How to Look at Sales as an Ecosystem with Dale Dupree


In his presentation, Dale shares how he looks at sales as an ecosystem rather than a time sensitive system. Dale shares the importance of communication and connections with people.


Dave Dupree is the Founder and CEO of the Sales Rebellion, a creative sales training company. Dale is also a host of the Selling Local Podcast.


“We box things in too much or create too much of a system or a process that can neglect people or create just inadvertently create issues inside of our quote-on-quote sales cycle” 

“Building relationships leads to more strategic insights for us as individual sellers, better communication from the people that we’re trying to serve and something that goes beyond the surface and goes much deeper into a layer with us that we can understand better.” 

Key Points

  1. Sales impacts people’s lives
  2. Using the effect that marketing has on people through the sales department
  3. How communication breeds life through the sales cycle


What’s up everybody? Dale Dupree here. I am very excited to be a returning
speaker at the Demand Gen Summit.

Gosh I must be doing something right. Thank you to Chatfunnels for putting
your faith in me. A second go around. This doesn’t happen very often. Usually I
don’t get an invite back. Just kidding. Anyway, gratitude and gratefulness and
thankfulness and all the other positive affirmation to all the homies over at
ChatFunnels, love you guys and appreciate you very much. Thank you for inviting
the sales rebellion and Dale Dupree back to the summit. Real quick, just to do
an introduction for those of you that don’t know who I am.

I’m going to repeat my name for like the 14th time. My name is Dale Dupree
but my friends call me the copier warrior. I spent 13 years in the b2b space
selling. That’s right, you guessed it based on my nickname, copy machines of
all things right? What I learned inside of the copier industry is that a few
things are okay, and I actually venture to say a few 100,000 things that I
learned inside of the copier industry. Some though that applies to today. That
we box sales and when we think of things like demand generation, we think of a
process a system and not necessarily a framework that somebody like myself can
very uniquely come into and take the concepts around in regard to that
framework and build out something that’s very unique and authentic to me and my
marketplace as well too, which is very important because not only we all know
this right?

We want to put the customer first but not only do we want to be putting the
customer first but the best way to do that is to really truly understand what
drives and motivates us to want to be a servant leader to customers in the
first place. I’m getting a little deep here aren’t I. Well, I believe that
sales is something that we can do to impact people’s lives. Not just to push a
product and to build companies but to impact again, the lives of those that we
come into contact with, whether it’s directly through our products or just
generally through the business relationship that we build with people the
resource that we become for them, the expert that we are for them throughout
that time that we spend, for me, I always looked at a sales cycle is less of
something that had a time stamp on it or that was a system or a process and
more of an ecosystem.

And we’re going to talk about that today in full detail of what I mean
behind that but what because of that concept of what I learned around an
ecosystem of selling, I started to look less at the top of the funnel the
middle of the funnel on the bottom of the funnel and I started to just mash
everything together in a way that still complemented the stages of a sales
cycle. For example, if I’m trying to create demand generation instead of
looking at it just as something that I’m doing again, at the top of the funnel.
I’m looking at it as something that I’m doing throughout the entire process.
And even as a matter of fact, after I’m done selling this person something and
serving their business, I’m going to actually continue and nuanced that
ecosystem that I built with individuals to again, continue the experience and
create it create a buy in from people that goes beyond just Yeah, it was a
really good sales cycle. We really trust this product and trust this person.
believe that it will fix our issues and it’s exactly what we meet we need and
then the caveat, were never going anywhere. Because this person is going to
continue that experience for us throughout the process. So hey, listen, if you
click this and you thought you were going to come and just learn some hot tips
and takes on demand generation in a traditional way. I’m sorry, non-traditional
guy right here, founder and leader of the sales rebellion back in 2019. After I
decided to leave my extensive career in copiers, I am now a full time Coach and
Trainer for sales organizations and individuals around the world. So, without
further ado, I want to get into the concept of what it is that we’re going to
be talking about today. Which for me is this concept of what I like to call a
living pipeline.

Sounds crazy right- living pipeline. What is a living title, now what the
heck is a living pipeline?

So, again, except of we box things in too much or create too much of a
system or a process that can neglect people or create just inadvertently create
issues inside of our quote on quote sales cycle that we’re running because of
the focus that we tend to jump to once we’re done with the last thing and said
we look at the concept of a living pipeline as an ecosystem, not a funnel, not
a pipe. But specifically a tree of all things.

