We consume information from a variety of platforms, so we have to connect with prospects from different angles using omnichannel outreach. We have to find our audience where they happen to be listening.
Mark Kosoglow is the VP of Sales at Outreach, a sales engagement channel, and he’s explaining today how sales reps can include omnichannel outreach in their efforts. His passion is developing people and creating a winning, fun, positive atmosphere where people are inspired to do their best.
He said if you are going to have a hard worker, they have to enjoy work. That doesn’t mean you have to enjoy what you do. It means you enjoy working and you’re likely always tinkering around the house. His dad taught him that if you make people’s work easy, they’ll work hard for you. To that end, he tries to make people’s work easier so they’ll work harder.
What is omnichannel?
Consider the following questions as you’re considering what omnichannel is.
- Do you answer the phone when someone calls?
- Do you reply to every email you receive?
- Will you sometimes engage with people who contact you on social media?
- Will you sometimes talk with people who stop by your home or office to sell something?
That’s omnichannel. As humans, we engage with people in many different ways depending on our mood or their approach or the channel.
The point of omnichannel outreach is to meet people where they are. People have preferred methods of communication, and by limiting yourself to a single channel you’re excluding a large number of people. You’re missing out on a growing audience.
Many people don’t understand how to use omnichannel. With social, for example, if I’m targeting you on social media, I’d begin by following you. Then I’d read your posts and engage in activity to let you know that I’m interested in you as a human and in the things you’re doing. After I’ve built an online social relationship, the person I’m targeting should understand a little bit of why I’m interacting with them.
At that point, you can reach out with a value pitch or something that helps people understand what you’re offering.
As humans and nonsellers, we do this kind of stuff all the time very naturally, but then when we bring it to our careers and the way we make money, we get weird about it. We do stupid stuff that we would never do as a normal human. But the truth is that if you engage professionally on social media the same way you engage on your personal pages, you’ll be a great social seller.
Beginning with omnichannel
Sales managers who hear this may wonder how to introduce these concepts without disrupting the success their team members are already having. Admittedly it’s difficult to introduce change while trying to avoid disrupting the status quo.
At Outreach, the teams begin with a hypothesis like, “I believe that by engaging with our top 10 accounts that we can create more meetings.” It’s specific and measurable. Then they create a plan to go do that.
Maybe set up a strike team of your best reps or a cross-section of different kinds of reps and have them run the same process. Then, using KPIs, measure their results against the control results. If there’s a lift, then people will be happy to move to the new techniques.
Realize that you cannot have people who conduct activities in different ways. There must be a workflow and process in place to ensure that you’re measuring the process rather than the ability of the individual. In the end, you must have the guts to make a decision.
The only sellers who should balk at this kind of change are those that live in the exact house that they want, who are driving the exact car that they want, and they are happy coming into work. If a seller fits that description, he’s likely already making $10 million a year or he is lying to himself.
Sometimes our tracking processes do a fantastic job of motivating our activities, but they produce such a heavy cognitive load that teams spend more time managing them than they do in their sales activities.
Mark equates sales to plate spinning, where you spin up a couple of people on Monday, and then spin a couple more on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday, but you have to return to the Monday people to keep them spinning. The problem is that you can only spin so many plates at a time.
Technology allows you to add a motor to the stick that will keep the plate spinning until the motor runs out of gas. Technology helps you administer and run the system, and Outreach does exactly the same thing.
Even if you’re automating a system, you can build out processes that allow you to be personable. Include a first step that involves research to discover two or three specific things about your prospect. Then include those in your CRM and write an email based on those things you found. The first step should not be an automated email.
Even if you send an automated email to 10,000 people and get 100responses back, you will have burned out 9,900 people by sending a generic email. Take your time and send personalized messages to a select group of people.
Outreach works with single seller startups and huge companies like Adobe, Microsoft, and Amazon. The tool is meant to be flexible. The sweet spot is probably from 100-500 users; a company that is seeking to really nail down their scaling strategy. It’s for those companies who can’t afford to rely on the top 20 percent to carry the load for the other 80 percent.
Your company must have a much more operational system driven way of selling.
One of its secret sauces is its integration with SalesForce and Dynamics so that every action is logged into the CRM automatically. The tool uses a feature called Amplify that involves complex, futuristic machine learning.
As an example, the average percentage for out-of-office replies is 17 percent. So 1 in 5 of those responses will likely include the date the person will return, and the name and phone number of someone else in the organization who may even be higher in the organization. And most reps probably delete those emails despite all the good information that’s in them.
You’re 46 percent less likely to book a meeting with someone if you contact them a second time when they’re out of the office. Pair that information with the fact that the majority of those emails will include the contact information for another person on the team. Outreach has created machine learning that can read out-of-office replies.
It reads the date of return in the email and offers an option to pause all communication until the recipient returns. It also notifies you of the other team member’s contact information. With one click, you can address these issues.
From the company’s origins, they scanned emails and discovered 73,000 phone numbers in the email signature blocks. Of those contacts, only 23 percent of those were added to CRM by the reps. Seventy-seven percent of those were never captured.
In 9 out of 10 deals, you end up talking with the person who was originally listed on that out-of-office email. And considering how much less likely you are to book a deal if you contact the person again while they are out of office, it’s damaging your efforts if you don’t read the out-of-office email.
This helps you be more personable because you’re not contacting the person continually while he’s on vacation.
If you aren’t contacting people on multiple channels, you’re limiting your ability to succeed. But don’t go willy-nilly spending half your day on LinkedIn. It’s a waste of time. Create a defined experiment with a hypothesis to test against, measure it, and see if you can get better at what matters by doing something different.
If you can combine those two things, you can potentially improve your performance in two weeks.
“Omnichannel Outreach” episode resources
You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn, where he’s fairly active. He doesn’t do Twitter, Facebook, or other social media. You can also connect with him at outreach.io to book a demo and experience world-class inbound lead handling. Within two minutes you get a personalized email from a rep, and within 15 minutes, large companies get a phone call from a rep.
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