Video

Kathy Lord (Intacct), Kyle Porter (SalesLoft), John Barrows (JBarrows, LLC): How to Really do Outbound Sales (Video + Transcript)

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Gretchen DeKnikker

(Less than 30 days to SaaStr Annual 2017. Do you have your tix yet?!?!)

In this session, sales veterans John Barrows, Owner of JBarrows, chats with Kathy Lord, VP of Sales and Customer Success at Intacct, and Kyle Porter, CEO of SalesLoft, about how to execute an awesome outbound sales strategy. Covering topics ranging from why companies with a lot of great inbound leads should still have outbound on their minds from the beginning to the characteristics that make an awesome outbound sales rep (spoiler: try recruiting people who have experience selling Cutco knives), onto why we’d all be better off if that follow-up email to a whitepaper download went extinct (amen!).

Check out the full transcript below!

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TRANSCRIPT

John Barrows:  Fantastic. It is actually a packed…This is great. We’re going to be talking about outbound sales today. I’m going to start things off with a few questions that are top of mind for me.

I’ve got some unbelievable people here that I’ve worked with in the past and love to get their insights, but really, the goal here is to also to let you guys ask as many questions as possible. Not like we know everything, but the goal is to really get as many nuggets and tips out there as possible for everybody, so that you can walk away with something and do something.

I’m John Barrows. I do sales training. I train Salesforce, LinkedIn, Box, Dropbox, a lot of companies here in the Bay area, even though I’m based out of Boston. I train them almost all on outbound sales. Kyle, you want to do a quick intro?

Kyle Porter:  Sure. Hi, everybody. Kyle Porter, founder and CEO of SalesLoft. What we do is we help inside sales organizations and sales teams that are driven by sales development convert more prospects into qualified opportunities.

Happy to be here. Thanks everybody for coming out. I know you could be upstairs or downstairs or anywhere else, and you chose to be here. We’re really honored.

John:  Absolutely. Kathy?

Kathy Lord:  Kathy Lord. I run the direct sales organization for Intacct, cloud accounting ERP vendor. We actually have leveraged John Barrows on a number of occasions. I do really believe in the outbound sales organizations.

I think we’re going to have a really exciting topic today in terms of really helping everybody understand how can we best go prosecute, getting clients who aren’t coming to us. Excited about that.

John:  Very cool. Just a quick gut check on the room real fast here. How many of y’all work for companies under 100 employees? Good. Between 100 and 1,000, give or take? All right. And 1,000 plus?

Now, who are individual contributors, like sales reps out there hitting the pavement? All right. Versus managers and leadership in sales? It’s mostly leadership, fantastic. That will help drive the questions and everything else of where we want to go with this.

The first question that I thought of in prepping for this is when do you really start outbound? Because there’s a lot of talk about marketing automation, how we get the lead flow and all that other stuff.

There’s always that inflection point with a lot of businesses where the inbound just doesn’t keep up with the growth of the business, with the bigger deal size and all that stuff. There’s always that inflection point that says, “OK. Now we’ve got to go outbound.”

The question is because it’s a different muscle, when should you start looking at it as a business, as a small business. I’m going to throw it over to Kyle and just get his feedback. Kyle, when, if you’re a small startup company where maybe you’ve got a cool product, I know it depends on what the product is, but when should you start thinking about outbound prospecting?

Kyle:  I think for most companies it’s absolutely immediately. Every so often, someone will come up to me, a CEO or a leader and they’ll brag about how they only have inbound leads. “We don’t even have to worry about outbound. We just have inbounds. That’s all we have.”Quote#1 porter

I actually give them a look like their dog just died, and I say, “I’m sorry to hear that,” because outbound plus inbound is better than inbound alone or outbound alone. For most companies, I think the opportunity is to get started right away.

Outbound might mean different things. Really, outbound, to me, is an attitude. I just spent some time with a company called DigitalOcean who has recently surpassed the $100 million dollar mark in a very short period of time.

They’ve got a really heavy inbound play, but I knew these guys when they had zero customers. You’d better believe they were some of the biggest hustlers I ever knew. They would walk over to someone’s desk and say, “Download this. Download this. Go sign up for this.”

Wherever they went, we just told a story backstage, one of the guys literally did 100 push ups in front of a reporter so that he would get written about.

That’s an attitude of going out and grabbing customers. I think you always have to have that attitude. For most companies, you have to put a process in place as soon as possible to start identifying who are the companies you actually want and then going deep to get them.

Inbound’s not going to always bring you those people that you totally, absolutely need to have as customers, whereas outbound allows you to do that, so I think immediately and soon as you possibly can.

John:  I think that’s a good point in the fact. Inbound, what my experience is at least is inbound drives low people on the totem pole. If you talk about the power line, there’s people above the power line and people below it.

Inbound drives a lot of downloads of white papers and those type of things. You can take the seed and grow approach, where it’s like, “OK. I see you’ve downloaded this. Let me talk to you,” and then build it up, but if you want bigger deal sizes, if you want to talk to higher level executives, the outbound’s a huge piece.

Kathy, talk to us about Intacct. You’ve been there. We were actually talking for a while. You’re a little bit of an anomaly.

Kathy:  I am.

John:  You could give a little bit of background. Couldn’t believe when you said you were in seven years?

Kathy:  Nine years.

John:  Nine years in the same role. I think that deserves a round of applause, by the way.

[applause]

John:  We did the math backstage, and it’s like four times the average tenure of a VP of sales.

Kathy:  Yes…

[crosstalk]

Kathy:  …we can talk. You’ve seen a lot.

John:  …so you’re defying the odds.

Kyle:  You’ve seen a lot.

Kathy:  Absolutely. I’m going to be a little bit contradictory, but yet, I agree with you at the same time. I think it really depends a little bit on the complexity of the product you’re selling, the consideration, and are you selling to mid market enterprise, or are you selling to SMB and more smaller, emerging companies?

One, it’s hard to actually get the data. If you’re trying to target SMB and emerging companies, procuring a list of accurate information about these companies and getting the contacts is really difficult.

That was where we spent a lot of our initial stages. I came on board at about two million in revenue, and now we’re very high double digits in revenue.

It was all about, to get that initial acceleration was truly the inbound marketing. We took the big net, and we put it out there, and we brought it in. It did take a lot of refinement though. I think that’s the point that you brought up, Kyle, is initially, you don’t necessarily know who that ideal target is that you’re trying to get.

I think it’s a lot easier to do that with some outbound efforts, but you also have to balance that with, “How efficiently can we got get to market?” I don’t think there’s a single company in this room that’s over funded, that has an unlimited access to capital.

