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There has to be a balance between personalization and automation in outbound sales. The question is, how do you keep the right blend of the two? In this episode, we’ll discuss how to personalize the method of automation.
Stephen Lowisz always says that he sucks at everything except sales. He was 16 when he started selling consulting solutions. He didn’t make any money at first but even with no formal training he was able to study the process and he made his first 1.1 at 19. When Stephen started sales, it was old-school smile-and-dial. It was a time of manual effort – finding people, getting their data, putting it on SalesForce, and calling. Things are different now.
Outbound sales isn’t necessarily viewed as appealing. The appeal comes later when you’re collecting the check. Outbound sales is considered spam because we often get automated messages from a variety of sources. Many sales teams don’t realize there is a right and wrong way of sending out emails.
Executing Stephen’s philosophy of making outbound more personal is executed by taking a group of people that are almost identical in persona. Once they are selected he then communicates with the group as a specific persona and it helps make the message more personal even if it’s being automated to a specific group. In his company, they sell behavioral analytics to predict sales team performance within organizations and most of their products are focused on HR. They are good clients but they are not a group where persona can be defined.
When he talks to a small group of people who exhibit the same persona he can get very personal with them. Most salespeople approach an individual saying, “Hey I’m Stephen from Quality Agents. I run a performance solution and I have behavioral analytics …” and on and on, making it all about them and their products. Stephen has a different approach. He’ll say, “Look, running HR, essentially being the CEO of people in a fast-moving tech company with ever-changing needs, is really, really difficult. I get to align with HR leaders like yourself, to help them grow and scale and align their teams and I want to swap some insight and ideas.” He’s able to make it about them and shows up to serve and partner.
Stephen suggests that you can automate the activity and the task well. You can send a sequence of automated emails and then do the same thing with LinkedIn where you do voicemail drops.
Another tip to staying personal is by automating the task. In earlier years, sales had no automation. Everything was manually and there was a need for a methodology. Even with automation, however, we still need methodology in sales today. Without specific steps, you can end up working harder without working smarter. There are many tools to do this but it’s when you have a sequence and methodology that you are able to optimize your sales process.
Stephen created an e-book called Sales Code which offered a different mentality around sales. The goal of salespeople is to set up an appointment and make a deal; however, it is also equally important to pique the emotional curiosity of your prospects. This is what outbound sales is. It’s about piquing not just the product or service interest but also emotional curiosity.
To create a balance between automation and personalization, Stephen suggests beginning with a personal approach. Once they have an emotional investment, it is more likely appointments will be made. When that’s done you can move them through email automation and start connecting with them via LinkedIn automatically. After that, a personal conversation.
Cold-calling may not be scalable but it’s also not dead. It’s a good idea to warm-up your prospects with a few LinkedIn touches or emails. Depending on the size of your business, you can also use Facebook. Generally, it takes 7 – 12 touchpoints before someone will meet. Remember that prospects are different from each other so spend a lot of time nurturing the relationship using a lot of different avenues. Be professionally persistent without hounding your prospects.
Cold-calling is a catalyst to get a response via other mediums. More often than not, people won’t call you back but if you give them the right opportunity and nudge them in a professional way, they will respond. Others misconstrue formality with professionalism. Stephen uses an informal approach but he tailors his message. His goal is to talk to people on a peer-to-peer level. He is professional but for him, taking a formal approach doesn’t work as well.
It’s very easy to become unoriginal in sales if you just follow the strategies of other people. It’s good to take into account what successful people have done but do it in a way that is authentic and unique to you, and to your client.
According to Stephen, the European market can be very formal in the way that exchanges are made. He trains ways that conversations can be professional but still be conversational. If you communicate on the side of formality, you may try adjusting your approaches to best suit your client.
Just remember to create a very niche and specific persona. Craft a custom message to that persona and take that same exact message and apply it to 100 people. Create a personal message and slightly back it up just enough so that you can automate it.
Connect with Stephen and know more about Qualigence via his LinkedIn account.
This episode is brought to you in part by Crmble, the easy-peasy CRM for Trello that helps you manage your contacts and leads without investing in complicated solutions, sync all your data, manage custom fields, and get powerful reporting on your sales. Try Crmble now for free at www.crmble.com/tse. This course is also brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.thesalesevangelist.com/closemoredeals also call us at (561) 570-5077.
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We get distracted from the things that matter most and we miss out on opportunities or ruin relationships because we forget the importance of the most important component of the sales process.
