In this episode: Morgan J. Ingram, Director of Sales Execution and Evolution at JB Sales Training, joins us to share his amazing success journey in sales. How does a world-class sales trainer get his education? What role did public speaking play in his ability to transition to a sales career? And how do you start producing content that people actually want to watch?
In this episode: Morgan J. Ingram, Director of Sales Execution and Evolution at JB Sales Training, on his amazing success journey in sales, his education etc.
Welcome to seller’s journey, the podcast where we speak to great sales reps and leaders and share their real stories from start to sales success.
Joseph Fung: Hi, everyone! I am Joseph Fung, and today we’re speaking with Morgan Ingram. Morgan is the Host of the SDR Chronicles and the Director of Sales Execution and Evolution at JB Sales Training. Morgan, thank you for joining us.
Morgan J. Ingram: Happy to be here.
Joseph Fung: I’m so looking forward to this conversation. A mutual friend introduced us and had a chance to get to know a little bit about your story. Yeah, thank you for being willing to share it with our audience today.
Morgan J. Ingram: Absolutely man.
Joseph Fung: So to set the stage again, because most our audience may not have met you yet, where are you calling in from? Where did you grow up in? And where did you go to school?
Morgan J. Ingram: So I’m calling it from Atlanta, Georgia, born and raised there and I went to the University of Georgia, graduated in Sports, Business Sports Management and also in finance. So that’s my background, and that’s where I’m coming from.
Joseph Fung: A lot of business, sports management and finance. I mean your plate was full.
Morgan J. Ingram: Yeah, there was a lot going on plus we have the most bars per capita, so you know, I might indulge in my another degree which is basically all we do is, go out and drink because Atlanta is crazy. So that would be the third degree that I got there and but, yeah, it was an exciting time, and you know definitely learned a lot during that time.
Joseph Fung: Everybody, everyone tells me I need to spend more time in Atlanta and Georgia, and I did not. I’ve never heard that fact. I am adding this to my bucket list just to spend more time there. That is a good reason to get down there.
Morgan J. Ingram: After this Georgia, it’s crazy, you can get, I mean we went out every day, and you pretty much didn’t have an excuse because we would have like penny beers, we’d have like, dollar shots, like it was insane like I can’t even go back there now, because, I just feel like, I would just lose my mind. So yeah, we only go back once a year to go to a home game. So that’s kind of we are up there.
Joseph Fung: That’s so good. Now, I know we’re gonna tell a little bit about your story. But again we kind of heard we started was kind of catch up. Where you are right now? I know this isn’t a show about pitching, but the Jay Burroughs’ sales program, so awesome maybe you could start off with a bit of an elevator pitch. What do you guys do? You know, what’s the offer?
Morgan J. Ingram: Yeah I mean, no rolling over and overpitch here. I mean all we really do today is that we focus on prospecting and bomb the phone old skills, and within that, we make sure that its modern sales best practices in real-world info. So we just see so, we just see ourselves as sales trainers who happen to be sales reps, our sales reps already have three sales trainers at the end of the day, so that’s where we come from.
Joseph Fung: I love it. Now, you spoke a little bit about having a full plate you know during college, and I know we spoke a little bit about it was the phrase you use tasting there’s a number of experiences, yeah maybe you could share a bit about some of the things that kept you busy during school because it’s such an interesting mix.
Morgan J. Ingram: Yes. So, the concept of tasting comes from when people are like all like what kind of foods do you like and the only way that you can like, foods is, if you eat them right, if someone comes up to you and says yeah I don’t like sushi and then never try sushi, you’re gonna look at them pretty crazy. So, the whole thing here is that you have to try out new throughout things to see it work.
So when I was in college, I did a sports internship at most people don’t know this, at Georgia Gwinnett College. I was, this is funny, I literally don’t know this before, so I was the scorekeeper for the baseball and softball team, and I also did the analytics because I wanted to see, do I like the analytics in sports management, and I did not like it, I loved it, and it was not fun, and then I also did some other stuff. I did some equipment management. I just tried out everything because I was like I don’t really know if I’m gonna like this or not and I also did some ticket sales as well at the University of Georgia.
I wasn’t a big fan of that. I also was the Head of Sponsorships at a creative music agency, so we help them with their bookings, and we help them with their brand. That was cool, but I didn’t like the music, I didn’t like how the music scene was, because you had to stay out late and it was really long hours and the pay obviously, in the long run, wasn’t as great. And also as well, I did Director Of Sponsorships and Sales at a company called Professional Association, as Professional Association Of Sports and so we did a lot of stuff there, and we had a lot of events, and I did a lot of sponsorships and then also I started my own company in college with events related to gaming, and so I was a person that was, and I did a lot more stuff too, but I was always on the move I was always doing something, and that’s how people knew me.
