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S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

Many sellers have a tough time with outbound sales, so we’re spending the month of June focused on the topic, and today we’re specifically addressing the fundamentals of sales outreach.

 

Wes Schaeffer entered sales in 1997, covering stocks, bonds, retail, real estate, and high tech. He decided that, since sales was crazy and uncertain, he’d bet on himself. He laid the foundation for The Sales Whisperer, where he helps people with sales training. 

 

Outbound struggles

 

Too many sellers mistakenly believe that outbound is dead. That cold calling and email are dead. The truth is you simply have to do a little bit of homework.

 

You have to choose who to lose. You can’t help everybody. #IdealCustomers

 

Some people would say that because everybody drinks water, if you sell water, everyone is your prospect. But some people are content drinking water out of a hose. Not everyone will spend money on your stuff. 

 

Client selection is important. You have to figure out who’s going to buy your stuff and who isn’t. 

 

The number of people who are ready, willing, and able to buy what you sell right now is in the single digits. If, for example, you just bought four brand new tires for your car, it doesn’t matter that you’re having a 50-percent-off sale. 

 

Follow a script

 

Now that you know who you’re going after, what will you say? Will you fall into the trap of not following a script because it feels unnatural?

 

The Rock has made over $60 million a year by regurgitating scripts. He makes it his own and he makes it believable. The truth for all of us is that we’re living on a script. 

 

I once talked in a presentation about seeing the band Chicago and about the fact that they play the same 20 songs in the same order at every single show. What would happen if they decided to just wing it every now and then?

 

That’s not what professionals do. Professionals practice things until they can’t get them wrong. You could wake them out of a stupor, hand them a guitar or keyboard, and they could play any song perfectly. 

 

Practicing skills

 

Look at Tom Brady or Lebron James or Tiger Woods. I guarantee you they are still practicing. Are you willing to practice the little bitty things? How do you open? What do you say? How do you title your emails? How do you build interest?

 

If you sound like everybody else, I’m going to treat you like everybody else. The only way I can differentiate between you and everyone else that sounds like you is on price. 

 

Think of the phone calls you get from an autodialer. They’re nice because they streamline things, but when people hear the long pause while it’s connecting to the first available person, they are completely uninterested. Then they mispronounce your name and you’re done. 

 

Diagnose the problem

 

Wes recommends at least five emails in any outbound process. He also pointed out the distinction between frequently-asked questions and should-ask questions. FAQs can be written out and sent in an email. The should-ask questions allow you to differentiate yourself. These are the things the prospect doesn’t know.  

 

Understand your product and the situation of your prospects well enough to know what issues might arise. Our goal in prospecting is to ask a question that our prospect can’t answer. 

 

Doctors do the same, and it’s why we trust them. When they take the time to diagnose the problem, we trust their prescription. 

 

Ask questions

 

  • How are you generating leads?
  • What trends are you seeing?
  • Is it becoming more expensive to run ads?
  • How is your team performing?
  • Do you experience ups and downs?

 

Spend some time on your should-ask questions. 

 

We’re all too close to our own offerings. There’s an adage that says you can’t read the label from inside the bottle. 

 

Outreaching sequences

 

Timing matters in outreach, and that’s why you need multimedia multi-step followup sequences. You need a success story about a prospect in your niche. You need a case study or a video testimonial. And then you’re off and running. 

 

Dripping a prospect is a little like dating. When you continue coming back to your prospects, they eventually decide that there must be something good about your offering. 

 

You have your target market or your dream 100. It’s worth persisting because eventually something is going to happen: a machine will break or the competition will miss a delivery. Maybe an employee will quit or they will have their own quality issues.

 

Start early, stay late

 

Remember that whatever you can measure you can improve. 

 

Jeffrey Gitomer speaks about gold calling because he says there isn’t such thing as pure cold calling in B2B. You’re most likely to reach people by phone. You can do direct mail and other things, and they may work. 

 

Executives and decision-makers get to the office early and they stay late. Since I’m a west coast guy, I start calling the east coast about 2 p.m. when the assistants and receptionists have gone home. Same with the lunch hour. The hourly people take their breaks while the boss keeps working. 

 

Be strategic about your calls. Use LinkedIn to find information about your prospects. Where did they go to school? Do they have a recent article? The research demonstrates that you did your homework. It differentiates you from your competition. 

 

Little things add up. Trust the process and have a process.

 

“The Fundamentals of Sales Outreach” episode resources

 

Connect with Wes at thesaleswhisperer.com. You can find his social media links and his phone number there. 

