Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
April 6, 2017

#425. How to Engage the Interest of Prospects. With Jeff Schmidt.

Jeff Schmidt, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Services at ClearSlide, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:41] Jeff got started in sales selling contingency placements as a search consultant. He moved into a full-time sales job for VMX, selling call processing software (early voicemail). He sold by cold calling on the street.

[2:08] Jeff tells of his SaaS sales journey, leading to his move to ClearSlide to sell solutions for sellers and marketers. Jeff is excited to be selling a product he uses everyday!

[4:00] The biggest internal challenge facing sales reps, is getting the sales stack to work effectively. The biggest external challenge, is aligning buying and selling processes effectively; knowing where the customer is, and what they need next.

[7:02] Sales reps already know how to send out emails, but as far as calling goes, they need to know better what their audience wants to talk about, to have it ready to discuss, and to conduct the interaction to move the sales process forward.

[9:19] Managers need to coach reps on their engagement skills, and also on their reporting compliance.

[10:22] ClearSlide, a sales engagement platform, has three pillars: Content (for interaction), Communications (reporting the interaction), and Insights (helping sellers prepare for the next conversation).

[16:18] The last mile of the buying journey is critical. Jeff tells how to inform the prospect, and align with their progress.

[17:44] Sales insight into stakeholders is crucial, whether in small companies or large.

[18:46] Jeff asks, how do you solve ‘hopecasting?’ There is a reticence to adapt processes to fit reality. Leadership must be accountable for insights; marketing must provide and curate content; sellers must be accountable for executing sales.

[21:59] “We can live and work with yeses and noes, but maybes are killers.” — Jeff Schmidt. Engagement data provides important qualitative insights.

[24:16] Proceduralize and understand what you want from each tool in the sales stack. Integration involves not only the technical flow of data, but insights informing the conversation.

[25:33] Jeff explains how to qualify prospects. Qualify properly, or disqualify properly. These directed events provide additional insight to work on productive leads. Percentage of conversion of pipeline is an important metric.

April 3, 2017

#422. Inspire Buyers to Action. With Doyle Slayton.

Doyle Slayton, CEO and Founder of Xoombi, joins me for the second time on #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:34] Doyle was in sports broadcasting, cold-calling for sponsors. He learned he loved sales! He moved to outbound prospecting and management, but started to find that nobody picks up the phone anymore! He saw there was a problem.

[5:27] It’s all about alignment. Doyle suggests how to get marketing and sales together to get sales moving. How does branding fit in the buying process?

[7:27] Doyle examines a variety of issues in sales today. Every consultant has a different take. What is happening on the front lines? Doyle gives his thoughts on simplicity.

[9:02] What are the must-have tools? Doyle talks lists, personas, multiple contacts, and accounts. Direct dial numbers and email addresses are key. What does Doyle suggest about marketing automation?

[13:19] The discussion turns to Saleswings, HubSpot, and other tools of the trade.

[15:09] How do you combine application with theory? Doyle gives a couple of case studies.

[18:20] The books, Influence, Pre-Suasion, and The Science of Selling, explore the emotional/psychological side of decisions. Doyle says canned demos are “where deals go to die.” Be different from your competition by being “of” your client.

[21:54] Doyle boils it down to inspiring buyer action. He makes points on web presence, cool factor, curiosity, scarcity, process efficiency, case studies, social proof, and an easy entry point.

[29:33] Doyle puts himself in the shoes of his clients. He identifies with them as he advises them. His passion carries into prospecting and sales calls.

 

March 25, 2017

Make it Easy for Buyers to Do Business with You. With Gavin Zuchlinski. #415

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest  Gavin Zuchlinski, Founder at Acuity Scheduling.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:44] Acuity Scheduling is an online tool to help small businesses and professionals manage their day-to-day events. Clients book appointments, and calendars sync.

[1:32] Gavin wrote Acuity for his mother’s business. He also tried it to generate leads for his own web development business, and that didn’t work, but people liked the product, so he grew it slowly, while still working in cyber security.

[2:35] Acuity allows scheduling while you are not available to answer a call, with no back-and-forth. What kinds of sales uses has Gavin seen?

[4:37] What important benefits has Gavin’s mother’s business received through using an online scheduler?

[5:53] Gavin describes Acuity’s market: it is “vertical agnostic,” so it is useful in many environments. Acuity provides excellent customer support, and is lean, easy-to-use, and powerful.

[7:20] Acuity principles: simplicity, brand customization, and automatic syncing to prevent double-booking of resources.

[10:03] Gavin talks about time saved with online booking, and the convenience to the customer setting the appointment.

[11:53] Gavin cites percentages of users who prefer to book online rather than calling for an appointment. He also mentions email notification of appointments.

[14:06] By reducing friction for the prospect, you boost successful connections. What sort of approaches does Gavin suggest to promote online booking?

[18:55] Acuity provides a variety of approaches and sequences to send appointment reminders.

[21:13] Gavin covers some of the platforms with which Acuity integrates, either directly, or with a connector. Customer service can guide you for your specific application.

