Transcript from REVstars interview with Kevin Dorsey
Speaker: Kevin Dorsey, VP of Inside Sales at PatientPop
Interviewer: Sydney Sloan, CMO at Salesloft
[Intro, musical overlay]
Interviewer: Hey, hey, KD. Nice to see you.
Kevin Dorsey: Oh, Happy to be here.
Kevin Dorsey: Happy to be here.
Interviewer: So first off, just tell us a little bit about yourself. Your name, your title, how do you describe what you do to your parents?
Kevin Dorsey: Whew, okay. Name Kevin Dorsey. Title, VP of Inside Sales at PatientPop. How do I describe what I do to my parents? I guess a lot of cat herding I think is how I normally start. I lead a sales team, I coach salespeople, I teach salespeople how to sell the right way and that tends to get me through the Thanksgiving dinner, and they don’t ask me any more questions.
Interviewer: Of course, I read all of your LinkedIn posts, which are awesome.
Kevin Dorsey: Thank you.
Interviewer: They are inspiring and I can tell you put thought into it. You’re rigorous, you’re disciplined. How do you pass that through to your team?
Kevin Dorsey: Most of what I read and study now is on habits and discipline and execution. The way I think I bring it to my team the most are like checklists, reminders. Like, here are the simple things, here are the little things that if we do day in and day out will lead to the big results. Right? If I can take thinking out of it, we spend so much time thinking, we spend so much time trying to remember what to do. I try to take some of the remembering away, like here’s what we need to do. Here are simple ways to do it. Now you can bring your personality into it. Now you can bring yourself into it.
Kevin Dorsey: When people talk about putting their spin on things, it doesn’t tend to work if the fundamentals aren’t there. Now you’re just changing it. But if I can make it easier to remember, that’s a huge step. I love Checklist Manifesto. It’s one of my favorite books. If they can save lives in the hospital, then checklists can help salespeople sell better too.
Interviewer: Yeah. Curious, it’s a debate we’re having right now on activity levels versus outcome. Are they directly linear?
Kevin Dorsey: Yes. Yes. They are. I get a little bit tired of the debate of you know what? No. It’s results only. Because I can also guarantee if I walked out to my team tomorrow and said, “You know what? Results only environment. You hit, you stay, you don’t, you don’t.” Oh wow, would activity go up? Right? It’s this in between.
Kevin Dorsey: I’m not an activity hound. I’m an efficiency hound. If you were going to work for eight hours, what can you get done in eight hours? When I was selling, I tried to avoid the back in my day type stuff because it doesn’t matter. It’s for other people. But I consistently made 70 dials every day. Very rarely did I make 75 and very rarely did I make 64. I got to my 70 and I was like, okay, I’m out. I did it. I’d be willing to bet if we doubled the entire industry’s compensation, doubled it, do you think results would double?
Interviewer: I’m going to guess no.
Kevin Dorsey: I have my feelings. Do you think if we walked out of here-
Interviewer: You might get a 10% lift. You wouldn’t get a linear lift.
Kevin Dorsey: You wouldn’t get a linear lift and you wouldn’t get a sustained lift. You’d get a short-term lift of maybe 10 to 15% and then it would reset back to where it was. Money doesn’t motivate most people.
Interviewer: Some people say you get to choose to be happy. I’m actively practicing gratefulness and it’s amazing what it can do when you’re faced with a situation, like you get to choose how life reacts to it. I was reading Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning.
Kevin Dorsey: Yes, so good.
Interviewer: That’s when it happened. I think I posted out one of your LinkedIn posts. But it is, it is a choice and you can create your own reactions to your situation.
Kevin Dorsey: Something that changed my mindset a lot on happiness though is happiness is a chemical. It’s a chemical. It’s a chemical release in your brain and you actually can’t always be happy. That was a big eyeopener for me. You can be fulfilled, but happiness is fleeting. If you ask most people what happiness means, what they’re actually describing is joy. Happiness is a long term and it’s more of a satisfaction and a fulfillment. Most people are seeking joy, which is those sparks, those peaks of all those things.
Interviewer: Okay, so we were in the room a minute before and we have our tagline up, “Where sales is going.” That’s one of the things we believe, that sales is going around building relationships. It’s not just about the close. You said the order of the words was wrong?
Kevin Dorsey: I did.
Interviewer: Where is sales going?
Kevin Dorsey: Where is sales going?
Interviewer: So where do you think sales should be going?
Kevin Dorsey: Sales, where do I think it should go? Or I think it’s going?
Interviewer: Both. Drop the knowledge.
Kevin Dorsey: We don’t in sales get to make this decision, and that’s what we forget. Who decides where sales is going? The buyer. The buyer does, and no one talks about that. Cold calling, cold emailing, social selling. Will AI replace sales? We don’t get to decide that. Buyers don’t trust us right now. They don’t. I think less than 4% of buyers trust a salesperson. Trust them.
Kevin Dorsey: I think sales is truly going to have to shift to education. That’s where sales is going to have to go. I literally posted about this, this morning on the way up here. I took a 6:00 AM flight, I was at the airport at five o’clock. I’ve slipped up in the past two months of not doing the things that I know are best for me. I haven’t been meditating, I haven’t been exercising regularly. I haven’t been doing my journaling. I haven’t been proactively trying to make people better. I haven’t been proactively bringing joy to the office. This is me.
Interviewer: That’s your checklist, is that your checklist?
Kevin Dorsey: Those are things, like if I check those boxes, back to standards, if I do those things, I know I’m setting myself up best for success. I haven’t been doing those things. Work becomes all consuming. I just went through a move. There’s been leadership changes at my company, and so it becomes all consuming. You stop doing the things. We are the only species on this planet that will consciously do things that are bad for us and consciously not do things that are good for us. We know what to do. We just don’t do it. My personal journey is like one, how can I figure that out for myself? How do you do the things that you know lead to success. That next step is how do you help other people do it.
Interviewer: Last question for you. Okay, what’s the one thing that you want to accomplish before you die?
Kevin Dorsey: I think I just said it.
Kevin Dorsey: It’s figuring out to the best of my ability how to help people be better. If I can find some sort of formula or some sort of system, some way to make it predictable, to help others truly accomplish more than they could have on their own. That’s what I want.
Interviewer: What you call the title of your book?
Kevin Dorsey: Shit.
Interviewer: That’s a great title.
Kevin Dorsey: I don’t know. Probably, that might be it.
Interviewer: Shit yeah.
Kevin Dorsey: It might be “Deep breath, Shit.” I don’t even know. Also I probably wouldn’t write a book because salespeople don’t read books, so that’s a whole ‘nother topic. But I think I would call it What’s Best. That’s probably what I would call it. What I’d say to my managers, like when we have meetings, when we’re talking about a problem, the question I’ll ask always is, what’s best and why not? What do we believe is best in this situation? Then why not do it?
Kevin Dorsey: Sometimes what’s best, there’s a good reason why not. It’s not the right time. It would have a worse impact over here, and you figure those things out. But if I could find a way to help people actually accomplish what they want to accomplish, predictably, man, shoot, I would die happy. I would die happy today, but that would be something I look back at and go, wow. Look at that.
Interviewer: Got it. Awesome. Thank you.
Kevin Dorsey: Can we hug? I’m coming in. I don’t care.
[Kevin and Sydney hug]