The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines

Episode 18: Turning Prospects Into Profits feat. Jason Bay of Outbound Squad™

August 12, 2022 Scott Scully, Jeff Winters, Eric Watkins Season 1 Episode 18
The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines
Episode 18: Turning Prospects Into Profits feat. Jason Bay of Outbound Squad™
Show Notes Transcript

Jason Bay has grown from selling house painting services door to door to managing outbound call centers, and now is the Founder & CEO of Outbound Squad™, a coaching program that has helped hundreds of sales reps master cold outreach. We dive into how to send the perfect cold email, what simple steps Jason believes reps can implement to improve their prospecting process, and how to combat the most common objection.

Thanks for listening!

Eric Watkins:

Welcome to the grove show where we make it easier for entrepreneurs and leaders to grow their businesses. You'll hear from real leaders with real stories about their successes and failures. So you don't have to make the same mistakes. We won't break out textbooks or talk theory only raw stories from the front lines with actionable takeaways.

Unknown:

The gross show is sponsored by abstract marketing group whose outsourced sales and marketing services provide you with everything you need to close consistent business for less than the cost of a full time employee. Here's the next episode of the Grow Show.

Eric Watkins:

Welcome back to the Grow show. I'm here with my partner in growth Jeff winners. Jeff, how are you doing today?

Jeff Winters:

Eric, we couldn't be better.

Eric Watkins:

You fired up.

Unknown:

I'd love having

Jeff Winters:

guests now.

Eric Watkins:

We're interviewers. We don't people don't want to hear what we have to say. No, not quite Interviewer Well, today we have a guest that's more than decent. Jason Bay. Blissful prospecting Jason. How we doing today?

Unknown:

What's up, I'm just based on the pre show banter. You guys I'm happy to chop it

Eric Watkins:

up with heavy does.

Unknown:

I think it's gonna be fun.

Eric Watkins:

You'd like to pre show banter. Jeff prides himself on good banter.

Jeff Winters:

It's all I got good podcast banter. And I just hope it doesn't get cut in the final. Yeah, at it.

Eric Watkins:

In the final edits, I

Unknown:

feel like I'm on. I feel like I'm on a radio show. Or something. It's got that radio show via There we go. Sometimes you get on a podcast, and it's a very, it feels like an interview the entire time. And it just, you know, you don't really, you know, have a conversation. And I'm getting the feeling this is like radio show like we're on an XM radio show or something like except, I mean, before you

Jeff Winters:

go into your sponsor. Yeah. Before you go into the big formal windup intro that you're famous for. Can I just say, let's say, Jesus contents awesome. It really is really as your LinkedIn stuffs. Fabulous, man.

Unknown:

I appreciate it. You guys.

Eric Watkins:

Yeah, what I was, we were saying this pre show. But what I appreciate about is, you know, a lot of people post content, it's very theory based and thought based and your tactical, your tactics. Where does that come from?

Unknown:

I was taught. So it's funny, because I'm a sales coach. And I, I really believe in getting coaching, you know, so one of the things that I did a couple of years ago was really commit to becoming a better coach, like getting better at just the skill of teaching and coaching. Because I hadn't really gotten a lot of that since I've been a sales manager. And we had really good coaching and training. But I was taught a format, it's called format, it's the number four and then ma T. And it's something that they use in education to create curriculum. And essentially, the concept there is that to get things to really stick with people, you need to talk about why, what and how. So if you look at the typical sales advice, you see it on both ends of that spectrum, right, you see stuff that's very how based? Hey, Eric, use this specific line on your next cold call with no context, right? No context at all, use this magic line that I use, when he meetings next to me. Yeah. So you get like the How to and like the what to do, and then no context into if I was to try to replicate this technique and make it my own? What's the why behind it? You know, so like a permission based opener, for example, which there are lots of opinions on, should I ask for permission or not at the top of a cold call. But the Hola. Hey, my name is Jason, do you mind if I get a minute tell you why I'm calling you let me know, if you want to keep chatting, just giving that line to a rap without saying, hey, the psychology behind that is that you're calling a person that did not ask you to call them. So sometimes what can be really effective is to get them to opt in to being a part of that experience with you. Right, that allows the prospect to have a little bit of autonomy and a choice in whether or not they want to participate in this thing that they didn't choose to participate in. So explaining that and kind of doing that, that allows a reps, individual resourcefulness to kick in, right? They can think about different ways that they could apply this technique. And to me, that's the beauty of having a sales team is you have this collective, the collective brains of all of the people on your team. Why waste that by just sharing a bunch of how to tactics all the time, you know, and then you got the other end of the spectrum where it's your typical talking head on LinkedIn or a sales trainer like myself, just saying, Yeah, you know, you got to, you know, add value. You got to add a lot of value through this, you know, it's like you get that like theoretical kind of, you know, Bs to and then no practical application or example of what that might look like or sound like an action. So that It's always really bothered me. So for me, it's been that kind of training that I have. And in doing that, and then also just thinking about what irritates me when I'm trying to learn how to do something, and I'm looking at content I'm like, and what do I tend to really gravitate towards? And, you know, salespeople are the hardest people to sell, in my opinion, which makes it fun to train them. And then I'm gonna get crucified if I do a one hour call with a group of salespeople, and there's no how to stuff that can immediately put into action. You know, so that's, that's a long winded answer. I

Eric Watkins:

love that. I love that. And let's, let's unpack why what you say matters, like your experience and how you got to this point. I know, one thing we really bonded over was, you started off in the the hardest places of all, you know, running a sales center with up to I think it was 75 individuals.

Unknown:

Yeah, yeah. So my first sales job was actually going door to door selling House Painting Services. And that was as an 18 year old in college. That was 2007 2008. So that same company, I did really well at that job made like $30,000 in profit over the summer just split in 3000,

Eric Watkins:

which is like half a million dollars when you're in college or high school.

Jeff Winters:

Yeah, you and your friends. Yeah, you show but yeah, grand at the end of the summer, he bought all the coca cola for everybody. Like send me ice cream truck around again. Yeah. Send me ice. Yeah.