How can you best grow your pipeline within the capital envelope that you have. I’ll say one of the mistakes we did make at Intacct is because we were so phenomenally successful building this marketing machine, we sort of got that attitude of, “Oh, great.”

The sales reps got fat and happy. They didn’t have to do much outbound prospecting. We finally realized, “Wait a minute.” This is exactly the point you said, “It seems like marketing is hitting a plateau in terms of the opportunities and leads they can generate for us,” and so we started building a outbound sales development team.

Unfortunately, all of our processes and systems, and we’re huge investors in technology,    were all geared around supporting this inbound marketing funnel. For us, it actually ended up being, and we’re still living this dream today, a lot of reworking of Salesforce, of Insidesales.com, all of the tools we use we’ve now had to retrofit to think about, “How do we target accounts? How do we target and do much more spearfishing approach of, ‘We want these companies,’ and then, not only train the people and get the systems, but change that culture?”

I think it is best to start early, but you need to be thoughtful about how you marry that in with the other parts of the organization.

John:  That actually brings up an interesting point as far as the technology. The DNA was inbound. I want to talk a little bit about the difference between inbound and outbound and the skill sets necessary as a sales rep.

But I want to talk about real quick first, for the people out here in smaller companies, getting things going, what do you suggest they do to start so that they don’t hit that roadblock and have to reverse engineer and go forward?

Are there some things to look for early to segment out inbound versus outbound, but also, make sure that you’re prepared, so when that inflection point hits, you’re good?

Kathy:  I think it comes back to really early on having an understanding of, “Who is our ideal profile and customer? What are their sizes? What are their water coolers they’re hanging out at?” and say, “We’re going to segment these types of accounts we think we can get to with an inbound marketing approach.”

Maybe the top 50 percent or top 30 percent. We’re going to start from day one of this mindset of the 1 + 1 = 3 by having inbound, having outbound, and really being thoughtful about how those two work together, so that as you’re building out your systems, you’re building out your processes, you’re contemplating that.

Just as a good example for us, people only buy one accounting system, so we have one shot to sell a company, and frankly, people don’t want to do that anymore often than they have to. For us, it’s a matter of getting the name out there, and when the timing’s right, making sure they call us.

If you’re selling a solution where you can sell to multiple departments or it’s less considered, you could start doing some very targeted outbound early on where you’re driving incremental revenue a lot faster, because you know they have a higher propensity to buy.Quote#2 porter

Kyle:  There’s a wide range of inbound. You could have somebody that comes up, signs up for the free product, and sees the upgrade, and wants to swipe their credit card. That was inbound, and you could have someone that signs up for the blog, right?

John:  Right.

Kyle:  There’s a broad range between those two roles, and so one of the things I love to say is, for a lot of companies and a lot of funnels, there’s an opportunity to outbound the inbounds, right?

Kathy:  Yes.

Kyle:  You’ve got an inbound person that came in, signed up for a white paper, but you still have to call, email, go on social. You have to apply all these touch points in order to connect with that person so you can understand their objectives and see if there’s an opportunity there.

The other piece is that a lot of times…There’s a guy named Craig Rosenberg, writes a great blog called The Funnelholic. One of his posts is “Call High and Wide, Young Jedi.”

The whole idea there is, it’s something that Mark Roberge of HubSpot does as well, it’s that you might get an inbound from the junior or line level individual who wants to check out whatever you’re doing.

That’s an awesome opportunity for you to start calling upstream and moving into the director or VP level. It’s kind of outbound-ish, but the lead started inbound.

John:  That marries up your scene a lot where lead scoring is great, where, “Hey, they went on the website. They did these five things,” but that could be a terrible account.

I’m a one man show. “I’m J. Barrows. It’s me.” If I go on your website and download some white papers, then you are literally wasting your time reaching out and having one of your reps call me, because the profile of my company is not a good one for you.

But if you marry up the activity with the profile of the company, then that’s, I totally agree, where you can set some of those aside. Yeah, go after them and say, “Hey, what’s up? I saw you downloaded the white paper, and by the way, just a small nugget here.”

Please stop sending the, “I saw you downloaded the white paper. I’d like to talk to you about some of your 2016 initiatives and how we can help you achieve your goals.” Please just stop sending that email out.

[laughter]

John:  Everybody laughs, because it’s painfully true. Every single person in this building has that stupid email. Just stop it. We’ll talk about other things to replace it with.

Anyways, if you marry those two up, now you can almost treat those gradually, the inbounds to outbounds, where all of a sudden you have an inbound rep. This is what I want to talk about now, specifically, Kyle, is what’s that muscle?

It’s a different muscle. To pick up and follow up with somebody and say, “Hey, I saw you downloaded this. Let’s talk,” versus, “I’m calling in to somebody that doesn’t even know who we are.”

Kyle, I know startup, hustler. When you started, you did your thing. I saw you doing pushups all over the place getting business, but when you started hiring reps, SalesLoft was one of those.

You could download it. I referred a ton of people. You downloaded it, and all of the sudden had a bunch of people using it. Where did you segment out the inbound versus outbound? Did you have reps doing both, or was it a graduation? What was it?

Kyle:  The first sales development rep we ever hired, a guy named Sean Castor, he came in and would field the inbounds, and was also running outbound. He was reaching out to people outbound.Quote#3 porter

We eventually split those into two. What we found over time was that the biggest difference is the timing. With inbound, you have to be quick. You have to respond, and you have to go deep as fast as you can.

Outbound is a little bit more processitized. You are able to set the stage for what you want to do. That’s the big one we see right now.

The other day I saw two of my inbound sales development reps playing ping pong, and their manager reached out, and he goes, “Hey, guys five leads just came in.” They ran off the ping pong table, but the leads didn’t come in.

[laughter]

Kyle:  He was just getting them to come off the ping pong table. It underscores this idea that you’ve got to be on the ball, and there’s no resting in inbound. You’ve got to have coverage.

John:  A follow up question on that. A lot of reps ask me a lot of questions about time management, like, “John, how do I, if I’m an inbound rep and I’m being asked to do both?”

Everybody knows. We’ve all seen the statistics, but if you wait five minutes to respond to an inbound, all of the sudden the response rates drop by however many ridiculous percentages.

Kyle:  There’s a vendor who helps you respond quickly that got that study done.

[laughter]

John:  I know, I know. What do you do? How do you manage your time, if you have to deal with both? How do you segment out to do some outbound while maintaining the ability to respond to the inbounds as quickly as possible? Suggestions?

Kyle:  We didn’t do it well. We ended up splitting it out. It started that way, but it was quick to where, “OK, inbound and outbound,” and it became totally different functions.

Today, inbound sales development reports to Marketing at SalesLoft, and outbound sales development reports to Sales at SalesLoft. They’re two different functions for us.