This really cool tree is actually right here in this picture. So maybe it’s
cool enough to not just be a normal boring tree for you and something that you
could get behind Dale, I actually dig the look of this tree. And so I’m going
to listen to your living pipeline.

I digress. Sometimes I’m a little sarcastic and it doesn’t necessarily come
across I hope you feel it Attendees. I hope you feel it fam. I hope you feel
it. So anyway, the living pipeline concept we look at it as this identity again
of something that is alive, something that has an ecosystem attached to it.
Just because we believe that the prospect is in the top of the funnel or the
middle of the funnel or even the bottom of the funnel doesn’t mean that that’s
how they want to be treated, or particularly even where they’re at. Right. A
lot of the time communication is very stagnant between sales marketing, and the
prospect and or potential client.

And usually, you know, a lot of the time it’s very controlled. We want to
create an environment where it’s less controlled, it’s more abstract. It’s more
enjoyable, there’s more of an experience tied to it. And that the whole time
that the person that is experiencing what it is that we’re doing feels like
they are in again less of a system, less of a process and more of a very
abstract framework that has a living ecosystem attached to it. I keep saying
these words, what do I mean by them? Well, let’s jump directly into first.
These bullet points are the only bullet points you’re going to see this entire
presentation by the way, so enjoy not having to take notes right now and just,
you know, pulling your phone out taking pictures. I think that’s what we will
do in 2022. But I digress. Let’s talk a little bit about communication and the
concept of how we believe that it breeds life throughout a sales cycle. But
also, I think anybody can get behind that. Right. But what I want you to
understand is that the way that we look at creating demand inside of what it is
that we’re trying to provide for somebody again, it doesn’t it doesn’t start at
the top of the funnel and go away. It exists throughout the entire cycle. And
we believe that communication is one of the most imperative pieces of that
puzzle in order to directly tie people in emotionally and create context around
why they should do this.

The intelligence side of people is always going to kick in at some point,
right? And what I mean by that is that at some point people are always going to
say does this make sense? Right, but we believe that through this living
ecosystem, if we can meet people where they are, if we can not just communicate
what we can do for them, but how we can fix the problems that they’re currently
existing on another level, where we understand that issue or those issues past
the surface. And past, you know, the bullet point that we used, or the generic
pain that we regurgitated back to the prospect to get them interested in the
first place. Okay, but also this concept of meeting people where they are and
really discovering and diving into the identity of not just how the problem
affects them in their department, but how it affects their customer, right? How
it affects other departments inside of the organization because of that as

So, kind of this, this just deeper and wider look at when we’re
communicating what’s being affected by the decision that they will make, to
move forward with our services to fix a problem in the first place. So, if we
can help people to recognize the future story that we want to tell with them in
the process of presenting them product or prospecting, or you know, through a
discovery session, if we can nuance all of that, throughout all those things.
We’re on another level. This is also about the concept of maintaining momentum.
So here you are at the top of your funnel, which again, we’ve already thrown
away, it was rusted, it was old, it was leaky, we got rid of that pipeline
thing. So here you are at the top of your funnel, we’re looking at the roots of
the tree, which we’ll talk about in a second here but, but the concept is that
you get somebody a little bit interested. Yeah, you know what, I’m actually
having a problem with that. Well, there’s momentum in those moments. Well, how
do we maintain that momentum? A lot of the times that momentum gets lost. Let’s
be honest, everybody. It’s lost massively, especially when we have SDR teams to
AE’s and then customer experience reps on top of that you know, after the sale
so when we have all these different departments, a lot of the time the
authenticity of one person is different compared to the next.

So, building this identity around what momentum looks like with prospects
and potential clients department to department and department and if you’re a
full cycle sales rep, the idea of understanding that going from stage to stage
to stage is about momentum, and it’s about building on that original decision
to trust you and come and see more about what it is that you can do for their
business. This is also the concept of joining sales, with marketing. A lot of
people hate it when I talk about that. Now, a lot of people like to butt heads
that are in sales with their marketing department. A lot of people like to butt
heads that are in marketing with their sales departments. I believe that the
two are very much aligned and that when they have this perfect amalgamation of
the two, that what happens is beautiful. And so throughout the process of what
we’re trying to build with individuals who are living the pipeline concept is
that we are literally using the effect that marketing can have on people
through the sales department. Right so essentially, again, speaking to more of
the emotions of people, so that the intelligence side of them and the brain is
what I should really say here is conflicted. Well, these guys cost more money.