Unknown:

Yeah, it led to the worst personal finance habits, which is probably a topic for another day. But so I did really well, I was really sort of hooked on sales at that point. But that company, I became a sales manager with them. And they were like doing $35 million a year in house residential house painting services, that company hires college students, teach them how to run a business, all that kind of stuff. So my first kind of like, inside sales kind of leadership position was they said, Hey, instead of after college going, I was gonna go work for a solar company and do sales for them. Why don't you actually become our kind of like marketing director, which they didn't have a formalized head of marketing or marketing department. And the first thing I was put to task with was, hey, we have this database of hundreds of 1000s of homeowners that sign up for estimates every year that we don't close. How about we build a call center, and we start calling those and we do some outbound calling, and all this other stuff? So I'm literally 22 years old. I don't know what a, you know, a predictive dialer is I don't know what landing pages are. I don't know what social media, I don't know any of this shit. You know what I mean? And I was given very little direction to so it was like, Hey, we have five cubicles. You need to hire five people to do this job. Figure out how to do that. And then I need you to look into how the system might be set up to do this. So when it started, it was rough. It was literally like a piece of printed out spreadsheets of people manually plugging numbers. Old days. Yeah,

Eric Watkins:

the rotary dialer is Yeah.

Unknown:

So that was like the proof of concept. So I was I was essentially running a business within this business, right? So once that took off, we're like, Okay, this makes sense. Let's actually build out a call center. Let's get call center managers. Let's get software. Let's do this thing, right. Let's pay for consultants that know what they're doing to come in and do all this other stuff. And I learned a lot. I think the biggest thing is how to continually motivate a group of people that are doing the same thing over and over again, because this was b2c. Right? There's no researching someone before you call them. This is a predictive dialers going and you got 20 to 30 seconds to breathe in between people that you're talking between

Eric Watkins:

the people. Yeah. So how did you do that? What were some ways you motivated the team?

Unknown:

Yeah, so a lot of what I learned was, you know, as an 18 year old, because, you know, when you're going door to door, the point was not for me to do all the door it was to get a lot of my friends and to pay people to help me to do that. Have you guys either have you done door to door like that before?

Jeff Winters:

Never know door to door. Anything else?

Eric Watkins:

Very briefly. I think it's brutal, nothing good. I wasn't selling anything good.

Unknown:

Oh, it's brutal. Because we would try to when we're recruiting people try to make it sound like it wasn't door to door, and then we show up and it's like, people are getting doors slammed in their face and stuff. So there's a couple things that I think are really important for kind of keeping people in that job. You know, I think one of them is a sense of responsibility. So I'll give you like a really kind of silly example. So when it was door to door it was, hey, we have specific territories within this neighborhood. You are the owner of the streets. Okay, I want you to keep track of everyone that answered everyone that didn't what they said all of this other stuff. You own this right now. In the call center, it was, hey, a big thing that we're working on right now is building out a playbook to handle these specific objections. so on, so you're gonna own this piece of the playbook, it's gonna be yours. Right, giving people responsibility is huge. People want to feel like they're in charge of something. Another example of that would be, you know, when we're looking at how people kind of interact and compete with each other, another thing that we would try to do is create more teamwork, and incentivize people to help each other out a little bit more. Okay, so an example of that is, let's have bracket contests where two or three people are on a team and their combined amount of meetings they set, they compete with other people. So again, it's like I have this responsibility. I'm in a team, I'm a part of something bigger than me. That was always really big to keep people, you know, kind of motivated. And I think lastly, and I'm happy to dig into as much of this as you would like, I think that people need to know how to besides the outcome of what they're doing, I think they need to know how to measure their skill level. So what's super important, what I implement with SDR teams is you need a way to like criteria to judge how good you are at cold calling. So a lot of that is what's the percentage of connects into qualified meetings? What's the percentage of people that I emailed that reply that can get converted into a meeting, I need to see stuff that just like a on a video game, like a skill set kind of thing, I need to see where I proving incrementally just besides my results. So I have something where I can think about how do I level up my skills, is there's like three really big buckets that I think about when you're trying to motivate people to do a very repetitive task. Those are kind of some of the areas that I've seen work pretty effectively.

Eric Watkins:

I really liked those and you know, we've done a lot of those similar I mean, the the competitions in the joint, your pair of maybe a top performer up with someone who's struggling a little bit and just the mentorship and what goes on with that can make such a big impact.

Jeff Winters:

As you're going in to train SDR teams, can you can you give us Can you talk to us about what you're like immediately some like low hanging fruit stuff that you see. And then maybe some more advanced stuff for you like, Okay, this team's sort of clicking and and now we can take it even further, what do you see?

Unknown:

So the very first thing that I will do in session number one with a team is share what I call outbound magic tricks. So and the reason why I call them outbound magic tricks. And the reason why I start with that is that people need the equivalent advice of how you're trying to lose weight, like try intermittent fasting, it's literally something you just can start doing with no effort, just don't eat breakfast, and just eat a bigger lunch and a bigger dinner. You know what I mean? Like stuff like that, that you don't really have to think about too much that kind of works. So believe it or not, most of the SDR and I work with some companies that are pretty big and like and especially in software and their most of their team is not doing very, very basic things. So one of the first things that we would look at is how do we warm up the accounts that we're going after? So really simple exercise, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, one of the easiest searches you can do is, how can I prioritize my list of accounts, based on people that are past employees of current clients? So who can I go after that used to work at someone who is a current client of my company? You'd be surprised how big that list is, that list can be huge, especially for a company, it's got 234 100 reps. So are we exhausting very basic things and saying, Hey, instead of approaching my account list of 200, from top to bottom, how can I pick the pocket of 2030 that are going to be most likely to want to talk to me right now. That's something really, really basic right away that we implement. I'd be weird to talk about one of the other ones. From a cold calling standpoint, are we using permission based openers? Hey, Eric, it's Jason. I know I probably got in the middle of something you got a minute for me to tell you why I'm calling. You can let me know if you want to keep chatting. I find that most I mean, chorus AI has got some interesting data, the average cold call lasts by 80 seconds. You know, that's including all of the cold calls that like I think that number is very skewed actually, because I would I would want to see what the median actually is of that. Because most cold calls I guarantee lasts less than 30 seconds. You know, but how do I not get hung up on? You know, in the first 30 seconds. That's another thing that I talked about quite a bit. And then lastly, there was a couple other ones but what I find that people have a heck of a time doing is getting people to open their emails. So I talk about something called boring subject lines. So one of the things I show visually, I'd love to see your guys's inboxes actually Like, because I show people a visual of the cold emails that I get. So I save them all into a folder, I say, hey, what do you notice about these emails? And if you look at the subject lines, and the first line of the email, they're all kind of generically the same. You know? Hi, Jeff. My name is Jason, I run a company a couple of school prospecting. We do this, we do that. Yep. Right. That's how most of them start. The subject lines are ridiculous. They just don't look like how you would email someone that you know, right. SalesLoft has got a lot of data that supports subject lines under four words, and I find the most amount of success with short, sweet subject lines. Yeah. So I got a client that reaches out to folks in customer support, and they have a solution that helps drive down the cost to cost to serve is a big thing for these folks. So self service is the subject line, self service adoption. Company self service, like that's the subject line and has 40 50% Plus open rates. But it's very relevant to the reason why you're reaching out. And I got a friend we'll all read runs a company called lavender, it's an email tool that salespeople can use. And they looked at 2 million emails roughly. And they looked at kind of what people did and didn't do and all this other stuff. But what they found is that when I can use some of these short subject lines, and he calls it internal camouflage, if I can make the subject lines look like how you would email someone that you know, yeah, the open rates tend to be way higher than trying to get really fancy. I think people try to get way too fancy with email, copy. And especially subject lines, I'm like, Dude, I want to make the implicit explicit, I want to make it so freakin obvious what I am reaching out about and what it's for, and how I think I can help I just want to be really, really super obvious. Those are kind of the low hanging fruit things that I'm like, Make These Three tweaks and people. The other one is bumping your emails with any thoughts, which is another controversial tactic that'd be happy to dig into but I'm like, do this usually has the highest positive reply rate of any email sequences, a short bump that just says any thoughts? I mean,

Eric Watkins:

Jason, can we pause and the self proclaimed email king here, I just want to know if he has any thoughts? Can you? Can you fact check? Can you validate? I've, I've a few thought I just, I have a

Unknown:

few. I'd love to hear it. Because you guys have you guys have a lot more data points than than I will working with a customer. So yeah, I'd love to hear

Jeff Winters:

your take. No, you're you're, I think you're you're right on there. And a few fronts. So first of all, under the subject line thing I have is just a smidge of a different take is it's binary. When you do something clever, when you try to do something clever and fun and tie it like you can have incredible 6070 80% open rates, or you could have 678 percent open rates. So we don't do it. I don't advise it ever. I'm with you. We've got tons of data less than four words, connecting connection getting in touch stuff like that. And then the preview text is the is the next layer there is it's not by the way, Jason, I don't get any emails that say Hello, Jeff. You know what they say? Hello, Jeffrey. Hello, Jeffrey. Like don't Don't, don't you know, in the print that's over, I'm deleting immediate delete and then like, anything in that preview text that looks wonky. Like that's your that's your layer of attention grabbing. It's, you're not in people. I think people look at it wrong. People are looking at it as I have to write the most amazing email so that people respond. No, that was six years ago. Now you have to get it opened. That is your only job in life. Show me a great show me a 60% open rate. I'll show you a successful SDR every single time open rate went from overrated to neutral to way underrated. And now I think open rate is the most important stat in all of SDR and cold outbound marketing. If you want my personal opinion. That's good stuff. Yeah.

Unknown:

I agree that preview text you mentioned something that's so important is yeah, if you just look at your inbox, it's what is that first line of the email? Say? I'll give you a little tip. We've been testing this with a lot of success actually. Here let me actually

Eric Watkins:

well, here don't say it out loud. Though. We have so many listeners to this podcast. Jason, it won't be good anymore. No, it'd be great. It'll be great. Okay,

Jeff Winters:

why sell which you can give away?

Unknown:

Yeah, this is not one of those gimmicky, like, use this exact line. It's the it's really the framework. So with your first line, instead of saying, Hi, Jeff, or Hi, Eric, start with the thing that you're reaching out about first and put the person's name at the end, and then connect the trigger or the personalization into that first line. Okay, so this this rep that I've been working with at this company, they sell customer experience platforms Think about like any industry that cares about customer experience, from a digital standpoint, they work with those customers like the Mercedes Benz of the world, like all of the big companies. So his email is this. So it's to a digital experience officer. Subject line is field support feedback, all lowercase. first line of the email is curious if you're getting good feedback from the field support team, from ABC initiative, and we're going to leave the initiative out, so don't give anything away. And then comma, first name. So it's, he's calling out the fact that he researched on a quarterly report found out that there's this big internal initiative, right, that's the first line of the email. Second, we see digital and support executives focused on driving improvements, and reducing repeat visits, they're looking to reduce costs and optimize the customer experience. Company A, B, and C work with us to improve digital adoption, all while driving efficiencies, can I get a shot to tell you how this might help at company? emails about 72? Words? Yep. It's when I ran the word count. Super simple. I think it could be better, honestly. But there's like a very simple framework that that personalization, that trigger, he calls that at the beginning. It's tied into like a statement or some sort of question. Yeah. Right. So if a company is hiring sales development reps, let's say and I reach out to them, I might say in that first line, hope the hunt for a new STRS is going well, Eric. And then I'm going to tie that into the rest of the email. So I'm going to call that out in that first line in the second line is I need to talk about something that this person based on all the other people like them I care about. It's kind of like a people like you were focused on this thing. But sometimes they run into this thing. And then there's a relevant result line, where it's like, companies like these social proof views are helped to accomplish this, can I get a shot to tell you more about how this might help you? Very simple framework, I call it the reply method. It's an acronym, but the RS relevant results. The E is the empathy piece, the P is the personalization. Right? So it's got those three components, kind of like in reverse order, start with something about you tie it into what priorities and problems that people like you typically have drop in some social proof and talk about other companies you've helped. And just a simple call to action. I'm seeing a lot of success to was short emails, I don't know about you. But stuff that's like under 80 words, if possible, agreed. For five sentences.