Kathy:  We had a similar situation, only they both roll up to the sales organization. We try to expect the inbound team to do outbound.

Funny enough, they just never seem to have time even if their leads were fully followed up with. Frankly, it’s a different skill set. One of the things we’ve done, and there’s nothing better than growing your own people.

We have three roles in sales development of sales associate which is, they’re building lists. They’re doing white spacing, those kinds of activities. They learn the systems. They learn the processes. They’re hearing the people on the phone all day.

Then we get young, fresh people in for inbound. That’s their training ground, because there’s no better training than having thousands of conversations every month. You’re going to have way more conversations with inbound than you are with outbound, and then we transition them into outbound.

But as part of that transition or growth plan, we actually have them do outbound efforts to some of the inbound leads, too. We’ve found that that’s a little more comfortable. It’s a little warmer. It starts to build up muscle memory, so that as they transition into a pure outbound role, they’re much more successful.

John:  I was going to ask, what do you look for? I actually think the inbound role is going to evolve drastically over the next few years here. I wrote a post about how I think the death of the average sales rep and all of this automation’s coming into play.

I think the inbound is going to have to elevate their game quite a bit. If anybody has read “The Challenger Sale,” it talks about by the time somebody comes to us, they’re already 60 to 70 percent of the way through the sales process, that type of thing.

If you’re sitting there as an inbound rep, some 21 year old kid out of college, and you’re getting an inbound, and the person is like, “Hey, I want to talk to you. I’m already educated 70 percent of the way through. I want to talk to you.”

If you get some kid who doesn’t know what they’re talking about and says, “Oh, well,” and ask their crappy bant questions or whatever, then you’re going to get frustrated.

Anybody ever called in to a Comcast or Verizon and gotten that front line person? You’re just like, “Just put me in touch with a manager. I’ve already rebooted the router. I already have gone through these ridiculous steps. Let me talk to somebody who actually knows what they’re talking about.”

I think that inbound is going to elevate pretty significantly, whereas the outbound, I still think that you can have that younger, brand new into sales, get your teeth cut.

What do you look for in the difference between skill sets or when an inbound rep is ready to be outbound? It’s like, “OK, a year in inbound. OK, you’re now ready,” but what are you really looking for, for that outbound that’s going to shine?

Kathy:  For us, one of the things we look for in them, we look for these traits when we first bring somebody into the organization. They’re the same traits, frankly, that we look for in our sales personnel. “Are they business savvy? Can they have a good professional conversation?”Quote#4 Lord

It’s really frightening how much you find that a lot of folks coming out of college today are not used to having those conversations. They’re used to texting. They’re used to tweeting. They’re doing everything online, but verbal professional conversations are definitely not the top of their skill set.

We look for folks who have invested in that, that are very articulate in writing, and verbally. Very coachable. If somebody is really coachable, we have great training, and we can put them through, and it’s amazing how quickly they bloom.

Then somebody who’s highly disciplined. “Are they self motivated? Are they a self starter? Have they shown initiative?” If they have those three traits, we find that we can make them highly successful.

The transition from inbound to outbound, and because of the speed at which we have to get back to inbound, we find that once they start to be able to define amongst the different flavors of prospects we have, sort of, and this is taking your “Why you, why now?”

When they can start to understand that and craft that when they’re having a conversation with an inbound rep and understand how to pitch that back, we start to then think they’re ready to go to outbound.

With outbound, it’s all about going in with a specific message for that prospect, understanding what that means, and why they should actually do something with us now. Until they understand enough about the business, the process, and how to have an executive level of conversation, it’s really hard to start now craft that individually for everybody that you’re calling.

John:  I couldn’t agree more. Kyle, you have some insight on that one?

Kyle:  Yeah. One of the things we did, we recognized that inbound is a really critical and important role, sometimes even more so, that one moment of inbound might be more important than a moment of outbound.

What we did is we had our second ever sales development rep, who did 18 months in outbound sales development, he was right on the precipice of promotion to an AE. We came to him, and we said, “Hey, we’ve got big goals, a lot of them around inbound. Here are the numbers, here’s our expectations. Can you take over as a lead in this team?” three junior folks plus him.

Now when an important, well lead scored inbound comes in, he’s going to be the one that leads that effort, and then the team sitting in the room with him as he does it and learning from him and growing with him. I think that’s been helpful to us.

Then we have a lot of similar traits we’re looking for in sales development, just in general. I think one of the big ones is I love someone who’s come from a hard, challenging sales environment, whether they were selling magazines door to door, or they’re selling knives door to door, the Cutco knife.

Kathy:  That was me.

Kyle:  They’re like, fantastic.

John:  Top gears?

Kyle:  Some of my favorite salespeople in the world came from selling Cutco knives. I also absolutely love folks who came from the technical recruiting industry. Our top outbound sales development rep, Angela, is here today. She was recruited out of a recruiting company.

They have to go into these environments when they’re on the phone all day long and people are hanging up on them, telling them, “You suck,” and, “I don’t want to talk to recruiters.” They have battle these hurdles of getting respected. I think it teaches them a lot of amazing skills.

The recruiting industry is a tough one. It’s not a super scalable industry. Oftentimes, it’s really easy to start up a recruiting business, so you find folks that are really talented, but aren’t in big growth environments. If you can get them out of those environments and put them in fast growth software companies it’s a really big opportunity.

Kathy:  Just to reinforce that, my top sales rep right now, we hired as a sales development rep from a technical recruiting agency. She moved up through the ranks and is now our top rep.

John:  That’s awesome.

Kathy:  It proves that’s a good profile.

Kyle:  For our outbound team, the top couple of reps are all female for us.

John:  There you go.

Kathy:  Female, too.

Kyle:  I don’t know if there’s any correlation there, but…[laughs]

Kathy:  Woman power.

John:  I love it. Actually, there’s…It just popped into my head. You know who I think would be great for outbound selling right now, is people who are selling the political campaigns, doing the polls. Talk about taking a beating.

I don’t care what your political affiliation is. Those kids who are calling up and saying, “Hey, who are you going to vote for?” and then all of the sudden, their candidate goes away. Those are prime leads for people to go higher, because talk about taking a beating.

I’m going to ask one more question, then I’ll open it up for everybody else. If you got some stuff, I would love to hear from you. The one that’s top of my mind right now, and it’s specifically related to outbound, is the whole marketing automation versus sales automation, and how to turn sales reps into effective outbound without turning them into robots.

Kyle and I were actually having this conversation. Last night I was approached by somebody. I’m not going to say who it was. They said, “John, what are your thoughts between marketing automation versus sales automation?”