[22:25] Gavin gives examples of custom uses, including bowling parties, donut delivery, salons, sales teams, and automatic setup of video meetings.

 

March 9, 2017

How to Increase Conversions with Video Email. With Stephen Pacinelli. #401

Stephen Pacinelli is CMO of BombBomb.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
[:50] Steve started in real estate technology, selling CRM and advertising systems to real estate agents. When he found BombBomb, he used it for his sales team to close sales over email, and he did it so well, that they offered him a job.
[2:05] BombBomb enables human-human communications, sooner and more often in the sales process, through video. The platform works in email, text, or messenger. There’s no download; it just streams.
[3:26] Video is the go-to asset when emotion is involved, or where you are building rapport or trust. It is much more personal than a text or email. The video is device-independent. Whatever the client uses for email, it will work with one click.
[5:59] It is necessary to open the email message and press play on the video. So, use a good subject line. The word “video” in the subject line will increase open rates. The video has an animated preview, so hold up their name written on a card!
[7:45] Steve cites Robert Cialdini’s reciprocity rule. You took the time to make a video for them; they’ll take the time to play it. BombBomb’s speed means you don’t take a long time to make a video. You just record and go. It is authentic, not produced.
[8:44] Steve notes a “shiny authenticity inversion.” The shinier a video is, the less authentic it feels. The more raw and organic a video is, the better it performs, because it connects.
[9:54] Some people don’t like the way they look and sound on camera. The client will meet you eventually, and you look and sound the same way in person, so, get to face-to-face, now. When you get your first response, you will see how it works.
[10:51] Some people “don’t know what to say.” This is not video marketing, that should be polished. This is video communication. Use it like a voice mail. Leave a message. Be human and relatable. Video allows you to build a connection.
[18:40] Record on your iPhone or Android. At the end, you have the option to email it, text it, or message it. Steve suggests a three-part framework to use it: empathy, point of value, and call-to-action. Steve has heard of a 20% reply rate.
[24:00] BombBomb is great for personalized messages. You can use it with video into a monthly newsletter email, but it greatly increases one-to-one. The client can video reply back, from PC, laptop, or phone, to continue the conversation.
[28:29] It’s possible to make video by other means, and link to it, but BombBomb brings ease-of-use to the process, with one-click simplicity. Best response rates come from videos under a minute. Customer service replies, record as needed.
[28:38] Steven has a favorite new BombBomb feature: Snippets, that link texts and library video clips. In email, you can select a Snippet and it drops in the video and text together. Steven sends about seven video emails a day.

December 28, 2016

How to Listen to Discover. With Paul Cherry. #341

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Paul Cherry. Paul is President of Performance Based Results, LLC, the author of Questions that Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants, and has a new book coming up called, The Closer: Be The Successful Sales Pro, Steal the Lead, Seal the Deal. Among the many topics that Paul and I discuss are the purpose of listening for discovery, how the fate of a sale can depend on a question, and Paul’s new book, The Closer.

December 2, 2016

Where Will the Real Sales Revolution Begin? With Bridget Gleason. #320

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my regular guest, Bridget Gleason. On this week’s episode, Bridget and I discuss, among other topics the connection between new sales technologies and enhanced sales productivity. Join Bridget and me for this episode of Accelerate! as we dig into the future of sales in the face of technological changes.

November 2, 2016

How to Accelerate Your Sales With Sales Process Engineering. With Justin Roff-Marsh. #295

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Justin Roff-Marsh. Justin is the author of The Machine: A Radical Approach to the Design of the Sales Function. Among the many topics Justin and I discuss in this episode are what is sales process engineering, why he believes it’s important to reduce a salesperson’s autonomy through a division of labor, why 99% of companies need both outbound and inbound sales, and the traits of salespeople who thrive in an engineered sales process environment. This is a fascinating look at the future of sales.

October 6, 2016

Amp Up Your Social Selling with The Right Sales Tools. With Kevin O’Nell. #272

My guest on this episode is Kevin O’Nell, CEO of PeopleLinx, a system that activates social selling to drive more quality leads, create faster sales cycles, and increase conversion rates. In this episode, Kevin and I discuss the role of social selling in the early stages of the buyer’s journey, and dig into the effective (or ineffective) use of sales technologies that managers and teams are implementing.

September 22, 2016

How to Automate Your Phone-based Sales Processes. With David Hood. #260

Joining me is David Hood, CEO of VanillaSoft, a leading software system that supports phone-based inside sales teams. Among the many topics David and I discuss relating to inside sales are the increasing importance of virtual reputations, the evolving role of inside sales teams in full life-cycle sales, the true measure of sales productivity, and key differences between list-based and cue-based calling systems.

 

September 13, 2016

How to Build The Right Sales Stack For Your Needs. With Nancy Nardin. #252

Nancy Nardin is joining me for a second time on Accelerate. Nancy is a thought leader on sales and marketing productivity tools and the founder of Smart Selling Tools.  Join us now as Nancy and I discuss her Hierarchy of Revenue Needs and Sales Stack Maturity Model and how to use these tools to help you build a sales stack that aligns with your requirements, and many more topics.