Jeff Winters:

Love it, I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn't have the time. I mean, that's, that's what I tried to impart on our team and look just for for context. I mean, between the two of us, we're going to, you know, our teams are going to schedule 100,000 meetings this year, give or take, right, if not more,

Eric Watkins:

and, and send out how many emails?

Jeff Winters:

Seven, 8 million a month. Yeah. So we're, we've got we've got interesting data, and all the stuff you're saying is, is resonating with me, I love the shorter email. Let's talk personalization, controversial topic amongst prospecting nerds like ourselves. What do you how do you define personalization as you're thinking about emails?

Unknown:

Yeah. So the caveat to this is your sales motion is very important. This is the thing I don't think that people talk about much. If I'm doing enterprise and strat sales, I'm going to take an hour to do account research before reaching out to someone. All right, when you

Jeff Winters:

say enterprise doesn't strike, and you just define for the audience, what you mean, when you say enterprise.

Unknown:

So a very small enterprise deal would be 50,000 bucks, really, it's more like multi six figure or seven figure deals, when I'm trying to break into an organization that's 5000 plus employees, and I'm selling really big deals, it makes sense to spend that much time, it also makes sense to do that, because the people that you're reaching out to get hit up a lot. So you have to do that to break through the clutter. So I think it's really important to understand the sales motion versus Hey, I'm selling something that costs $1,000 a month, well, you don't really need to spend a lot of time in my opinion, doing research and doing all this other stuff. So with personalization, I think of as something I call the hierarchy of relevance. It's really about what are the relevant parts of that I'm going to add to this message. So if we start at the very bottom of the hierarchy, there's basic shit like name and company merge tags, right that's that's a given every email should have those merge tags in it. The other way that I can add relevance though, is by segmenting whoever you chat to by industry. Right by segmenting who I reach out to by persona, I can take care of a lot of the quote unquote customization that I need to do by just saying, Hey, I don't talk to all of my target market at once, as one. I talked to VPs of sales and SaaS companies that are 500 to 1000 employees. because they're all very similar if they're in this particular situation, personalization part, that's the part I might, at the very top of that hierarchy of relevance, look at what's the stuff I customize for that company or that to that individual. I honestly find that the stuff that you customized to the individual is really great if it's there, and you can find it, but it's not necessarily, it's not necessary to get the meeting. What is more necessary, if I'm reaching out to someone that is an executive is anyone that is in the C suite at a large company, like there have their hands in the companies like big initiatives that they talk about publicly, I need to connect my email to those things, or my cold call, or whatever I'm doing. So with personalization, I think that you can get 80% of the way there by just segmenting better, and having message messaging that's relevant to that segment. And then I can customize to the individual

Jeff Winters:

I want, can I kind of wrap this email session up with just a couple of gems here, because there's really, really good stuff. And Jason, tell me if I'm missing anything, or put words in your mouth. And this is for all the CEOs and VPs of sales and has the sales Dev and enablement out there who are like, we need to get more meetings, and we got this, we got email, we know how to do email, what do we do? First subject line under four words, don't need to be too clever. Second, try not opening with personalization until the end of the first sentence or question. Next, when you're thinking about getting somebody's attention, make sure you're considering Of course, the subject line, also the preview text. And then last, there's a there's this hierarchy you talked about. But really, when it comes down to it, make sure that you're under 80 words, if you can be and then also that you're connecting in a relevant way to some initiatives going on at that company, those problems that you can potentially solve, not figuring out what the CEOs dog's name is.

Eric Watkins:

No. Yeah, the personalization at that level, I think I think it's creepy to go and I see certainly, particular one that I set her in general. Well, if you said something, I mean, you get them all the time, I'm sure about like, Oh, you went to Mizzou, and here's a coffee cup. I don't I don't want a coffee cup because I went to Mizzou, I want you to solve a business problem. Come on, what

Jeff Winters:

you want a coffee cup. You don't want to have

Eric Watkins:

a coffee cups. I will say though, as I'm saying it out loud. I have to call a spade a spade. I opened the email, and I read it I take so if

Jeff Winters:

anybody out there wants to send me in Miami of Ohio coffee cup, you get a meeting with me,

Eric Watkins:

the fake Miami. Miami, ask a business related Yeah. Jason, what I was going to talk to you about is you mentioned STRS sending emails. And yeah, you know, in, in our infrastructure, we've built out our sales enablement team, where our STRS are focused on calling the leads that get bubbled up from all the other avenues. And then an ongoing outbound calling approach. Where do you think, you know, if you're starting a sales enablement team at a company? Should you have emails in one spot and a couple individuals doing be getting really good at doing emails? Or should you have that function with all of your STRS? What are your thoughts there?

Unknown:

I'm a really big fan of specialization, if you can pull it off. I mean, at a large company, it's becomes pretty complex, though. So some of the guy be curious how you how you guys do it, too. But a lot of the other, you know, kind of agencies don't like your guys's that do appointment setting for customers like Phil specializes in a lot of different components. So they'll say, Hey, we're going to have specific people pull leads and find contact information to account selection. We'll have other people do the research for the personalization. And then we'll have people plug those into emails, and then we'll have other people calling. You know, there's that level of specialization. I don't know how realistic that is for a company to be able to pull off. I don't I don't know, like a company that doesn't specialize in appointments. Sure. Yeah. I mean, I just haven't I haven't seen it done. I think there's too much expertise and too much on the upside for them to be able to do that, honestly. But with that being said, I guess I'm sort of indirectly answering your question. What I cannot stand to see is because I work with a lot of companies that have an enterprise, or strat sales motion. I'm like, you have this salaried account executive that gets paid 120 grand salary has a 200 250k ote. You have them using Zoom info to find all of their data. What? That makes no sense. That makes no sense. You're having them write custom emails from scratch every time they got to reach out to some they don't have some like a framework or some sample messaging that they can work with to get like, come on. Really. Like that's the extreme that I see that is very, very common and some of the best enablement teams that I have seen that are very good still don't quite have the pieces where it's here's like everything basically, like use workout analogies a lot. It would be hey, here's the customized workout and diet plan. Go fucking do it now. Okay, just go to work and do this and eat the food that you're supposed to eat. We've removed all the thinking for you. That's what you should get to. I just don't see very many companies doing it because I think it's really hard to pull off unless it's something like, like your guys's businesses where you specialize in that thing. So yeah, that's, that's my