I go, “Marketing automation is marketing automation. It’s like, you automate it, you lead score, all that stuff. Sales automation to me is an oxymoron. Sales automation to me is marketing automation.”

If you’re going to automate your sales reps, this is why I say stop sending, when I say “that white paper email,” stop having your reps send that white paper email. Have marketing send that white paper email all day long, but stop having a rep sitting there push Send every time somebody downloads a white paper and template it out.

To me, Gary Vaynerchuk is one of my favorite guys that I’m following these days from a marketing standpoint, total crack, but I love him. What he talks about is, “Content is king.”

Everybody talks about content being king, right?

What he says though is, “Context is God.” That really struck me, because to me that’s sales versus marketing. Marketing is content, where sales should be, at least, context.

Help me. I’m going to, Kyle, start with you, because one, your tool, to a certain degree, is a dangerous tool. I’m not promoting anything here, but one of the things is, a lot of these sales automation tools. You take Marketos and the Pardots.

A lot of them have trouble when they bring something like a SalesLoft in because, “No, Marketo does that. Pardot does that.” But no, that’s turning your sales rep to the mini marketers.

Then they invest in something like SalesLoft, or Yesware, ToutApp, whatever, whatever, pick one. The sales reps use them…

[crosstalk]

Kyle:  …just one.

John:  Yeah, pick Kyle’s. The sales rep to use them, but then automate. They all of the sudden use them to just blast out template emails, stick them into a cadence without any thought process.

There’s a fine line here between sales automation and efficiency versus sales automation. Help me understand how you strike that balance.

Kyle:  Everybody’s trying to solve the scale versus personalization equation.

I got a quick shameless self promotion. You mentioned Gary Vaynerchuk. If anybody is, in March in Atlanta, seventh, eighth, and ninth, we’re going to have our conference, which is predicated on personalized outreach and personalized sales. Gary Vaynerchuk’s going to be keynote speaker, so we’d love to have you out there.

I think what we’re saying is a big, big deal. I went to New York two weeks ago and spoke at this event called “Building the Sales Machine.” I had an opportunity to spend a ton of time with some amazing sales development leaders.

What I heard from these guys and gals was that when they started their business, they started by doing a lot of these automation tactics, these big emails that went out, they didn’t know exactly who their prospects were going to be, they blanketed the universe.

What happened was, they got a bunch of appointments, not a large percentage of appointments, but they got a couple of appointments. Then they ended up closing some of these businesses, they ended up generating some revenue.

They kept trying to do it, and what they realized was, at the very, very, very early beginning when their opportunities were very green field, some of those automation stuff worked. Then what happened is they started honing in on, “Who’s my actual customer? Which businesses do I want to go deep with and acquire as companies?”

They realized those tactics just didn’t work anymore. What they did is, it was like they took a gasoline bucket and just put it out all over the market and threw a match in it and just lit the forest on fire.

Automation can really hurt you when you start to scale as a business. My belief is that the best way to go about an outbound sales development process is to pick the logos that you want to be your customers. It might be 50, it might be 100, it might be 1,000.

Divide those amongst your sales development team, and have them set a process for personalized connection with those folks, because what you want to do is you want to communicate, you want to connect, and connect means really connect, like human connect.

“I understand you, I’m connected to you, I understand your problems.” Connect with them, then qualify them, then move them along, and you do that through personalized communications.

It doesn’t have to be like you researched for an hour and write a 30 minute long email to them, but you’ve got to show them that you care, that you’re paying attention, that you are like them, and that you’re there to help.

If you are able to solve their problems, that’s what this thing’s all about, and so the right types of emails, the right types of phone calls, and the right type of social touch points, but doing them at scale with process, with tools that help you accelerate those connections.Quote#5 porter

There’s an analogy that I like to use. It’s based on Terminator versus Iron Man. Terminator, he’s a robot. He’s just turned on. “Go, go, go, go, go.”

No thought, programmatically trying to achieve this thing, whereas Iron Man is a human with emotion, intelligence, connections, and all these ideas, but then he puts on the suit. He hooks into Jarvis and everything’s accelerated.

The salespeople of the future, the modern sales professional, is the Iron Man or Iron Woman of sales, and they’re using all their human skills, and then adding to that all these technologies to help them do better.

John:  Love it. Thank you.

Kathy, from your perspective, as a VP, and same type of thing. I’d love to hear your perspective on, what do you tell the rep out there that their VP, and I’d like to understand what you’re doing, but when their VP is telling them, “You have to do 100 activities a day,” and we’re saying, “But you got to be personalized.”

The rep’s saying, “Time management, so that’s why I’m blasting out my 100 emails.” What do you say to that and how do you see the difference between the two?

Kathy:  A couple of different things. You’re going to think I’m maybe schizophrenic when I say this, but it really depends on the type of business and the type of sale that you’re doing.

I’ve been at other companies where it was all about you could get them in the hook and in the sales cycle in one or two conversations, because frankly, it was so compelling, it wasn’t a big huge considered purchase, and they could implement it fairly quickly.

In those scenarios, you have fewer conversations and fewer dials, but you’re having very meaningful. That was all about how much effort you put into that target list, because you wanted to really have those personalized. You could, with the right one call or two calls, get them into the funnel.

Conversely, and just to use, Intacct as an example, for considered complex applications, which there’s more and more of those, especially in the SaaS world now as the market’s evolving, for us, we have to have a minimum of 1,000 working accounts for an outbound rep because for us, it’s all about timing.

People replace this solution every 7 to 10 years. We have to have enough working folks that enough of them are going to be at that conversion point or new companies coming up. I think you have to look at your market, look at the landscape and the buyer’s profile, to understand what that right mix is.

Regardless of what you set it at, the outbound reps are going to say, “There’s no way I can hit that, I don’t have enough time.” What we’ve really invested in, and it’s great there’s all these technologies now, is how do you automate those low value preparation tasks so that they can spend all of their time on the human aspect of it?

To take and bridge that gap between us and that prospect without having to do Excel spreadsheets or manual searches on the web trying to find trigger events and stuff?Quote#6 lord

There’s so much great automation you can do behind the scenes that puts that person on the stage much more prepared to have a live human to human conversation.

Kyle:  It’s like your golf caddy. He’ll drive you up to tee and hand you the club and say, “There’s the bunker you want to go to the right, then dog left,” puts the ball on the tee. Now you swing the club.

As a salesperson, you get out and connect with those people and use the creativity, and if you’re eliminating a lot of that rote process stuff, then you can do it more and more and more.

I’d like to talk about metrics a little bit. I was at a customer site, and I looked on their big screen TV. I saw that they had a metric that they were monitoring the success of their sales team on it. It was “Emails sent.”