 

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

 

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

 

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump. If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

 

Tools for sellers

 

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. It's super easy, it's helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

 

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

 

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

 

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1124.mp3
Category:Outbound -- posted at: 2:15am EDT

We're talking about key metrics this month, and today Shawn Finder talks about the key metrics to track in your outbound strategy that will help you be successful. 
Shawn was a professional tennis player before he launched into entrepreneurship in the form of Autoklose, a company that automates the top of the sales funnels for sales representatives.    
Cold calling
Shawn divides outbound into three different categories: cold-calling, emailing, and database because your database is the engine that keeps that car moving. You must have at least two of those inside your outbound strategy. 
Within those three categories, you'll have different metrics. 
Cold calling will include dial-to-connection percentage, dials-to-appointment ratio, dials-to-opportunity, and dials-to-deal. When you're cold calling, if you're dialing 100 people but you're only reaching 5, that isn't very successful. Maybe you're dialing 100 and reaching 10 knowing that 3 of those will turn into prospects and one of those will close. 
If you don't know those analytics, you're going to fail because the analytics keep you moving forward toward the right strategy. 
Frustration
Beyond simply tracking numbers, metrics can help you avoid frustration as a sales rep. Many sellers get frustrated if they send five emails but the person never responds or if they make 15 calls but never reach anyone. 
If you know that every 50 calls you should be getting three opportunities, you'll benchmark your success to those numbers. 
As an SDR or a sales rep, unless you know your metrics ahead of time, you're going to get frustrated if you think you're not getting results. Knowing the analytics before you start will help you approach your calls differently.
Statistics
Shawn has found over time that most people, to include account managers, don't look enough at the stats. As a result, they don't know what is good versus what is bad, or what is terrible versus what is great. 
His company lists the weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals for each rep. They track forecast versus actual numbers. The goal is to make sure they know whether they are on par to hit quota, outperform quota, or underperform. 
They use a whiteboard in addition to digital tracking because reps don't always visit the spreadsheets. When the reps see their names with their metrics on the board every time they walk into the office, it keeps them accountable. It helps them know what they have to do in order to achieve their numbers. 
Important metrics 
The dials-to-appointment ratio is important to Shawn because if he's paying a dialer, and he knows how much each appointment can be worth, and he knows how many appointments he has to have in order to close a deal, he can then determine the ROI on his expense. 
If he's spending $4,000 on a dialer and earning $9,000, that $5,000 profit is the biggest ratio for him. 
[Tweet "There's nothing wrong with trying new things, but if the concept isn't making you money, you must pivot and try something new. #pivot"]
Email statistics
For email statistics, consider open rates, click rates, and reply rates. 
Open rates rely on your ability to convince someone to open your email. Most people spend a lot of time on the body of the email. Shawn suggests spending more time on the subject line and your first three seconds of the email.
The number one reason is that 72 percent of people are opening emails on mobile phones. They only see your subject line and opening line.  
Make your subject line three to five words, and do not talk about yourself in the first line of the email. If you want a high open rate, have a good subject line.
Keep everything personalized. Try "Hi, first name." Another one he has used successfully is, "Hey Donald, Let's Have Coffee?" 
Coffee works well because you're not selling. It's more casual.  
Opening lines
Consider what will make your prospects want to open the email you've sent. 

  • If I can save your sales team five hours a day in prospecting would you give me 15 minutes?
  • If I could fill your calendar with appointments, would you give me 15 minutes?

Don't lead with information about you that the reader can find in your signature block. 
Your first email should be a little longer, but the second and third emails should be shorter, no longer than four sentences. If they're longer, no one is reading them. 
Keep it short and precise. Give value. Share case studies and stories and testimonials. Tell them how you'll solve their challenges. 
Email success
There's a difference between click rates and reply rates. When you send emails, have your CTA goal in your head. If your goal is to get a reply, make your reply rate a priority. If your goal is to get a click, then make that your priority. 
Make it very simple for your end user. 
Many people don't consider database part of the outbound effort but it corresponds well with your email and your phone. If you have inaccurate information in your database, you'll waste a lot of time. 
For cold calling, if you have the wrong phone numbers, it will hurt your dial-to-deal ratio, as well as your dial-to-connection and your dial-to-appointment.
If your data is wrong, your analytics will be wrong.  
Verify database 
If you want to make sure your emails aren't bouncing and they aren't catch all, have your emails verified before you actually do your campaign. Verification can be very cheap, as little as $20 for 1,000. Spend the money so you can focus on the 750 that are valid without wasting your time on the ones that aren't. 
People change jobs frequently, so do your due diligence and verify the contact info. 
Autoklose validates information real-time as you begin a campaign. The company offers a Chrome plugin that validates everything against LinkedIn to ensure that the person is still in the position.
Having clean data is the engine to any of your outbound strategy campaigns. 
Campaign tips
Determine your metrics before you start your campaign so you have something to benchmark against. Identify the key metrics to track in your outbound strategy.
Also, stop giving up after one to two calls. Recognize that it will take five to six touches. Integrate different strategies like social. Engage with your clients. Build relationships with them. 
 episode resources
You can connect with Shawn via email at Shawn@autoklose.com or on the website, www.autoklose.com.
If you haven't connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I'm sharing there.
You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester.
You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.
If you and your team are interested in learning more, we'd love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.
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.
I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.
Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1111.mp3
Category:Outbound -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Outbound prospecting is a vital part of every sales process, but when it’s based on static data, it’s bound to fail. Static data might help you find the right person, but they might not be a valid prospect. Intent-based marketing can help you eliminate cold outreach and improve your outbound process. Today on The Sales […]

The post TSE 856: How To Use Intent-Based Marketing & LeadSift To Eliminate “Cold Outreach” appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_856.mp3
Category:Outbound -- posted at: 10:05am EDT

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