Eric Watkins:

take on it. Sure. I like that. You twisted them up into a pretzel because of your email questions. Yeah, some 35 email questions. Let's, let's move on. Let's go cold calling. Okay, let's talk about the cold call. And start with just you know, your outline of of the structure of the cold call. And you know, you talked about the permission based opener, but after the permission based opener, where would you take the call from there?

Unknown:

Yeah, so I think like, if I look at the call structure, I think it's important to break down the call into sections so that we have specific objectives. Right. So in the first part of the call the first 3060 seconds, I call this making an entrance. Right? So the very first thing that I want to do is, I think it's important to with a cold call to reverse engineer and think about it from like, do user experience, right? Think about what's it like to experience a cold call. So most people we have to acknowledge, don't pick up a cold call on purpose. And most people, when they do pick up that call, what does it tend to be? It tends to be a telemarketer type of situation. Right? So the very first thing that I need to do in a cold call is do the opposite of what a telemarketer would do? What is appear a consultant, someone that is a trusted adviser, how do they sound? What do they say all of that kind of stuff. So there's a lot of different variations in order that you can do with what I'm about to share with you. But the components are the most important part. So one is I need to gain permission, permission based open or I need to add something relevant right at the top of that conversation. And then I am not allowed to pitch not allowed to pitch my product, I can only talk about what I do through the lens of a customer, I call it a priority drop, I'm only going to I'm going to talk about what I do, by saying people like you that we talk to a lot in these situations tend to be focused on these two or three things. So there's a lot of different orders that you can do that I'll give you an example of what something might sound like. So so this is a that same solution that I brought up earlier, a customer experience, you know, kind of solution sold into VPs of support. So first part of the call, Hey, Eric, it's Jason with XYZ company, I know I probably got in the middle of something you got a minute for me to tell you why I'm calling you could let me know when to keep chatting. That usually works for most people, eight or nine times out of 10 will get you to the next part. So right after that, once I've gained permission, I'm going to start with something relevant. I was on your quarterly report. And I noticed that you guys have an initiative right now to increase digital sales by 30%. Did I get that right? Get confirmation from the prospect. I want to get micro yeses. Yep. And I want to do it like right off the top. I did my research right here. And prospects are usually like, Yeah, that's right. And, well, I talked to a lot of VPs of customer support. And they typically tell me, they're focused on one of two things in these situations. One is reducing costs to serve. So they have these initiatives to grow digital sales, but they want to make sure that that's not adding more call volume into the call center. Or to it's more around agent experience. So how are we arming our agents with all of the support and training that they need? So they can do their job effectively, and you don't end up losing them to a competing call center? or either of those two remotely close to what you're working on? Or did I totally missed the mark here. So again, I can reorder and I can shuffle up some of those things. I could start with the relevance first. So Eric picks up, Eric has given you a call because I noticed you guys have an initiative to grow digital sales by 30%. Oh, this is Jason with XYZ company. By the way, you got a minute for me to tell you why I'm calling you let me know when and keep chatting. I can do those in a different order if I want. But that's kind of the magic recipe to like, to my point earlier about chorus AI is data around, hey, average cold call in the last 80 seconds. Well, people tend to get shut down in that first 3060 seconds. One other piece of data that I would share if you guys want to get into objection handling, abstract, another call coaching software. So they found that 91% of the objections that reps get using their software are like objections that people don't really train on very much. It's like the not interested I'm about to run into a meeting all this other kind of stuff people always train on like what to do if some When says they already have a solution, I'm like that that rarely comes up actually in a cold call. So we're happy to dig into that. But that's the recipe, those three parts to like, gain entrance into the cold call and actually get into where I can start to have a back and forth dialogue over the phone with them.

Eric Watkins:

So let's start with let's start up front with the permission based opening. And I know you listen to our podcasts, and I had some comments on it. My concern, not my concern with it. First off, anybody who's skilled enough can do any intro. Because just the tone and the passion and what you're bringing to the call is going to get that prospect engaged in what you're saying. I feel like it gives the prospect an easy out. My theory on this is no one actually wants to take a cold call. No one woke up today wanting to answer the phone. So whenever you pick up the phone, and you say, Hey, would you mind if I continued with my spiel? I think it's easy for them to say no, I'm really busy right now or no? And then you're in a situation where? Because you've asked it so weakly, you you really can't overcome it from there. I don't know. But I'd like to hear your thoughts on that. And that objection, especially when you're dealing with newer reps, and maybe unsophisticated buyers as well.

Unknown:

Yeah, so couple things. That is the pushback I get, by the way all the time from sales teams, when if they're not doing that. So the kind of why behind this is around autonomy, it when people are given choices between a yes or no. Oftentimes, what I find is that people are much more likely to say yes, if they feel they have a choice in the matter. So then autonomy kind of thing. But I'm not opposed to people not using it though. Like to me, what matters is do I get to that priority drop 90% of the time? If I don't, I need to do something different. I use a permission based opener most of the reps that I do and at 90% of the time they get past that first part of the call. But I believe it's sort of a personal preference kind of thing. It is a way that you can open up a call. Sure. So I don't really have a lot to argue with you. There honestly, man.

Eric Watkins:

No, and I could see it. I could see why Jeff's a big fan of the permission based opener.