Kathy:  Woohoo. [laughs]

Kyle:  I was like, “Dude, you can’t be doing that. You can’t be applauding your team for the number of emails they sent. It just doesn’t work.” If you were measuring whether they were personalized or not, that might be an angle you can take.

But what we believe and what I’ve seen and what the best sales leaders have taught me is that the old school world of sales, the post opportunity sales that we grew up with spin selling, they had three things that really mattered.

The concept of an opportunity, and they still do, by the way, the sales cycle, and the hit rate, the win rate of those opportunities to close.

What’s happened now, top of the funnel selling has three very similar metrics that matter for the professionalization of this new sales development world. It’s where the sales people have opportunities, sales development people have logos. They haven’t even talked to them yet, but they know they’re the right logos.

Where opportunity stage has sales cycle, SDRs have SDR cycle. “How long does it take to go from uncontacted company to qualified appointment?” and then the other one is the percentage. You put 1,000 logos in, how many qualified opportunities come out the bottom one?

That’s one of the biggest metrics in the world, because if you had rep A who says, “I’m going to reach out to 200 accounts and convert 30,” that’s wildly different than someone reaching out to 2,000 accounts and converting 30. That’s we try to do. That’s what we’ve seen.

John:  It’s also a dangerous thing for all of you out there thinking out that blasting out emails just to get some ground swell, if you look at those two numbers, say you send out 1,000 emails or 1,000 straight up cold calls and you get 5 meetings, versus 100 and you get 5 meetings, those 5 from the 100 are a thousand times more valuable than the 5 from the 1,000, and for multiple reasons.

Usually, they’re higher qualified. The other is, by getting five meetings out of 1,000, even though you got the same thing here, you probably pissed off 995 people, that when you try to go back at them, they’re going to be like, “Yeah, take me off your list, you psycho.”

I really, really recommend tiering out your accounts, getting the logos, treating them separately than the tier twos and the tier threes and maybe if you want to automate a lot of that stuff.

The last point I’ll make on this before we open it up for questions is really a recommendation for everybody here, split test everything you do. Literally split test everything you do.

If you have 1,000 people, and you are going to play a volume game, don’t just send one email to all 1,000 of them. Send 100, 200, 200, 200, 200, and split test to see what works.

Same thing with cold calling. Really hone in on a persona or something like that and come up with a message that you think that persona is worthwhile, and then call in 100 times in a group to see if that message resonates.Quote#7 barrows

Marketing does it better than anybody else, I mean marketing is, “Split test everything,” right? It’s the science of everything. Sales has got to catch up on that, or else we’re going to get replaced by marketing. Any comments?

Kyle:  Yeah, absolutely. I sit in our outbound sales development room. That’s my office. There’s 16 outbound sales development reps all day long, making calls and sending emails.

While I’m sitting there, I’m always like, “Man, I would have done this. I would have said that. I would have done this.” One day, I woke up. I was in the shower, and I thought, “This is totally my cold call opening. This one’s totally my cold call opening.”

I went into the office, and I said, “Hey, team. Listen up. I got these ideas. We should say this when we open a cold call.” They were like, “That’s pretty cool.” The other one’s like, “That’s pretty cool.” They start trying it that day, and I’m hearing some success, but it’s all anecdotal.

We go, “OK, we have got to figure this thing out,” because I know sales managers that’ll walk in the room and say, “You absolutely have to ask for permission to continue a call.” The other sales manager comes in and goes, “You never ask for permission to continue a call.” They’re both absolutely 100 percent right, right? It’s an opinion.

John:  Right.

Kyle:  We went in, and we decided to design… We went into Salesforce task fields and created a field called Call Opening. Drop down box one, two, three, different types of openings, and four was a custom opening. Then we loaded that in our sales phone calling tool. When they launched those calls, as they’re ringing, they just click call one, call two, or call three.

Now 1,000 calls later, we can say which one was most successful. We went from this opinionated approach to scientific proof that call opening two was more effective than three or four, not just to get them into a discussion, but to set up the appointment, that produced the most pipeline, that closed the most business. That was really cool to see that as an example of split testing.

John:  How do you help your team figure things out?

Kathy:  One of the things that’s been really helpful for us, and I think this is partly how we utilize some technology automation while keeping it very personalized, similar to how Marketo or whatever is used for marketing automation.

We have a sales app that lets us track with cadence and measure for these emails, which ones were more opened more frequently, which ones didn’t get opened. We can help tweak the cadence that they’re going through with the messages.

We provide, though, within that, “Here are some core templates.” That’s 50 percent of the content, and then the other 50 percent is the, “Why that prospect, why them now?” with the personalized stuff, but it still helps us know, “Is it better to talk about the risks of not doing something early in the sales cycle, or is that better later in the sales cycle?”

The key thematics and the order in which we need to present those to the prospect, we’re able to gauge what that cadence is. We’ve just started this the past few months, and really seeing success. It’s helpful for the reps, and it makes them feel good about what they’re doing.Quote#8 barrows

John:  I always like to say, “If you make 50 dials in a day, and you get no meetings, that’s a miserable day.” Any rep will tell you that’s an absolute miserable day. But if you make 25 dials with this approach and 25 dials with this approach, and you still get no meetings, that’s actually not a bad day, because you just figured out two approaches that don’t work.

Tomorrow, you come in and try a couple of new ones. If you want an SDR role, and you guys can back me up on this, it’s a brutal role. Brutal role. After about six months of wailing your head up against the phone, making your ears bleed and sending out emails, you’re sitting there, “How much longer do I…next role?”

You got to make it interesting, and split testing can make it interesting. If you do it as a group too, by the way, individual reps should do this, but as a group, you can figure out things so much faster. I’ll come to your first question.

Kathy:  I was just going to say one final comment on that. This is one of the things that we’ve seen, is that if you have reps who are targeting companies outbound, you have to remind them that it’s not going to be the same quick cycle that it is for inbound.

If you believe that the buyer is doing, seeing anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of their research before they’re willing to have a live conversation, that’s not going to change magically with outbound.

One of the things we had to reset was expectations of thinking about it. It’s not just a matter of live conversations, but measuring what’s inside engagement. “Have I been able to increase the engagement level of this prospective company with mine?”

That starts to build that sales funnel, if you will, at the very top before it’s even an opportunity. Tracking that engagement level, I think, is really important, whether it’s an SDR or a sales rep doing that outbound prospecting.