Gosh, they are but I feel so good about what they’re doing. I trust what
they’re doing. Right. Those are the concepts that we want to play with here and
in regard to how it is that we’re really building something different from our
competition. The other side effect of this is that it allows us to foreshadow
the sales cycle in a much more proactive manner. So by understanding the stages
and instead of forcing people into them one by one by one instead we can
foreshadow from the very beginning because the way that we’re nuancing the
process we’re building an ecosystem for people and not just a system itself
right or a process itself but something that is alive that pivots that moves
left that goes right that needs people where they are, we can foreshadow the
sales cycle much more effectively because the experience that we give it the
beginning and the things that we’re focused on. Again, we’ll nuance and
translate throughout the entire cycle. The other side of this is the identity
of strategic marketplace Insights, where from the perspective of strategy, we
can be the leader in regard to how it is that we are treating other people from
a sales and marketing perspective through demand ration and also through the
entire experience that people have.

And on top of that, getting and gaining insights instead of the marketplace
that we’re looking to serve instead of just answers to questions or you know,
something particular that we’re trying to relate to the prospect around our
product and having them tell us like Yeah, I like that it’s about building a
relationship. So, this last bullet point is all about that. Building
relationships leads to more strategic insights for us as individual sellers,
better communication from the people that we’re trying to serve and something
that goes beyond the surface and goes much deeper into a layer with us that we
can understand better. So real quick, just to help you understand a little bit
more of how we look at the living pipeline is that we have the roots, we have the
base and we have the branches. We start in the roots, which is basically where
we’re planting seeds and essentially building the base.

The foundation that leads to the base, I should say, inside of our system.
With our prospects and then that base portion with that cute little TV screen
gosh I love this image I that shadow to copy Field Marketing, Bethany over
there. She made this little tree for me and gosh darn I just love it. I just
fell in love with its base being the concept of what it is that we’re
translating to people throughout the process right so the communication side
right and not that say that the roots don’t have that in them as well too.
Because again, like one of the pieces of the puzzle is that we have four
foundational pieces inside of our roots. I don’t want to convolute this though,
but one of them is communication and servant leadership, which again leads to
the identity of meeting people where they are and nuancing that experience into
the base of our tree which then graduates people to the branches, the branches
being places whereas we’re identifying more and more about our prospect or our
potential client. We are understanding specifically where they need to live
inside of our ecosystem that accommodates them the best. And when you think of
a branch the idea is to think that a branch is something that on a tree is
constantly evolving if one little piece breaks off the tree to continue its
growth. And its life will form a new path. Right that whole concept.

So if we put people into branches that are segmented around personas, a
which is one of the first things that we use, but b also time when we
understand those two pieces, we can also we can see not only the proactive side
of what a sales process looks like and cycle looks like, well we can understand
and accommodate the persona that we’re dealing with through experiences.
experiences are all about experiences. What are you talking about Dale? Well,
first off from a demand gen perspective, we want to attract people to the tree
and attract people into our ecosystem. So, we want to use tools and methodology
that gets people excited about speaking with us not just because we can help
them fix a problem, but because they can see something much bigger inside of a
partnership with us as a client. And so essentially what we’re doing is helping
them to write their future story at our side, in the ecosystem that we provide
through our process and through the product that we deliver on. So, for example
here anybody that was at my 2021 Chat funnels demand gen summit presentation
you’ve seen some pretty wild stuff that I do from again a top of the funnel
perspective how I how we should say the copier warrior went to market
specifically through rapidly educating prospects by using experiential prospecting
tools, something that we call market tools inside of rebellion. And then I also
shared some ideas and concepts around the way that we teach rebels to do it as
well to, you know, in this generation because obviously I’ve been doing this a
long time. So a lot of the ideas came from the past, but also they’re very
relevant for today because again, when we give people experiences, we become
the Disney of sales, right? You don’t need three quotes to go to Disney to
decide between Disney and any other theme park right? You go to Disney because
you know that you’re going to get an amazing experience. It’s already extremely
expensive. In comparison to everybody else, right? And they’re all expensive,

But at the end of the day, what I’m really getting at here is that you don’t
need three quotes. You decide, hey, my family, my kids want to go to Disney.
They understand what it is that Disney does for them. They experience it gives
and that’s what they desire. I desire that. So, we want people to desire to come
closer to the ecosystem, to the living pipeline, and to be a part of what it is
that we do. What you see on screen is one of those concepts. So, let’s say that
we have prospects, for example, that they’re non responsive to our outreach and
you know, all the amazing little emails that we’ve sent with 50 words or less
that make it about the customer and are personalized and all those other hot
points and buttons that we talked about in sales all the time, but so is
everybody else.