Was just I was always doing something because I just felt like, why not like there’s so much time in college to learn different things, and you’re paying for college for the most part, or you have a scholarship you might as well use all the advantages there and leveraged all that time to figure out what you really want to do, and that’s why I came out of college with a lot more clarity in the most because I was just trying out a lot of different stuff.
Joseph Fung: I completely agree and especially taking the time to try finding your own thing. I founded my first company. Yeah, during college as well. And you know I completely empathize with it, the challenge but also the amount of insight it can give you. So, I love that journey and man that was a lot on your plate.
Morgan J. Ingram: Yeah, but, I like it. I don’t like not doing something, and I’ve always wondered what that was, and I always do a lot of research and things I interest in self. So my girlfriend sent me to this a couple of weeks ago, was an Enneagram. Maybe, we were taking this test?
Joseph Fung: No, I haven’t.
Morgan J. Ingram: Alright, you take this test. Come at it, so it’s Enneagram Test it’s like E N N E A G R A M, Enneagram Test and what it does is, it breaks down yourself into nine different types. So, my type is type 3, which is the performer and essentially the stress that we have is we value work; we value our image more than anything else. So, I was just so hyper, focused on having a certain image of being a workaholic, and that conflicted a lot with my emotions towards my relationships and etc., And I’ve been able to focus more on that, and I’m better at my relationships, I’m better at understanding myself outside of just the image that I have of a professional standpoint. But the reason I was going so hard in college is because I knew that if I didn’t work hard, that image would falter because I felt like everything was based on your professionalism. So that I had a lot to do with why I worked so hard as well.
Joseph Fung: That’s awesome. I’ve looked it up. I bookmarked it, I am gonna finish that right after we finish our Interview. It is the best thing!
Morgan J. Ingram: It is mind-blowing, and I’ll send you something else as well. It breaks up into different levels. Once you understand your type of who you are so, you’ll see like if you’re unhealthy, if you’re average or you’re a healthy type 3, type 4, type 5 and it helped me and my friends understand how we need to navigate a conversation with each other. It’s very fascinating. So that’s probably one of the reasons why I was testing so much because I had to figure out like what I want to do is myself.
Joseph Fung: Nice. So you had the chance to taste all these different careers and directions. Love that you found out that you didn’t love analytics as much. That’s always good to find a good negative.
Morgan J. Ingram: Yes, its scorekeeping I guess, that wasn’t for me.
Joseph Fung: So you clearly didn’t get to scorekeeping right out of college. You mentioned getting more into speaking. Can you share a bit about what that decision was like? What that was like?
Morgan J. Ingram: So this is a funny one. So I was at Georgia Gwinnett College. And one of the classes, I had to take was public speaking. I’m not a big fan of school. I’m very ADD, and I’m not great at paying attention when I think the topic is boring, so I just wasn’t that great at school because I’m a hands-on person. I have to be doing it otherwise. I’m just like whatever I go in like daydream mode that’s just how I am. And so when it comes to public speaking, I naturally was really great at it. And my public speaking teacher told me that, I got an ad on every single project but, I never studied, I never prepared, I came up with stuff before the night and I just naturally just leaned on that gift of speaking and it’s super funny now because my teacher said, “hey look if you could ever take this seriously, this could be something that can impact a lot of people, and you can make a career off of”, and so I neglected it, because, I wanted to go into being a sports agent.
And after I graduated college, I realized that that was something that I needed to do because when I mentioned the sports company, the college gaming company that I created, it was successful from a college standpoint from a CEO college kid. That I got put in the newspaper and when I got put in the newspaper, an organization reached out to me because they wanted me to come to speak to their students and I didn’t really want to do that because again I didn’t really care about public speaking at the time. I just wanted to be behind the scenes which are funny because now like, I post content on videos and stuff like that.
Joseph Fung: So that’s really behind the scenes.
Morgan J. Ingram: Yeah, it’s just funny. So I went out there, and I did the speech for like 15 to 20 people. And Joseph, it was life-changing. Like people came out to me and there they were like, this is what we needed to hear, I’m not gonna take action on what I’m gonna do, I like I wanted to hear someone from like from, you like, right and so I took that moment and realized maybe this is something that I was called to, so maybe this is God’s gift, right, so I took it more seriously. I started doing more speaking, and I realized that my words had an impact, and that’s when I got into public speaking, and that’s when I started to take it seriously and study the craft.
Joseph Fung: So you did public speaking, right, out of school? But you eventually ended up at terminus. Can you share a bit around the decision-making? What got you into sales? How did that happen?