Sales tools help us promote or sell a product. They could include CRM, which helps us sell by allowing us to track information. These tools may help us understand more about the prospects who are working in the organizations we’re pursuing.
Tools might include your email account, your LinkedIn Sales Navigator account, your BombBomb account, your cell phone, or your Hubspot tools. There are countless tools you can take advantage of that will help you promote or sell your products more effectively.
Sometimes I rely so heavily on those tools that I effectively take myself out of the cockpit. I’m unable to guide the sales process because I’ve trusted my tools to automate it.
Automation without oversight can leave room for errors.
While it’s good to use tools like prospect.io to automate your outreach, the problem emerges when we fail to personalize the process. If we set up generic emails and then blast them to hundreds of different people, you won’t get the results you’re seeking. People can immediately sniff out bulk outreach.
If you rely entirely on automation, you’ll discover that very few people read your emails and even fewer respond. You may even discover that some unsubscribe from your communications.
On the other hand, if you use merge tags to personalize your messages and you focus on a specific industry and you address a specific problem that this industry faces, you can create a message that speaks directly to that industry.
While I’m emailing these prospects, I’ll also reach out to them on LinkedIn via an invite, and I’ll comment on some of their relevant content. I’ll also use personal phone calls as well as text messages or possibly even Twitter.
I interact in different locations. I’m present and I’m monitoring the interaction.
Unlike the generic situation which was devoid of my personal involvement, this option leaves room for my own personality. The prospects have a chance to interact with me in different settings because I’m actively involved. I’m present, and I’m overseeing the process.
People want to be treated personally.
Don’t lose focus on the human side of your connections. Make sure to differentiate yourself from the competition.
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This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.
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On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we hear from Alex Glenn about the new world for CRM and mirroring pipeline and how it can help us be more effective in our sales processes.
Alex runs automateddata.af, a place where customers can grab working automations for their businesses. The platform crowdsources solutions and wraps them up into a usable format for those in sales, marketing, and customer success.
CRM has seen a bit of a shift over the last few years. Instead of being software that costs thousands of dollars and requires a great deal of training, your CRM must be more agile now. [3:51]
CRM must work with your existing tools as well as the dashboards you regularly use for work. It must be easily accessible and easily connectable.
Most founders are also coming around to the idea that CRM should serve as all-in-one solutions.
It’s very convenient for people to access the information they need without having to lead the dashboard they already work in.
The first issue must be finding the best possible software for each process. [7:46]
You want to conduct outreach — either cold emailing, cold calling or LinkedIn prospecting. Then you want to manage that person or that prospect using CRM.
You’ll need post-conversion like signup, demos, and other options, and you’ll need nurturing touchpoints like email, and phone calls. Then you’ll need post-sale drips and one-to-one messaging.
The problem is that all of that can’t exist in one tool, but several tools are trying to accomplish all or 75 percent of it.
The “all-in-ones” represent themselves that way because they cover most of these activities, though many of the components will be somewhat bare bones. [9:20] There are issues with each of them that limit your capabilities.
Customers need to have timely messages that are appropriate for their specific situations. All-in-ones won’t ever be the best solution because they won’t be able to give you everything you need at every step.
Google Apps is global now, and many people in the tech and startup scenes are using it because there’s so much collaboration possible. [11:55]
But if your cold outreach system isn’t talking to your CRM and talking to your website, then you can cause a lot of confusion because you might be messaging someone in LinkedIn while you’re sending emails at the same time. It can make your efforts seem disorganized.
You need a tool that syncs your pipeline stages.
This capability allows small organizations to do really effective cold outreach. You may have gotten slapped for cold outreach before because you were sending too many emails or you got blacklisted. That doesn’t mean cold outreach doesn’t work.
That may result because you weren’t using the right platform or because your setup was wrong. The second possibility is that you weren’t doing it well. Perhaps you weren’t nurturing them effectively. [33:18]
If your pipeline stages aren’t in sync through the different outreach systems or the different tools that you’re using, you could create a poor customer experience.
Whether you use a system like this or an all-in-one system together with a cold outreach system, make sure your pipeline stages are clearly outlined.
Know what’s going on at each stage. Make sure each tool is being updated based upon where the customer is and how he interacted with your tools.
Check out the tools Alex mentioned in the episode:
You can also view the screenshare here.
This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.
We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.
Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.
This episode is also brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.
Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.
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