Jeff Winters:

Um, yeah, I'm gonna give you my Can you give me Listen, tell me what you think of my opener. I'm not as good as you guys. So I'm just testing this out. So I always do. Always I haven't made that many calls as of late but like I made I made few last month my rates were very good. I advise. I like to double tap. I like to send an email, make a call. I like that. Yeah. And my opener is, hey, Jason's Jeff winters over at sapper consulting. I'm the guy that sent you that super relevant kind of funny, interesting, amazingly well timed email earlier about our lead gen services. Is that ringing a bell? Yeah, I like that. Does that work?

Unknown:

Because yeah, does because. So what you're doing there is a, I would call that like a 300 level, like skill, right? skill level. So you're inserting humor and personality. And like demonstrating a little bit of charisma in the opener of the call. I was listening to call recordings yesterday, and a rep did something kind of similar to this, but you you feel like you're talking to a fucking person right over the call, versus someone who's like, Hey, this is Jason. I was wondering if I could get 60 seconds to tell you why I'm calling and you can let me know if you want to keep chatting. This is how most people send over the phone. I'm like, dude, like,

Eric Watkins:

that's my fear. That is my biggest thing is that that doesn't scale. Like you your your ability to come across what you said, like it just doesn't scale. And but but our stats are our stats are 75%. So if we get a key decision maker on the phone, 75%. So 25% of them are going to hang up. So you're saying eight or nine out of 10. So maybe, maybe you're onto something there.

Unknown:

I kind of like if I if I opened up with people like you are wanting to do this, but they keep running into this thing. And then the question is that by chance something you're running across, or do you have this totally figured out? I really liked

Eric Watkins:

the people like you and I like the the framework of not ever saying you know, not talking about yourself and using the framework of the people like you.

Unknown:

It's a very subtle thing. I learned this from the folks at zoominfo. Actually, they talk about it a lot. Customer voice. Their role is anytime you're tempted to pitch zoom info, you have to talk in your customer voice. It to say I was talking to someone in this position or someone says that we work with tend to share these things. And what it does is it establishes credibility and in business acumen. That's the number one thing I want to demonstrate in the first 3060 seconds is business acumen. What I want to know as an executive is am I tall Talking to someone that would actually be worth spending time talking to. Yeah, I get it. That's the biggest thing. That's the biggest objection. It's not all of these other little things and all these, like fancy not interested in having a fit. The biggest thing people object to is, I call it the time value trade, what they're objecting to is that like spending more time talking with you, they just don't see what the value would be in that question that I have to answer. He's got the

Jeff Winters:

cheat code, though. Like this tone. I mean, he could call me and tell me he could tell me my flights been canceled. I go great. So amazing. My fly. I mean, what you got, you get that little half laugh. He does that every time like this. This is like that. It is so good. Man. God,

Eric Watkins:

it is tone, though. It's just reps and reps. Yeah. And tone, I feel like is the most in my framework for the intro is really just clear, compelling and confident. And that has nothing to do with what you're saying. Like, yeah, be clear about why you're calling. So they have, you know, I'm not going to spend any more time on a call with somebody, if I've no idea while why they're calling. Like, I need to know what you're saying. And then you need to be confident, and then you need to have a compelling reason for me to continue that conversation. And often, that compelling reason is how you sound. Right? And how you present yourself. Yep,

Unknown:

yeah, the two quick comments on that one, just in call centers, this is what I, what we did is we put a little mirror in the inside of the cubicle, and you had to look in the mirror and you had to be Smiling. Smiling when you call. I mean, for those of you listening, you can hear a really big difference between this. And this. This is this sounds way different when I'm talking like this, versus when I'm smiling like this. It's a very different sound. I want people to see My Dimples through the phone. That's why I always say you know what I mean? Yeah. So I think that's super important. And the other confidence piece. The disclaimer, I always give in the very first day of training accompany is everything I share with you will be ridiculously simple. I'm not going to blow your mind away with anything, I believe in doing simple things, because simple scales, all right. So it's very simple. And it's the discipline to do it repeatedly. So one of the very simple things to do that people don't is like how many times have you practiced and rehearsed your opener, like talking to yourself? You should not have to think about this. And it should be so polished, just like an actor, memorizing lines, or I used to do stand up comedy. Don't worry, I wasn't super funny. And I'm not going to tell a joke on this podcast, no joke, but you're sure you've rehearsed jokes, right? And it's like, you work on saying the same joke in the same exact way. But it needs to sound like it's being told off the cuff to the audience. That that's an art form. You know what I mean? Your your intro needs to be the same way you shouldn't really deviate from what you normally do in your intro. Like you should be doing that, like the first 3060 seconds of a cold call should sound basically the same everyone that you call. From there, it can go in a bunch of different directions, but like most reps practice on prospects, I'm like, What the fuck are you doing? It's like high stakes when you practice in a real situation like that. You need to practice in get repetition and so that I can actually be in the moment and read Little things like what's what's the background sound like for this prospect right now? What's their tonality? How do they kind of feel and right now like, I need to be able to read the situation. I can't do that. If I'm trying to think about what to say. It my

Eric Watkins:

my theory on that is there's there's two parts of the call that are extremely uncomfortable for new reps. And that's where a lot of a lot of our stuff is geared towards new reps because we have this progression within our company. A lot of people this is their first sales job. It's the intro. Yeah. And it's the closing. So I want you to memorize those like the Pledge of Allegiance, you should be able to say it the ABCs you should not be thinking about what you're saying when it comes to those two parts of the clothes whatsoever. And if you have those memorized, the rest is easy. You're just asking questions. You're having a conversation. Yep. But we're, we're on the same page here. What's the Pledge of Allegiance, man? The Pledge of Allegiance you can you can read?

Jeff Winters:

Who's in stand up comedy now? I didn't think you're gonna say Pledge of Allegiance that just hit me. So funny.

Eric Watkins:

You'd like that I really liked you have to do the Pledge of Allegiance. I did. And I haven't thought about it since I was. Let's hear it. Do you still know it? Sure I do. Let's hear it.

Jeff Winters:

Moving on. Jason, let me ask you a couple. A couple of sales questions before we get you out of here because this has been fun and Dude, you are just you're an expert. Man. We love talking to you.

