Data Gurus


Understanding the Psychology of Sales (Part 2) with Julie Kurd, Rick Odello& Kenny Thompson | Ep. 115

Sima’s goal for this two-part podcast series is to help senior leaders understand the mindset and psychology of sales. She would like to help sales leaders understand how they need to think about sales as a profession, how sales integrate into an organization, and the psychology behind what makes a salesperson tick.

So many companies struggle with one of the biggest components of scaling their businesses, which is sales. That means getting a balance of the right personality and the right leader and making sure that there is lockstep with the product.

Adam Jolley joins Sima today in presenting the second part of this two-part series.

This week we have Julie Kurd, the VP of Sales and Revenue at CMB, Kenny Thompson, Director of Client Solutions at Schlesinger Group, and Ricky Odello, the VP of Sales at Lucid, as panelists.

CMB is not a SaaS company

CMB is a strategic consultancy and not a SaaS company. Their process begins with the client and not with a product.

The sales process for consulting

Typically, the sales process for consulting is based on selling relationships. It is about establishing long-term relationships and focusing on different kinds of problem-solving and various kinds of longer-term play.

A unique perspective

Ricky comes from a traditional ad hoc type sales environment, which has given him a unique history and perspective. He was with FSI for about ten years, and then he moved to Lucid which is more of a software subscription focused organization.

Ad hoc sales environment

Ricky has found that in a more ad hoc type of sales environment, you are typically dealing with fewer stakeholders, so it is like selling to a person rather than to an enterprise. And the cycle can be a lot faster.

Software subscription sales

Selling the software subscription involves a much longer sales cycle and possibly more stakeholders. Although it takes time, it can be most rewarding once you achieve the contract.

Offering qualitative and quantitative solutions

At the Schlesinger group, they can offer qualitative and quantitative solutions to their clients at scale. They grow their relationships long-term at the facility level through engagements and bidding. Schlesinger has done a great job of having a comprehensive solution set for the industry and their clients so that they can provide them with solutions for all their needs.

A human touch

Kenny brings a human touch to everything, making it warm, fun, and real.

Your personality and style

Everyone is different in the way they work with their customers. Whether you work for a product company or a consultative sale company, either way, you can bring your personality and your style. One starts with the product, and the other one without a product, to begin.

It is important to be genuine 

It is important to be genuine and authentic about who you are because your colleagues and customers can feel when you are real, and when you are not.

The human connection 

Salespeople sometimes get a bad rap, or a stigma, about not being real and authentic and just going in for the sale. Realizing that you are helping people to solve their complex business problems can motivate you to do more research and also help you in the execution of the sale. You need to find a human connection.


Julie points out that failure is a part of sales. We win and lose every day.


For success in sales and sales management, Ricky feels you need to be a leader within your organization, and you need to have good ethics.

Trust and authenticity

Kenny has always inspired trust in people. He is genuinely interested in others. As a result, he is authentic with them. And he always felt he could believe in himself to succeed if he put in the effort. For sales, you need to have tenacity and authenticity. You also need to build trust and be hyper-responsive in your communication.

Coping with the highs and lows of sales

You need to remain calm and keep focused if you want to weather the storms and avoid getting too whipped up about your gains and losses. Don’t allow yourself to get too emotional or attached to the highs of the wins. And don’t let yourself get too down about your losses. Stay committed and believe in the process.


The culture at CMB is very fluid, and everything they do gets arranged around the client. The whole team works together in a way that advances the entire effort.

At Lucid, they are a group of people who all care about each other, their community, and their customers. Respect for their community is paramount to them.

Kenny felt like he landed at home when he started at Schlesinger. Adding mental health days, giving everyone a half-day to vote, and giving vacation days in Q4, showed him that the company knows and understands that their people work very hard, and they sometimes have personal issues and struggle professionally.

Walking in the shoes of sales

Any entrepreneur would do well to walk in the shoes of sales because sales are where the business starts. Sales are vital to any business.


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Sima is passionate about data and loves to share, learn, and help others that share that passion. If you love data as much as she does, subscribe on iTunes, and don’t forget to leave a rating and review!

Julie Kurd

Ricky Odello

Kenny Thompson