So which one which women are they going to take this weekend of the 77
outreach, emails or phone calls or whatever they get that week? Right? How are
they going to choose you? Right so here’s the empty donut box concept. And we
want to attract people to our ecosystem by helping them to understand and see
that we get it right so the donuts they spell out the empty doughnut box. It
spells out a couple things. You’re probably thinking right now like empty donut
box. That sounds interesting. Right? They spell out a couple things. One, it
tells the prospect that we understand that their time is limited. We get that
right? And that it’s not easy for a salesperson to get a hold of you because of
that, right and so the empty box of doughnuts is empty because it’s been
several weeks that I’ve been calling and emailing, and the doughnuts were going
stale and so I had to eat them. But you know, if you want to give me a call,
here’s my cell, holler at me. And I do this in a couple of different fashions.
We teach it in a couple different fashions.

My favorite DIY is just to go down to the donut shop. Get an empty box.
Either use a cup of water on the end or just the grace of one donut just by one
doughnut on top of it and drop the grease so that it looks like there were six
to 12 Donuts in this box and then on the top of the box I used to write in red
sharpie. Hey, sorry I missed you. And sorry that this donut boxes are empty. I
didn’t want them to go stale. It’s been a few days that I’ve been trying to get
a hold of you. So don’t worry, I can always bring a fresh box over whenever you
reach out. Now, the idea of this is it again is some of you might be thinking
like what does this have to do with your product and service? Well, this is
where we nuanced that concept. Into a lot of this type of outreach and the
experiences. So, let’s just say that there’s a QR code on the empty donut box,
or something of that nature. Right? Let’s just say that there’s a way for them
to learn more through this process of what they’re seeing. Right not just
through this outreach in particular, but what it leads to. Right so you want to
think a little bit bigger concept and again, like what it will potentially take
them further toward, right that ecosystem.

So this is the concept again of when we go to market, that for us of the
Sales rebellion. And we think of this as a new proclamation of sales between
our buyers and us as the sales professionals and marketing professionals that
we are. The world is a busy place. It’s an extremely busy place. A lot of the
time because of that time seems limited not just to our prospects that we’re
trying to get an appointment with, but we only have a certain amount of time to
set enough appointments to start generating enough revenue to keep our job in
the first place. Right. So it can feel a little intimidating. But when we enter
into that territory, we need to look at it as more of a community and
understand that people are from their perspective they are much more aligned
with human connection than they are with how your product fixes their problem.
From the get go. They had enough problems in the first place. So what your
product fixes is just a you know a slice of the things that they have to deal
with to begin with. If I can connect with people through experiences, if I can
nuance what it is that I do in a way that’s not pushy, and it’s not boring, and
it’s not generic, and it’s not like everybody else and I can tell somebody hey
my ego system over here that I will put you in. It goes beyond a sales cycle.
It’s something that will meet you where you are.

It’s something that will accommodate who and what you believe you can be and
accomplish. Right. So, with that said, the concept again is for us as elements
and we look at them as relics. Right. Here are a few of our relics. To the far
left. We love paper campaigns. And it’s like paper like what is that like I’ve
seen the office and how they make fun of paper and copiers and but the concept
of paper to us is that it’s a human connector. It creates demand because people
don’t get things like letters in the mail. People don’t have experiences like a
handwritten note after a sale has gone through. There’s a whole lot of
perspective to this, from again from just looking at things from a humanistic
approach. Trying to build business relationships at the forefront give people
unique experiences that they either have not had or haven’t had in a long time.
When we were kids, ladies and gentlemen, we all in my generation especially we
all maybe not necessarily in the one coming up. I don’t know what that looks like,
and I’ll have to find out from my younger nieces and nephews but I personally
let’s look at it that way. Used to get things like Happy birthday cards every
single year with handwritten notes inside of them from people like my grandma
or my great grandma or my parents at that.