Morgan J. Ingram: Yeah. So I was studying a lot of public speakers on YouTube. That’s how I started in. so I would go on YouTube. I would study people how they spoke, how they would navigate on stage, and that’s what I did. I studied it like – a very sickening degree. I really like tried to nail it down. And I noticed that a lot of the speakers were in sales and I as well, if I can get good at public speaking, then I naturally should be able to go into sales, and I also made the decision that if I can do this and it’s super hard to learn how to sell from.
But people told me, then I should be able to navigate any conversations I have for moving forward, right. So that was the conscious decision that I made, and then obviously as I got into it, I learned all the ins and outs and realized that I’d like to prospecting, etc., but that was the decision I made, and also I wasn’t making a lot of money as a public speaker. So I realized that sales could make you a lot of money and that was also the reason that I got into it.
Joseph Fung: What was that like? I mean, you’ve had the chance to sample everything; you’ve had a chance to kind of experiment with your own career. What was the biggest surprise of getting into sales?
Morgan J. Ingram: That is not just about being hype, it’s not about being loud, and it’s not about being extroverted.
Joseph Fung: Can you unbox out a little bit? I mean we often think it’s about building that relationship, building that rapport, having gregarious conversations. But it sounds like you have a different opinion. Can you unbox that?
Morgan J. Ingram: Completely different. I’ve realized that some of the best salespeople out there are introverts because they listen better. Also, that just stat out there are women, are better sales reps than males. I don’t know what the exact stat is we couldn’t probably find it, but normally the high performers in sales organizations are women, because they’re better listeners, they’re more intentional. And so I didn’t know that going into it, but the more that I’ve studied, I realized that the best sales reps, they listen and they ask great questions.
And I did do a great job of that at the beginning. A lot of that was just, yo I’m hype, I got a lot of energy, I’m extroverted, like, and why would you not just buy, right. Why would you not just take this meeting with me, right! Like I’m a very personable person right, but that’s not the case like, you’re not really listening, and people want to be heard, and so that was the biggest mindset shift for me because my perception of sales was different because of the movies and the people I interact with I thought that was just about energy and I was completely mistaken.
Joseph Fung: I love the way you characterized it. Listening first, we speak to our network, our students a lot about empathy and empathizing of the buyer, and your comments about listening are such great compliments to that. So thank you for highlighting that.
Morgan J. Ingram: Absolutely!
Joseph Fung: Now, you’ve had quite the kind of great journey we spoke a bit about how you got into sales. I mean you’re now you know hosting, video, speaking, working at a sales training firm, without digging into all the steps because I know I promised we wouldn’t take a huge amount of your time. Where did you pick out a highlighter tool for us? What successes are you most proud of so far?
Morgan J. Ingram: I want to talk about first, you said, “how did all this happen?” So, Gary Vaynerchuk, are you familiar with him?
Joseph Fung: Yeah.
Morgan J. Ingram: Fan! Don’t like him like, where’s your stance on with him.
Joseph Fung: I think he dropped some interesting insights. I don’t agree with a lot of what he shares, but the one thing I gotta hand it to him, he knows how to build an audience and engage with them, and that’s something that I inspired to emulate.
Morgan J. Ingram: So that’s what stuck out to me. I watched his, oh someone sent me a video of him, it’s all for a reason. So someone sent me a video, and I was like, yo this dude is a way to I hear. I thought he was on drugs. I was like why just he just send me this guy, like, the first video. I couldn’t handle him. Then, my ex-girlfriend sent me and other one she was like here like it was separate obviously ex-girlfriend opinion a girlfriend at the time, she was like hey! Look like, you should check this guy out he’s similar to you and in that video she sent me was in direct alignment with where I was at, at the time…
Joseph Fung: Interesting…
Morgan J. Ingram: I watched 30 videos straight after that and one thing he was saying over and over again as I was watching him. I realized that he was at the point where he was doing is asking at we show. A lot of people asked him like how do I be a speaker? Like, how do I get all the audience? And he was like, you have to document your journey, and so I took that to heart, I met him in person and everything, not one-to-one but like at a conference and he said, “Hey, look you’re 23”, I was 23 22 at the time, he was like, “you’re coming in the sales world where all these people who have influence, have the experience, you said you don’t have that, so don’t say here’s my opinion, just say hey, here’s what I’m going through and join me on this journey”, and so how I’ve been able to see success accolades, recognition, whatever you are looking at is because all I’ve done is just document my journey, whether that’s great, whether it’s bad, whether it’s a failure that I’ve had, I’ve never posted something that I haven’t done, or I haven’t experienced.