Eric Watkins:

This is so cool. Talking with him talking with Mike last week just talking to the people at the top of the game and

Jeff Winters:

talking to the people on top of the game. So question sales wise let's talk intro call. Tell us your formula for the discovery call. Deck no deck, what we're where you come down, like what's the formula for an ideal salesperson to run their discovery call?

Unknown:

Yeah, so there's a different couple of different components. And this is something we could have a whole hour just on disco calls, and not even really barely skim the surface. But from from a structure standpoint. Again, it's really basic stuff. It's before the discovery call and my prepping for that call. I can't tell you how many sales calls I hop on where people are trying to sell stuff to me, and they don't even know like really basic stuff. It's really obvious they don't like they asked me about what my programs aren't like, I have a fucking page on my website that talks about the programs. You know what I mean? Like why like, so I think you need to prep and there's three kinds of things that I want to know coming into a call. There's prep I want to do in the individual prep I want to do on the company, and then prep I want to do on other stakeholders that might need to be involved at a later point in the sales process. multithreading is the name of the game when it comes to sales. Gong and chorus both have very similar data. But what they find in closed lost deals is they tend to have around three to 3.3 participants on average, in the second call, compared to 1.1 participants do Can you define that

Jeff Winters:

real quick for the audience? Because it's such an important point? Yeah, lost on anybody.

Unknown:

Yeah, and there is a huge learning curve. For me personally, going from b2c to b2b sales. I didn't really understand this, because when you're selling House Painting Services, I got the husband and the wife, they're both the decision makers are there, right? In b2b sales, anything that is, you know, anything that you're selling to a company that's not like got more than 10 people, there's usually going to be at least two people that participate in the decision to move forward with a vendor. And multithreading. What you want to do is, the sooner in the buying process, and the sales process that you can get additional stakeholders and people that would have input on whether or not this thing moves forward, the shorter the deal, sales cycle is going to be and typically, the larger the deal size will be to if I can get more people involved. So I'm single threaded, oftentimes for inbound, a sales manager comes in and wants to ask about my training, sales manager doesn't control budget, they might have a shit ton of influence, though. So how do I work with this person to get their director or their VP involved, and maybe there's a couple other people like you don't know what the internal politics look like at the company. That's something we got to find out. Point being before a disco call, I want to know going into that call, who are some other people that maybe should be involved based on how other buying processes have worked. So I'm going to come in and already kind of have a hypothesis what what with what the problems might be, that this company is facing. So from there, Sandler calls them upfront contracts. I call it in alignment statement, because I feel like upfront, like a contract feels really weird to me to talk about at the beginning of a sales call. So I want to start basic report. I always like to start with, Hey, Eric, you probably hop on a lot of sales calls. And I bet people ask you what you do. And what you're responsible for. I did do a little bit of research is that cool? If I share with you what I found, and then you can let me know if I'm where I'm off. Go. I come in quick agenda setting. Here's what we're going to cover today. Is there anything that you wanted to cover? Cool. And that kind of gets the first five minutes, maybe six minutes out of the way. From there, what I'm going to spend the majority of my time is something called looping. So looping, there's a couple different parts to this. But what I want to do that's really, really crucial during the discovery process is I want to connect. So that's one pillar of it, I want to connect to a larger org wide initiative. So Eric, did we did a sales call you reached out to me right, like one of the things I really wanted to know, is there anything org wide going on at the company, like around outbound? Is there anything else and I won't talk about the details what we talked about, but you talked about some big things that are going on at the company that you were thinking about, right? So I need to connect to something bigger. I can't remember what the status it's in 60 some odd percent or something like that. Gartner did a study. And it was b2b, like enterprise deals and over 60% of those deals, they move forward because the buying committee said it was attached to a larger company wide initiative. You know what I mean? It might have actually been in the 80s percents. So bottom line, the way you build urgency is by selling your thing and attaching it to something they already care about this year. That's that's how I can move stuff faster. The next thing that I want to do is quantify. That's the kind of the next part of the triangle. What I want to figure out is okay, let's say that I have an initiative like that company I shared to increase digital sales by 30%. That's fairly quantified right there. It's not just we want to grow It's not just we're looking for a customer experience solution. It's we want to grow by 30%. And then I want to kind of peel back the onion on that, like, why is it 30%? And not 50%? Or 20? Like, what is significant about that number? What does that mean for you? What are kind of the maybe the KPIs that might be driving? You know that number, but I want to quantify, where are you trying to go? And then where are you right now? And like kind of what's your plan to get there? Kenan calls that the gap, and GAP selling, right? I want to hear like, where are you trying to go versus where you're at? And like, that's the thing that we need to be talking about. And more importantly, what's your plan to get there. Because if you feel like you've got a pretty good plan to get there, and I can't like expose anything that you might not be thinking of there isn't really a sale to be had there, you know. So that's the other component. So I want to connect, I want to quantify, and then the last parts lead. So I want to think about what is the narrative that I'm helping them tell? Because the champion is going to go to their whoever to get them involved? And I don't want them to say, oh, yeah, there's this really cool customer experience solution that's going to, like increase our CSAT scores. No, I want them to say, hey, we have a plan to grow by 30% this year, and right now, we're not going to get to even 15% Unless we dramatically change something based on our trajectory, that 15% gap as X million number of dollars, like that's the thing that I think these guys might be able to help us with. Right, so I want to do that. And there's a lot of nuance into how to do that, then I'm happy to get into with you guys. But I want to spend my time there. And then I want to make sure that I established next steps. By the way, I think it's wing man had some interesting data like, it's like 88% of sales reps don't set an agenda at the beginning of a intro call. It's kind of crazy, actually how few people and there's a huge correlation with agenda setting and doing that sort of stuff in wind rates. And then I want to close. So whatever that next step is for you, I want to talk about what that is get by and around it, talk about who else might be involved, et cetera. So that's kind of loosely the framework for a disco call.