So, if someone were to write me something or send me in the form or fashion
of a letter or a card, and a nostalgia kicks in, and relics and the experiences
that we give to people inside of the sales rebellion are focused on elements
like nostalgia, nostalgia is a powerful emotion that even the most disconnected
the human being can get behind. Right there a moment of pattern disruption as
well too. So, here’s my typical day. The things I do from eight to five the way
salespeople call on me and here’s this thing that’s causing me to literally
enter into a moment of nostalgia. You’re probably wondering what the 3d glasses
or the 3d glasses are like, is this concept of giving people something like a
wow experience? For example, like the rebel book, we send a book to people that
is actually authored by them, right so imagine getting a book in the mail.
You’re like, what the heck, like I didn’t write a book. And I’m not going to
say too much more about it. Because it can, it gets convoluted, and I’ve got to
spend like five minutes explaining how to build it and then you’re going to
have all these questions and you’re going to be like, do I want to do one and
then when so when we’re here, we’re here to learn the principles. Ladies and
gentlemen, the book makes me feel important. The book talks about my future
story. The book is something that focuses on an experience that I’m giving to
people and not just my cleverness inside of the email that I wrote, with the
funky subject line that caused me to go What the heck is this and open it
right. Just to be let down by the contents inside right, these are the stories
and buyers tell these are similar stories to what buyers tell.

Okay. And we have to understand that as sales and marketing people
especially those of you that are watching this, the buyers to you get it and
you absolutely get it. The third and final relic for us is this concept of
visuals. We love giving people visuals because video is extremely effective.
Shout out the video card. All of our homies over there. They have a great
platform for being able to translate through to sales, or I’m sorry, through
sales departments to buyers and potential clients. But the visual side of
things is very interesting. And it’s something that again for us creates demand
is bought into a message that is translated in the way that they hear it coming
straight from, as they would say at some point in some generation, the horse’s

So think about the way that people can create perception around specific
things like an email and types of communication that aren’t necessarily
directly from your mouth but there ways that people are instead of reading this
email and they’re deciding for themselves whether or not you’re being sarcastic
or you’re yelling or you’re trying to win right, as opposed to a video
experience that we can give to people where we can show them exactly the type
of ecosystem that they’re about to enter into with us that accommodates their
own ecosystem on top of it. So relics are extremely important because again,
they give experiences they create demand, and they can be nuanced because these
name type of relics we can use after the sale and continue to create demand,
whether it’s through referrals that we receive for these organizations or
aftermarket sales on top of it or just the identity of somebody coming back and
doing repeat business with you. You know when a contract is up or when they
need it, you know your thing has broken. Finally, after all the time that you
promised it wouldn’t break for good on you.

Anyway, I digress. But that process again is that relics are experiential,
and experiences are trying to give to people which is why we believe again, and
this concept of a living pipeline. So, sales and marketing people that are
watching today. Thanks for listening to me rant a little bit about the high-level
concept of what I believe is one of the most important pieces of creating
demand inside of your sales and marketing efforts. Building a living ecosystem
that people are a part of, that meets them where they are that has a very
defined amount of EQ inside of it that people can feel emotional context
through instead of listening to words that speak to the front right side of the
brain that are then translated into boring facts that cause them to then say I
don’t really think I want to take a meeting right now. I don’t really think I
need your product. At this point in time. I think I’ll stick with the status
quo. I think I’ll stay and live in mediocrity that’s literally going to people
instead of sales, and they don’t even know it right? We’re allowing them to
stay in a place. That sucks in most cases because most of the time when it is
the worst, they can better their lives better their businesses. They don’t get
to see that because we treat everything like this staged process and the
system. Let’s stop.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your pipeline is alive. Begin to nurture and feed it
and watch the fruit that grows from that and the necessary time and reap the
harvest. Thanks again for being here for my presentation. Thanks again to
everybody over at ChatFunnels. Really appreciate the opportunity. Once again,
Dale Dupree the CSO and co-founder of the sales rebellion and one little piece
of advice on top of this as you leave this presentation that I would encourage
you to do for yourself or do for your sales reps or marketing teams is to have
them latch to principles more so than systems and processes put people before
products put experiences over performing pitches, put fellowship, in front of
negotiations, and above all else, put a rebellion in place at your organization
and begin to change the game.