Kyle:  I do want to add one thing. On the sales side, on the phone side, I think for first time founders, for technical founders, for first time people in sales, the phone can be the scariest thing in the entire world, getting on the phone to actually try to reach out. You’re going to get rejected so many times.Quote#9 porter

I sat on a panel with LinkedIn and Salesforce and Aaron Ross. The question was asked, “What’s the sales app of 2016?” Unanimously, everybody said phone. At SalesLoft, we’ll do about 250 outbound sales qualified appointments per month, and it’s literally 50 percent of those come from very first meaningful interaction over the phone.

The reason is that it’s a synchronous communication. Email is asynchronous. I email you, you might get back later. It’s a back and forth thing. With phone, you have the person on the phone. You’re able to connect really personally on the spot.

The one thing that I would add just as a tip is that when your reps are making calls, have them record the sentiment and disposition outcome of the call, because what you can do is, at the end of the month, you can lay out all your reps across a bar chart and see, “Angela and Tim made the same amount of calls, but it looks like Tim has wildly more that are bad numbers. Let’s dive in and see why that’s the case.”

Or, “Angela gets stopped at gatekeepers all the time.” She actually doesn’t. Angela, if you’re out there, I know you crush gatekeepers.

[laughter]

Kyle:  “Angela’s crushing gatekeepers more than anyone else. What is she doing? Let’s dive in and see, and let’s listen to the calls and see what’s making her different.”

When you record disposition and sentiment, you can go very narrow on the coaching for each individual rep on the thing they’re actually struggling with.

John:  Have them do it in groups, by the way. These open office environments are fantastic for collaboration, but when you marry up the millennial non phone, afraid of it, then even if a kid wants to get on the phone, they pick up the phone.

If nobody else is on the phone, it feels like they’re the only person in the office, and everybody else is listening to every single world that they say.

I like power hours. Do a power hour, where marketing comes in and says, “This is the persona we’re going after. This is what they look like. Here’s what they care about. Here’s a message.

Here’s a case study that we can use to do that and maybe some questions specific to that role. Now everybody for an hour, hammer the phones and say the same thing.” We show CIOs in the healthcare industry how to drive these type of results. “Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, and then measure to see.”

In that hour, if you got 10 people making calls, 10 to 15 calls, that’s 150 to 200 data points right there that you can look at and say, “That worked,” or “That didn’t work.”

Kyle:  And when they fall flat on their face, give them a round of applause. Like really do it,  like do it.

John:  Yeah, celebrate the train wrecks. I used to have an award for the biggest train wreck. Whoever had the biggest train wreck got the award, and they got a medal around their neck, and then whoever got the most meetings, because I love train wrecks. That’s why I would get on the phone, too.

Let’s open up for questions. We got 15, 20 minutes left. Let’s start over here, and then we’ll get over here.

Audience Member:  I want to thank everyone for coming. That would be even better. Now you can actually hear me.

John:  There you go, that helps.

Audience Member:  I’d love to know how, and get as specific as you can, how you think about the number of accounts that SDRs should have based on the total number of addressable firms and ACV.

John:  There you go. I’m going to…

Audience Member:  I can give you specific data points, but I’d love your thoughts on that.

John:  Perfect. Kathy, I’m going to defer to you, because you’re in this world a lot more than me as far as segmenting that out.

Kathy:  I think it really depends on how quickly you believe that you can cycle through those accounts in terms of dispositioning them out. Are they a potential customer now? Are they a potential customer, but just not now? Or are they never a potential customer?

Understanding how quickly that cycle is, and how quickly you can get to that disposition, I think helps you determine how many accounts you can have.

There’s some great calculators out there where you say, “If I’m prosecuting a six step sequence or cadence, and I’m going to call them every three days for the first week, and then I’m calling them every five days,” whatever you decide that cadence is, you can quickly calculate how many incremental accounts you can put into that.

It’s just creating a waterfall metric of those components there. I think it’s really important to do that for outbound so that you know how quickly they can be funneling new accounts in. For us, list building is the hardest thing. How do we find the right companies, and find those right contacts? We’re not targeting the Fortune 5000, we’re targeting SMB.

It’s hard to find those companies, especially when you go outside of technology. We’ve got to be having the sales associates in the background building out those accounts so that we make sure we’ve got them in Salesforce, they’re ready to go, and they can be feeding into their funnel so they have that right set of accounts.

I know I’m not directly answering your question, but it really depends.

Audience Member:  Could you talk about with your specific business how many leads the SDRs have in ACV?

Kathy:  Yeah, from an outbound perspective, we try to keep them with 1,000 accounts in the system, and that may mean…

Audience Member:  Per rep?

Kathy:  Per rep. Some of them are because they’re a year out. Some of them are immediate. We know if they have a working set of that, at the very top of the funnel, they’ve got 1,000 accounts, and then they can take them through each of those stages.

Our ACV is anywhere from 25 to 100K, depending on what vertical it’s in, and a very considered purchase, so there’s a lot of dialogue that happens with these folks.

Audience Member:  Does that 1,000 last the entire year, does it last six months, or is it indefinite until you close them?

Kathy:  It’s like a running set. As you disposition some out, you need to re feed some more in.

That’s where it’s having that calculator of knowing that you’re going to get through these accounts in a certain period of time. Having that view, which, by the way, is not easy, because most systems look at stuff at the contact level, not the account level.

You need to just make sure that you’re looking from an account perspective or a company perspective, that they have enough working set at any given point in time, whether you decide that’s 1,000 or 500, make sure that they’re continually feeding new companies into that as ones disposition out, either because you win them, or you figure out they’re not a good fit.

Kyle:  We have something very similar. We want to see our reps make over 125 touch points per day. That might be new contacts, it might be following up old contacts, and we have two groupings of sales development.

One is upstream, and one is downstream. The upstream team has obviously a smaller set of logos, so 50 logos that they’re working.

When one of those logos pushes off and says, “Call me back in six to nine months,” they go off and a new one comes on. When one of those logos gets a qualified appointment schedule, they go off, and a new one comes on.

What you need to do is you need to figure out mathematically how many touch points do you want to apply, how many touch points does it take to convert a prospect into a qualified opportunity, over how many days, and then how many touch points can you expect your reps to be executing on? Then you’ll be able to fill in how many logos they can cover within a given month.Quote#10 Barrows

John:  By the way, on that note, going back to split testing, don’t listen to the studies out there about how many it takes, 5 touches, 10 touches, 20 touches. It is 100 percent dependent on who your market is, and who you’re selling to.

Kathy:  Absolutely.

John:  Those studies are good baseline to get an understanding. Let’s put it this way. It’s more than one.

[laughter]

John:  Make sure you have a contact strategy, but something you can split test is, take a group of accounts, put 5 touches in 30 days or something like that, take another group of accounts, do 20 touches in 30 days or something like that. You’ll figure it out for your business. Don’t listen to the stats.