Eric Watkins:

Jason, do you have a big whiteboard behind your computer here with all of your data and statistics that you've been thrown out? There's no way you have all these memorize.

Unknown:

You know, I want to be able to say stuff like that and have some credible third party data that backs up a claim. There are so many people that are very logical and how they think with that stuff. I'm not really one of them. That's really, honestly very big on data. I've really kind of don't care what the data says. If I'm being totally honest, a lot of other people really care about it. And I'm finding out. I'm just like, I, you know, I don't know how you guys grew up in sales. But I kind of grew up like Little Red Book of Selling Jeffrey Gitomer. There's no data in that book, though. That's just like his way of doing stuff. You know what I mean? Like, that was kind of how I learned how to sell was, what are the Guru's saying that you should do? And just follow that. And now that's kind of not the expectation, I don't really follow advice like that anymore. I'm only going to follow advice that's like someone that is actually working with a company I respect and like doing some of the stuff that other people are using and talking about, you know what I mean? So maybe I am I don't know, maybe I am big into date, I don't really know. But all I know is that I wasn't talking about it much. And I think this is such an underutilized sales tool is to incorporate a few data points, a few third party data points into how you sell to backup the claims that you're making. So that it's not me making this claim. I'm not saying you're in trouble, because onboarding is taking longer. I'm saying, hey, there's been a lot of studies conducted around this. And I'm wondering if you're seeing something similar, that's a very different way to talk about something to get you receptive to talking about a problem that you have versus me saying you have a problem. Yeah, you know, absolutely. With that, what

Jeff Winters:

did you learn today?

Eric Watkins:

This was I learned, I learned everything well, telling give me some specific, I would say the, you know, if we go back to the emails right up front, you know, you've talked a lot about it, but short subject lines, and when I think back to the emails I've actually clicked on, that's just something so simple that if people took that away, so I think a lot of people probably that do emails at scale, think about that now or hear about it. But we have reps sending emails, you know, one off emails all the time, and I don't think we've coached enough on it or they've heard enough about it, Jason, it was a pleasure, man. Thank you so much. Looking forward to talking to you next week. And always be growing. Always be growing.

Unknown:

Yeah. Thank you for having me on, guys. There's a lot of fun. See, Jason.

Eric Watkins:

Thank you. Thanks for listening to the gross show. Leave us a review and let us know how we're doing or if there's a topic you'd like us to cover in the future.

Unknown:

The gross show is sponsored by Heil sound, world class microphones for stage studio, broadcast and podcast. Find your sound it Heil sound.com If I had one

Eric Watkins:

more thing I wanted to talk to Jason about if we got if you have a little bit of time, Jason qualified meetings. So this is a topic that, you know, gets debated in every sales room in the world, you know that I, I'm not getting enough qualified meetings, What's your stance on? What is a qualified meeting?

Unknown:

Yeah, so there's a lot of interesting, there's so much to, like, unpack there in terms of how companies think of qualified meetings. But my The short answer to your question is, to me a qualified meeting in AE should take a meeting, if it's an account that we've identified that we want to talk to you. I don't give a shit if you know, their budget, or if they're binding, right. And like, to me, like, selling, like, what's table stakes is the inbound gimmies where people are ready to buy and it's just a matter of who they pick, like, Yeah, you should close a pretty high majority of those, you know, right. But the ones that really, like, take sales. It's like, Dude, we've met with his account, that's ideal, but they aren't in a buying cycle right now. Or maybe they aren't even educated on the problem that they have, you can solve, like, we need to sell to those people. And I can't tell you how many companies I'm like, Dude, your AES, don't tell me that they're so busy that they can't take more sales calls and actually do some frequent selling, you know, so qualified is, we established that these are accounts that we want to sell into, I need to take that call, if it's with the right person, right, a persona that we've deemed that we want to talk to, and an account that we deem that we want to talk to, that's a qualified meaning.

Eric Watkins:

Agreed? We're on the exact same page. Right company, right person, the only thing I would add is this show up, because you could twist somebody 10 ways to Sunday, and then they don't show up. But in some people are just going to not show up. In general, it's the nature of what we do. But right company, right person, and they show up and it's qualified. And if you're doing anything else, other than that, you're losing opportunity. Yeah, there's an opportunity, because it's not like freshly too.

Unknown:

Yeah, I think that I want to be one of the first people that a prospect talks to, because that lead component that I talked about, I can help shape the narrative of how they go to like, purchase other things and how they talk to other vendors. I want to be the first person that they talk to you, because you and I'm gonna say I'm gonna say, hey, a lot of companies, sales trainers, one thing you should ask them about is reinforcement. Because usually what they'll do is two, three hour training sessions, then just kind of cut you loose after that. And, you know, pat you on the back and say, good job, and good luck. Ask them how they reinforced the content. So the habits stick, you know, I can say stuff like that. But if someone's already kind of made their mind on one of the last people they talk to someone else might have already shaped the narrative for them. So even if I'm doing outbound and I talk to an accountant, we establish the Hey, maybe timing isn't great, I've at least established a relationship where I can nurture. And when the time is right, and there is a compelling event, I can be that one of the first people they talk to actually start to build a pipeline. That's where you start to get, you know, a person that's been selling for a year or two. That's where they start to see like, really just a compound effect, you know, in their pipeline when they've started building all of these relationships, you know?

Eric Watkins:

Yeah, and the thing I like to think about when it comes to just decision makers in the process, you said, what, 3.3 on average for every one deal, decision makers per process. If you took me, Jeff, in our CEO, and you brought up a problem with our company, and we had to rate it on a scale of 10, one to 10. We might have completely different ratings on that problem. So wherever you get the door, maybe that person was a little lukewarm. You multithread you work to other decision makers. I mean, you never know as you continue to progress, but it definitely is, you know, you got to sell in sales. Imagine that. Yeah, you got to sell a little bit. You got to do a little work.

Jeff Winters:

By the way. I think just to wrap it all up. They call this a call back in comedy I think. If you want to multithread here, send over that Miami of Ohio mug.

Eric Watkins:

Send over the Miami of Ohio mug meetings galore. Meetings galore.