And so the key thing is I’m documenting everything that I’m doing to show people the journey that I’ve been on that it’s possible for you to go on that same journey as well and you don’t have to come off as like a guru or a know-it-all and some people may perceive it that way but at the end of the day you know your true intentions on why you create the content and so what I’m the most proud of is one being able to have a brand that others that I respect in the industry, such as John Barrows who put me on his team such as Kevin Dorsey who’s my mentor that have a lot of experience that we can have conversations as we are friends.
And it’s like a good mentor mentee relationships and also what I’m really most proud of is, two years in a row winning LinkedIn Topsails Voice 2018 and 2019 and that’s purely selected by LinkedIn and their peers and so just shows how much investment you can put into yourself and how much that can grow when you stay true to the journey and so that’s what I’m most proud of and that’s really the steps that I’ve taken to get where I’m at.
Joseph Fung: I love the way you characterize that and thank you so much for sharing some of that journey with us…
Morgan J. Ingram: Yeah absolutely!
Joseph Fung: If people want to follow that journey, you know they are tapped into what your gurgling. What’s the best place for them to do that? Is that LinkedIn or somewhere else? How can they stay in touch?
Morgan J. Ingram: Lynden link is a great way to see where I’ve come so far, but the best place to go to is the chronicles looking at that first video I mean I created that video as crazy as it looks the production’s terrible but to show people that this is all a journey like if you go look at the first video till now you see that production has increased, I have a different camera, have different lighting. I’m more crisp to the point, I’m not all over the place like I first started, but I did that to show people the progression so you can always go look at that first video if you’re struggling to figure out how do I get myself out there, you don’t start off and all start, you start off as a beginner, and there’s a great documentary that most people probably watching right now.
Last dance by Michael Jordan, I think it’s a fantastic documentary because it shows people that, Michael Jordan didn’t win every single time he went in the playoffs like he got beat up by the Pistons, he got swept in rounds before he even got to the greatness that he’s at today right, but he had to go through those obstacles, and I think it’s just to show people, what you can do and how to maximize your time.
Joseph Fung: These are fantastic. I’m gonna make sure we include a link not just to, young like Dan, but the SDR Chronicles you know the description. Do you mind if we fire off a couple of rapid-fire questions before we let you go? Do you have a minute for that?
Morgan J. Ingram: Let’s do it!
Joseph Fung: Awesome! Okay, so first off technology. What’s your favorite sales tool?
Morgan J. Ingram: My favorite sales tool right now is, Drift Video. Because a lot of people are sitting at home right now and this is a great way to interact them via video and the cool thing about Drift Video is that when someone watches the video, you can chat with them live as they watch it. So that’s one of my favorite tools right now.
Joseph Fung: Right and movies. What’s your favorite movie?
Morgan J. Ingram: My favorite movie is Avatar, and the reason I love the movie is, I want to go see it like, just like five times, because of the 4d and the 3d, and I’m a huge person on visuals, I’m a visual person, and also I just love the story, remind it is based on Pocahontas, and it’s based on social demographics and diversity and like racism all that stuff, and it’s the stuff that I’m fascinated in, I wrote a paper on it. So it’s one of my favorite movies, and I’m excited when they drop ever Tartu.
Joseph Fung: I love it. You kind of single-handedly ensured they hit those box office records.
Morgan J. Ingram: Yeah any exception to, inceptions right they’re like those two movies are like my top.
Joseph Fung: Oh, that’s great! Okay, this is I’m really interesting your answer on this one because of your comment on tasting and sampling. When you were a kid, what did you want to grow up to be?
Morgan J. Ingram: When I was growing up, this was a classic answer that a lot of people have, but I wanted to be an astronaut. I just thought I’d be just super cool just to float around in space and put on the space gear I was really big into NASA and like even today I like NASA socks, NASA hoodie, NASA hat, I just was really big into NASA as an astronaut, but then I realized that I’m terrible at science and it never was gonna happen.
Joseph Fung: Yeah, you know I got to confess. Me too, when I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be an astronaut, and I’ve been running these interviews, and you’re actually the first person we chatted with, who said they wanted to be an astronaut. I secretly think everyone I’ve interviewed so far has just been lying. So thank you for sharing.
Morgan J. Ingram: I don’t mean to elaborate answer like now that you’ve got to think about it like, no I wanted to be an astronaut, I was a kid who wanted to go to NASA like it went to Space Camp. Like, I was excited.
Joseph Fung: Oh, man. We’ll share the space story soon. Morgan, thank you so much for joining us. This was incredible. I absolutely love this conversation.
Morgan J. Ingram: Yeah, absolutely, these are great questions, and I hope everyone can take some nuggets here and hopefully inspires you on your journey as we all continue to move here.
Joseph Fung: Absolutely. Looking forward to chatting again soon. Thanks, Morgan.
Morgan J. Ingram: I appreciate it.