I’m going to come over here, and then I’ll come over to you. There was somebody over here that had a quick question.

Audience Member:  Could you guys give a little bit of information about a typical cadence that your SDRs run right now in terms of number of touches, mix between email and phone, time in between each one? Can you also talk a little bit about targeting more than one person in an account at a time?

John:  I’m going to actually had that one to Kyle, because you have a very specific…You know exactly what your contact strategy is, so why don’t you… Also, help everybody understand again who is your target market for SalesLoft? Give some context to it.

Kyle:  We sell to software technology and tech enabled businesses, between 10 reps and 100 reps, sometimes over, and it’s really good when it’s over.

What we do is we have the split between upstream and downstream. Upstream is going to be anything above 30 or so reps, and then downstream is going to be below that.

The strategies are a little bit different with the two. For upstream, it’s more personalized, it’s deeper within an organization, so multiple people within the organization. It’s a lot of phone calls, and it’s breaks between weeks.

It’ll be like phone call, email, phone call, and then it’ll be a break. Then phone call, email, phone call, and then a break, because it’s not always hitting them up. We want to give them some breathing room.

With the traditional sales development team, they’re working a standard seven by seven process. It’s seven phone calls and emails over a period of seven days. They recycle that with some additional touch points afterwards.

One thing that they’ve added in is a social touchpoint. We’re running analysis on which of the prospects are on Twitter, and doing a follow, doing a favorite, sometimes doing a reply, not over burdensome, but those are some of the things. It’s tweaked all the time. I have a sales development leader that reports directly to me.

Another thing we do that’s different than a lot of companies is sales development, a director of sales development reports directly to me, doesn’t report to our VP of sales. Our VP of sales handles all our account executive efforts and everything post opportunity.

I give her full autonomy to run any steps and process that she wants. She’s great and open and available to call or conversation if anyone wants to meet with her.

John:  Love it. Do you guys have a specific cadence that you’ve figured out?

Kathy:  We absolutely do. We did a little bit of A/B testing on it.

We score all of our leads, whether they’re inbound or outbound, based on company fit. We do behavior scores, and we do fit scores. Maybe we have, “A’s and B’s are the best,” and we have a bunch of A and B leads come in, but they’re really not engaged with us.

On a scale of one to four, with four being bad, they’re fours. We know they’re the right company, they don’t have an active project. They’re not thinking about us.

For the A and B leads, we actually have a 12 step cadence that we follow up with. Everything always starts with a phone call. Most of them are multi touch, so we’ll call. If we don’t get them live, we’ll leave a message, and then we’ll send a follow up email. We’re trying to hit them from multiple points there.

One of the other things we do, and this is, I think, really interesting as you start to think about it. We don’t just hit one title. Even with inbound leads, if we get the controller in, we’re going to get the CFO and CEO, and we’re going to reach out to them too. That’s a little bit of the outbound efforts on the inbound leads.

We do the same thing. One of the new campaigns we just started, and this has been proven really effective. A short tenure, but high effective rate so far, for our account execs who are doing outbound, they’re doing a much smaller number.

They may pick a customer, and they’ll go to LinkedIn and say, “Give me five customers or companies like this one,” so a very targeted campaign. They’re actually including InMails in with that, LinkedIn InMails. They’ll do a phone call, an email.

The CEO, we always go through LinkedIn, and we’re finding with different titles, we can actually…Social media sometimes is easier to get to them, because their admin’s probably not monitoring their LinkedIn account, they’re doing that directly.

Combining the phone, the email, the social interactions, and even in some cases, following them on Twitter and doing things like that, has really proven effective especially at the CXO level.

John:  Actually, my quick analogy on that one is, if anybody’s ever seen the movie “Focus” with Will Smith? If you haven’t seen that, I highly recommend it.

He goes, and he kind of scams this guy. He bets him double down on all this other stuff and loses a million dollars. Will goes, “One more bet.” It’s like, “Pick a number on the field, I’ll guess.” The guy’s like, “Are you out of your mind? OK, fine.” He picks a number, and Will guesses it.

The thing is is he set this guy up. As soon as he landed in New Orleans for the Super Bowl, everywhere he saw was 55. The license plate was 55. Their chandeliers were 55. The room the guy stayed in was 55. By the time the guy took the binoculars and looked down on the field, he saw 55, that was the person he wanted. He was like, “That’s the number.”

For me, people ask, “Is it InMails, is it email, is it phone, is it social media?” It’s all of it, ladies and gentlemen. It’s all of it. You want to follow people on Twitter, you want to jump on their LinkedIn groups, you want to answer a question.

Don’t sell them on anything. Answer a question. You want to email them. You want to InMail them, with every piece being value oriented and having context around the content, that’s where you start to make a difference. That’s where you have to, in my opinion, elevate a lot.

Kyle:  All bound.

John:  All bound, exactly. All right, coming over here. There was a question here. I’ll come to you next.

Audience Member:  You may have already answered this, so if you have…My question is, I’m in the SMB space, as well. We find we have some difficulty around the list building and all those things as well.

We also target a very specific occupation within that particular company. Can you share anything on your list building strategies, or is that too inside baseball?

Kathy:  No, I’d be happy to.

Having been going at this for a number of years, there’s a lot of new resources available. There’s traditional folks, whether it’s ReachForce, data.com, or folks like that that can help, but they’re really only going to get down to that 50 employee mark. If you’re selling below 50 employees, it’s a lot more challenging.Quote#11 lord

What we found because we’re also very vertically oriented is there’s a number of associations for each vertical, and we actually have partnered with them to build out say, for franchises.

We sponsor their shows. We help sponsor and do stuff for the National Franchise Association. As part of that, we get lists of franchises. Multi-office Healthcare is another great one.

It’s a lot more pain and suffering, and you have to very targeted with it, but there’s a lot of places to go get niche vertical content. You just have to be creative as to how to get them. Usually, if you give them something in return of value, it’s a lot easier to get those lists.

John:  How do you do it?

Kyle:  For data sources, is that what? I didn’t hear you.

John:  How do you build a good list? That’s the biggest problem with most of…Garbage in, garbage out, right?

Kyle:  That’s right. There’s some fantastic data service providers that are here, that I know of, we’re big fans of. DiscoverOrg is a good one, particularly IT. I think they’re expanded out. Datanyze is another one. They are here today. You can go see them.

For company lists, Mattermark is a good one. I saw someone wearing a DataFox shirt in the audience. I think that’s a good company that helps people build lists of contacts.

There’s some businesses in the predictive analytics space that are helping generate lists of accounts you should go after. EverString is a good one for that. Another company that does good company data is InsideView.

