it happen?" And once I understand why it happened, how can I change to make sure that this doesn't happen again? Instead of just getting stuck in the what of what happened. Have you seen that? Have you gone through that with any of your leaders?
Walter Crosby: I don't think everybody has that capability because I don't think they want it. And there's nothing wrong with that. I don't think it's a judgment, but I think that there's a certain level that we all have to be able to discern why we did something. And this will sound terrible, but I had a sign shop, a sign business that I ran years ago.
When we hired an operations person that we're getting paid hourly, I would tell them on their first day, "Look, you're gonna make mistakes. We're cool with that. And we understand that that's part of the process of you learning. We're gonna train you, but you're still gonna screw something up. And it's fine. Now, we're gonna try to help you make sure you don't make big mistakes, but the little ones, you're gonna learn from. So here's what will happen, if something goes sideways, one of us is gonna come to you and say, 'Hey, this didn't work out. Why did you do it that way? What was your reason for deciding?'
And if you can give us a reason as to why you made that decision, we'll be able to say, 'Oh, we didn't tell you that. We didn't train you that. We didn't share that, or you just misunderstood, or whatever the reason is, and we can help and we're never gonna get upset.'" If you keep doing the same thing over and over, it's a different issue.
Atiba de Souza: A different issue.
Walter Crosby: But if you can tell us how you discern that decision, then we can help.
Atiba de Souza: Yeah.
Walter Crosby: The problem will come when I say, 'Hey, why'd you do that?" And you go, "I don't know." And when you say, "I don't know," to me, I translate that to "I don't care." And if you don't care, then I don't think I can help you and if you don't care and I can't help you, then maybe you're not right for —
Atiba de Souza: You don't belong here.
Walter Crosby: — for the team. I would have that conversation and the manager would have that conversation and we would say it differently, but we would say the same things. And it was interesting to watch how often somebody would say, "I don't know." And we would remind them of the conversation and they got a chance, right?
We just didn't dismiss 'em at that point. But they were in a process to help them get better or get out one or the other. That was part of the team idea, right? Because the team needed everybody to do something that was gonna help pull the wagon in the right direction. And those people, they weren't bad people. No, there was one that was bad guy, but for the most part they just like, "I don't want to think that hard. I don't wanna work that hard." And okay, that's cool. You can go someplace else and —
Atiba de Souza: And not work hard.
Walter Crosby: Yeah. And hopefully you find the right spot for that. But to me, I think we try to give people an opportunity to make mistakes.
I think that's how we make leaders is give them an opportunity to make, make mistakes in a controlled environment and coach, cuz if we don't coach them then we're failing as a leader.
Atiba de Souza: Absolutely.
Walter Crosby: And coaching isn't giving them the answers. It's helping them discover that for themselves.
Atiba de Souza: Yes. So let me share this with you. As you say, not giving them the answers. So we do something called the 131. And I learned this from another business owner, actually from South America and she was telling me this is what she does with her team because people come all the time, we were talking about how team growth, right?
When your team gets to a certain size, all you do is like sit in triage all day long, right? Talking to people with issues and issues and issues and you can't get any work done. And so we're talking about that and she says, "So I did the 131." And so everybody comes and they have a problem. You got a problem, that's your one. You come with one problem. When you come with one problem, I want you to also come with three possible solutions that you have thought through. Okay? Come with three and come with one that you believe out of those three is the absolute best and the solution that we should go with. So don't bring me your problem unless you can come with the 131.
Walter Crosby: That's a solid technique that forces them to think about their problem before they lay it at your feet.
Atiba de Souza: Yes. I'm sharing this with everybody here because it's done such wonders for us because number one, it forces people to think. Number two, so often they came up with the answer that their manager would have come up with anyway. They just didn't trust themselves.
Walter Crosby: Right? But that's what you're really doing, is instilling that confidence level in them, especially when they have the right answer.
Atiba de Souza: Yes.
Walter Crosby: And you can still instill that confidence if they have an okay answer cuz you can kind of like, "Okay, well, that might work. Did you think about this aspect of it?"
Then they might pick it up. There's still coaching that can be done there. But that's a great simple coaching framework to help people to think about a problem constructively before they bring it to their manager, their leader to whatever the situation is. I love it. That's great.
Atiba de Souza: Yeah. Well, I'm glad I could share. It's worked wonders for us. Glad to share. Well, Walter, we could talk all day. But I want you to take a moment, tell everybody, cuz we've talked about you and we talked about admin teams a little bit, we talked about sales teams and so I'm sure by now people are a little bit curious about who is this guy, Walter? What does he do? What's his company? Who does he serve? So please tell us who you are? Who you serve? What you do? And how people can reach you?
Walter Crosby: Well, thank you. I'm an Entrepreneur, I think at heart. But I've created an agency in 2016 out of frustration as to where I was in my life. What I wanted to do is to help sales managers elevate their game, help sales people elevate the profession that they're in.
But really, entrepreneurs are the ones that are struggling with these big challenges within their sales organization. So what we try to do is help them take a step back or three from where they are and try to understand what is really causing the problems that they're experiencing and then solve the problems that are causing, the underlying problems, that's what we're trying to fix, and that's not always apparent. I'll give you a quick example. Somebody's struggling because their revenue forecast has been wrong by over 30% for the last 18 months, and they're frustrated. They can't plan. They're pulling their hair up.
So typically that problem is caused because there's no discipline around what goes into their sales pipeline. There's no criteria for defining who their target is, what a real deal is, so it's like everybody's in the pool, no ability to decide, "Is that a good fit for us? Can we really help them? Are we able to deliver value?"
So it's a little bit more complicated, but we're basically stepping back and if we fix that problem, it fixes a revenue problem, that forecast, but it also fixes three or four other issues. We start by looking at strengths and weaknesses of a team, looking at the talent and then moving forward through five buckets, sales people, sales managers, systems and processes, sales hiring and sales leadership.
Where we start is, what do we have? What's working, what's not working? Let's build on what we have. But it starts with having talent. And if we don't have that, you can't just get rid of people but sometimes they haven't been helped. Sometimes they haven't been given information.
Entrepreneurs are required in my mind to be able to set the stage, be able to — here's the story we're supposed to tell, here's the people we're supposed to tell it to, and here's how often we're supposed to tell it. So that's really what we're all about. I differentiate ourselves because, I'm sales development guy.
I'm not a sales trainer. We'll do some sales training, but that's not where you start. Most people will do sales training because we've done something. We've given them tools and they should be able to pick it up from here. And it's not always possible. It's a waste of resources more often than it's not and we're talking billions of dollars in this country on an annual basis. So for the small business guy, that's who we're looking to work with, is the small teams is trying to get their proverbial sales organization, organized and getting them prepared to go to market. So that's where we start. And people can reach me at helixsalesdevelopment.com or on LinkedIn. They look up Walter Crosby. I'm there.
Atiba de Souza: Fantastic. First and foremost, everybody, we're gonna put all those links in the description and in the show notes, so you'll have those. But Walter, thank you, thank you, thank you for being here, buddy. It was such a great conversation.
Walter Crosby: This was fun. I really appreciate it.
Atiba de Souza: Oh, absolutely, and I will end where I started with Happy Birthday, buddy!
Walter Crosby: Thanks, man. Appreciate it.
Atiba de Souza: All right, everybody. Have a good one. Bye-bye.
Walter Crosby: you. Bye.