These are some of the ones that our customers have used and had a lot of success with. RingLead is another one. Check these out. It’s always, “Who exactly do you want?” and one of them is going to be better positioned to help you get that.

Then, “What resources do you have to capture that information?” whether you want the reps to do it themselves, or whether you want an admin, or a Sales Ops person to do it all themselves. There’s varying ways to go about that.

Once you get it is where the magic really happens. My company actually started off as a data service provider, and we’re no longer one. One of the biggest things that we found was people had all this data, but they didn’t know what to do with it. They didn’t know how to turn the data into qualified opportunities, and so that’s where some of the magic, what we talked about today is.

A few things that I’ve seen that have really been good tips for folks out there in the marketplace is when you are sending sales emails, have those emails go through your own mail servers and not a transactional email server. It’s a very simple one.

The marketing automation products send through transactional email servers, when those emails get into people’s inboxes, they go in spam filters and promo tabs, because they are sent through transactional email.

When you tie a system into your Outlook, or Exchange, or Google, then you get more hit rate and reply rate.

Kathy:  Absolutely.

Kyle:  Another one is when you are making dials, record the dials if you can legally do it, because it gives you great coaching moments and opportunities.

Use a local dial when you can to call people from the area code of which they are. You get a huge hit rate on connects there. Record disposition and sentiment is some of the things we talked about, A/B test all those approaches, then use data to improve your connections.

John:  I’ll take one more question, but one more thing on that, on really profiling, you can get the list only as good as it can get. It’s usually based on the demographic, size, industry, that type of stuff.

I used to have database clean up days with my reps. I’d look for that tier two information that was like the nuanced, like, “What technologies are they using, who’s the competition?” all these things.

I would just say, “Pizzas and beers, Friday afternoon,” and I would run everybody’s territory with all the white space in them. I’d say, “Look, everybody your job isn’t to get meetings today. If you get them fantastic, but let’s just have some fun with this call, the 1 800 sales line.”

If you want some good sales data, sales reps on a Friday afternoon are a wealth of information. You just call them up and say, “Hey, you know I’ll just maybe share with you some stuff I’m doing. I’d like to pick your brain about some stuff,” with 1 800 customer service line, and just farm information, so later on you can better qualify

One more question, and then I think we’re going to have to bounce here. Down here, did you have a…? See how long this goes. I’ll come to you if it’s more. What’s up, man?

Audience Member:  Could you just talk briefly about, what’s been successful compensation packages for the SDR role?

John:  [laughs] I’m not in that world anymore, the comp world, at least.

Kyle:  I can answer, what ours is. It’s 70K, OTE, 50/50 split between base and variable, comp’ed on, contribution to pipeline, qualified appointments. Sometimes deals close. We’ve gone back and forth on that.

We’ve got something on the Internet. If you type in SDR compensation, I think we’ve got two or three posts that you’ll give you some examples of what we’ve seen.

Audience Member:  Could you say that a little slower?

[laughter]

John:  We’re fighting the clock here.

Kyle:  I’m sorry, the clock’s ticking down in front of me. But yeah, Google search it, and first results.

John:  What do they put in?

Kyle:  SDR compensation.

John:  SDR comp, SalesLoft, put it in there. It’ll probably map it out for you.

Kathy:  And highly variable, based on geography.

Audience Member:  OK, last question over here.

John:  Oh, OK, sorry.

Audience Member:  Thank you.

John:  Yep, perfect.

Audience Member:  Content comes in. Often our SDRs are saying that they’re not ready to buy and pushing them off. How do you make that middle? How do you fix that?

John:  How do you fix the blow off?

Audience Member:  What do they say to get people who are not…They didn’t download a content to buy the product?

John:  They downloaded the white paper, because they liked the white paper, and that’s why that white paper email doesn’t work, by the way, because if I wanted to talk to you about that white paper, I would have called you about the white paper.

Anyways, I think it’s all about who you’re talking to. A lot of times those inbounds are super low on the totem poll, and so like we talked about earlier, that’s a trigger. Something happened there. They didn’t just come across our website and say, “Oh, this is kind of interesting.”

They did a search, and it drove them. Something’s happening in that business. There’s very little, I think, you can do to get that person, that individual below the power line person to say, “Oh, my God. We gotta buy this.”

I think we can use that information, and then almost do the transition between inbound and outbounds where we say, “Hey, let’s fit a really good profile for us here. Let’s put that in a bucket over here, and maybe let’s do a little bit of research on this account,” and know that there’s something happening in there that prompted that.

“Let’s see if we can find out what that is and fire off an email to the CEO, and not say that this person came to us,” just know that something’s happening there.

I don’t know if you guys have anything to add on that. I don’t think there’s much we can do for some low level person that downloaded a white paper, and all of the sudden be like, [laughs] “Yeah, here’s my checkbook.” Is there…?

Kathy:  No, but I think one of the things you can do is just appeal to them from a human perspective of, we generally know why people download those white papers.

It’s one of five problems or three problems, whatever, and say, “Wow, you know, I saw you downloaded this white paper. I’ve found in talking to folks that, generally, they’re experiencing this, this and this. Gosh, you know, are you experiencing that?”

Just appeal to them. Likely, if they are low levels, if somebody is sympathizing with them, they’re going to take it for all they can. Then you can learn enough so that when now you reach out to the CEO, you have a lot more information about what the actual problem is, and then, “Hey, we’re here to help you solve them.”

John:  There you go. Anything last to add on that?

Kyle:  Parting words in general, “Sales automation kills kittens.”

[laughter]

Kyle:  Don’t over automate sales. If you have a process that you think is working, but it’s not dependent upon great sales skills, it’s not going to work a long time. You have to be great at sales to have great sales.

John:  Love it.

Kathy:  Absolutely.

John:  My last parting wisdom, and it kind of relates to that, is objection handling, the preemptive strike. I love the preemptive strike.

When you know the objections coming, just use it. Say, “Look, I know you don’t want to talk to me, but the reason for me talking to you is this.” If you want to learn how I learned that personally, you can look at my blog of “11 Lessons Learned from Getting Drunk in Vegas and Accidentally Buying a Timeshare.”

[laughter]

John:  If you ever want to see the Science of Sales in action, go pretend like you’re not going to buy a timeshare, and they will own you like they owned me.

[laughter]

John:  Anyways, any last parting wisdom? Any nuggets, tips, that you want to leave everybody with here?

Kathy:  The only thing I would say is there’s no way you’re going to be able to grow your company fast enough without thinking about what your outbound strategy is.

Kyle:  Love it.

John:  All right, everybody. We’re going to be hanging around all day, so if you want to ask questions, whatever it is. Hopefully you enjoyed this. Thank you all very much. I appreciate it.

Published on January 12, 2017
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