Aug. 12, 2021

5 Keys to an Effective Outbound Sales Strategy

5 Keys to an Effective Outbound Sales Strategy

Episode 8: 5 Keys to an Effective Outbound Sales Strategy with Kevin Warner
Less than ten years ago, email was the dominant marketing channel being used across the United States, but since 2014 there has been a huge evolution in the outbound sales field. In today’s world there are a multitude of different sources from which we consume marketing information, and in order for companies to thrive, they need to make use of a multichannel approach. In today’s episode we are joined by Kevin Warner, the CEO of Leadium, and an expert in developing outbound sales strategies across the different available platforms. Tune in to hear about Kevin’s journey in the sales world, and gain insights into the elements that he believes are essential to creating a successful strategy; from dealing with data to the consistency of individual sales reps. We also discuss some of the roadblocks that Kevin has noticed through his years of experience, and how he thinks these can be ironed out in the future, which looks like it holds lots more growth for the field of outbound sales!


Key Points From This Episode:

  • Kevin explains how he entered the world of sales.
  • Advancement that has occurred in sales in recent years.
  • How sales methods have changed since Kevin began working in the field.
  • A factor that prevents companies from transitioning to phone sales.
  • The potential of multichannel sales strategies. 
  • Differences between outbound and inbound sales. 
  • Why it’s so important to understand the metrics in order to make the best use of outbound sales.
  • A current trend that Kevin has noticed in sales, and why it is problematic. 
  • Reasons that an automation tool is a must-have for outbound sales.
  • Success in outbound sales requires a sales engagement platform (tip number one!), and Kevin shares top three recommendations.
  • Sam’s number one and Kevin’s number two top tip; focus on your market and the data.
  • How to figure out the engagement channel that works best for you, and why this is Kevin’s tip number three.
  • The biggest challenge that Kevin sees in the outbound sales sector.
  • Sentiment towards cold calling that exists in the US today.
  • Kevin’s thoughts on how companies should structure their outbound sales teams in the future.
  • Tip number four: think carefully about your messaging.
  • Consistency is key; Kevin explains what he means by this final tip.
  • Why Sam believes training and coaching are also key elements for success. 
  • Growth in the outbound sales field that Kevin is expecting to see going forward.

Tweetables:

“Email only accounts for about 35-45% of all conversions now, across all of our clients, with phone actually picking up about 40, and social making up the rest.” — KA_Warner [0:05:48]

“Physical plus digital plus phone; I think that’s when we’ll see conversion rates exponentially increase.” — KA_Warner [0:09:58]

“You’re using outbound to drive market research, so you have to have a clear understanding of what the deliverable is you want from this vehicle.” — KA_Warner [0:13:25]

“You consume media differently based on where you are experiencing that media.” — KA_Warner [0:35:46]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Kevin Warner on LinkedIn

Leadium

Leadium on Instagram

Sam Capra on LinkedIn

flexEngage

Sales Samurai B2B Sales Podcast

Title Sponsors:

Transcript

Speaker 0    00:00:01    Coming to you from Orlando, Florida, Orlando, Florida, and streaming around the world around the world. You're not tuned in to the sales samurai podcast, the only B2B sales podcast, providing unfiltered unapologetic views and tactics directly from the sales trenches. Here's your host, Sam Capra.  
Speaker 1    00:00:30    Welcome to episode eight of the sales samurai. Thanks for listening. Before we begin as always do us a favor, take a moment to subscribe and download on today's show. We're going to be discussing five keys to an effective outbound sales strategy, which I know is really going to resonate with our listeners for those individual contributors. How do I keep growing my pipeline? And for those sales leaders, how do I keep building that top of the funnel? So I have a healthy sales organization and I have a very special guest for you tonight. Kevin Warner is the co-founder and CEO of Liam. The industry leader in outbound sales, focused on connecting a talented global workforce for small businesses, startups and fortune five hundreds who are looking to accelerate their growth. Kevin founded Liam back in 2017, bringing more than five years of experience, both in sales and customer success with leading enterprise companies and startups. He also worked with way up as they participate in Y Combinator and obtained 15 million in funding.  
Speaker 2    00:01:30    Hey, Kevin, welcome to the show brother. How are you? I'm doing well. Thanks for having me, man. I'm super excited to have you. This is always something that I am excited. I love talking outbound sales strategy tactics. It's something I live and breathe and know something that you live and breathe  
Speaker 3    00:01:45    As well. Yes. Live and breathing it for what, what seems like seven years now? Obviously we crossed paths probably a couple of years ago when you became a client of leading us. So a kind of full circle now.  
Speaker 2    00:01:59    Awesome, man. Well, Hey, uh, kind of give the audience a little bit of a background, cause obviously this is what is really in your guys's sweet spot from your background, as well as from the company you started from the ground up, but kind of give the audience a little bit of a background about you about Liam, just in general.  
Speaker 3    00:02:16    Yeah. You know, my foray into sales and I was always in a product development and customer success and kind of the UI UX of, of new tech. And that was kind of my foray in 2012, 2013 and 14. My first launch into sales was straight into creating an agency for outsource sales development. And that's kind of the world we've been living in at Liam since what, 2015, 2016 now. And what's great is you've kind of seen this whole industry grow outbound sales has kind of always been there sure. From 1990s to two thousands, but it was really in its infancy. It was really raw. It wasn't 2014, 2015, where technology kind of caught up to the sales industry. And you kind of see that now with all the unicorns in the space, from a chorus and reach a chorus, drift all of these major kind of technologies.  
Speaker 3    00:03:14    But really when I jumped into sales, it was, Hey, technology's new. There's not a lot of strategy or expertise kind of built around the industry. There's not a lot of data on what works and what doesn't work because it's kind of a new frontier. Now who's going to kind of take the technology and build out the systems and kind of execute on it. And that's kind of where I jumped in. We kind of developed one of the first agencies kind of working in an outsource manner. You know, SDRs are expensive sales, technology's expensive. How can you go to a vendor and kind of access at all and have best in class outbound. And that's really what we did in 2015 and 16. And we've kind of seen and kind of led a part of the growth ever since to where we are today.  
Speaker 2    00:03:57    That's awesome, man. Hey, so I'm always curious because now you've been knowing it, but five years, 15, 16, about five, six years. I'm sure a lot has changed in that time. Like what's the biggest thing that you kind of point to and say, wow, we very first started, it was heavy, heavy, heavy email. That's like one, what can you really point to and say, just the evolution just in five years has been drastic. W what would you point  
Speaker 3    00:04:20    Out the biggest evolution in five years and outbound and outbound was so easy in 2015. And I can't imagine how much easier it was prior to 2015, but email was king. You can blast. I remember at our first company, uh, you can send 20,000 outbound prospects a message a day and Google wouldn't, you know, mark you into spam and why it was king was not only was Google, not, you know, and, and Microsoft where they are now as an ESPN with filtering, they've invested huge amounts of money and buying and acquiring technology to help, you know, filter. And, and they have a unique, you know, reason why they want to protect their customers and make sure that they're not being abused, but not only was it easy to get into the inbox, but just a few years ago, there wasn't that much outbound. So there wasn't a lot of noise.  
Speaker 3    00:05:11    And if you're anybody who is a C level title, a director, or a manager title, especially in departments like marketing or sales, you're getting 15, 20 messages a day sometimes. So you're thankful that Google is filtering out because usually Google is filtering out the bad players and the ones who aren't doing best practices. They're not personalizing, they're just hitting blast and send. But now there's so much noise along with filtering on, on the ESP side. That that is the biggest change. You cannot rely on email that aligns with what we're seeing at <inaudible> email only accounts for about 35 to 45% of all conversions. Now across all of our clients with phone, actually picking up about 40 and then social making up of the rest. So we're seeing in the last, you know, 16 months, especially phone taking a huge, huge kind of leap. Wow,  
Speaker 2    00:06:07    That's impressive. So let me ask you that. And obviously, because I want to peel that back a little bit when we kind of get into our subject matter around outbound strategy, because I think that ties in very well. I'm curious through that evolution, what's the one thing that you didn't account for? What's the epiphany moment when you're like, oh my God, like I watched this thing and I didn't account for that. Like, that was something that came out of left field if there was one for you.  
Speaker 3    00:06:31    Yeah, no, that's a, that's a great question too. I think probably for us, it was the pickup of phone. We'd built the company off of the conversions. We were getting with email. We didn't expect the outbound industry, the outsource industry to take off as fast as it is. I kind of liken it now to marketing agencies, right? It's a huge, there's high demand and high churn. That's just the reality we play in and outsource vendor. And I liken it to marketing agencies because there's hundreds of thousands of marketing agencies. You can have a 16 year old son or daughter, and somehow in high school, they have a marketing agency, you know, locally. You're kind of seeing that now with outsource as well, just, you know, if you're an experienced SDR, you realize you can work on your own terms from wherever you want, bring on three or four or five clients as a consultant and hit the numbers they need to hit because the majority of businesses, they don't understand their KPIs that they should have.  
Speaker 3    00:07:30    They don't have the resources to build this internal program. That's probably the thing that we didn't account for the quickest, which put us back in 2018 a little bit, because we weren't set and ready to go with outbound phone calls. In 2019, we, we made an investment and decided to set up camp in Santa Domingo and the Dominican Republic for the purpose of it's a call center Mecca. So we started to take the best talent from call centers who have zero call reluctance. They love calling, which is something that the U S market battles with our team now would rather call than email. And that's a weird dichotomy. And I'll get data is probably the biggest player in all of that in order to be successful without bound calling, you have to be able to afford the data and sadly, a lot of SMBs and a lot of mid-market companies, you just, can't, there's only so many options to get good data.  
Speaker 3    00:08:25    And it's usually, you know, all, all roads lead back to ZoomInfo usually, and that's an expensive pay-to-play. And that's one thing that we are able to leverage is a whole tech infrastructure that's split across all of our clients. So we're able to afford that to small and medium-sized businesses as well as enterprise, but that phone call taking off and now being such a good player. I think it's because the industry sales engagement platforms, the access to email addresses has increased and became accessible that to stand out, you have to be doing other channels. I think, I mean, to that last point, what we're seeing and what we're testing with over Q3 and Q4 of this year is actual direct mail now is going to be a standout feature and not just any. And I think you're seeing that with Sen DOSO and postal.io, they're kind of increasing, and PFL, who's been a player for a long time.  
Speaker 3    00:09:22    They're increasing their kind of a land grab in the market. It's still very much an enterprise grade game because you have to have a clear KPI calculation on how much an inbound or an outbound lead should cost based on how much can you afford to spend on them. But, you know, it's going to be interesting. Our tests are going to include, you know, if you get a box of donuts to your sales floor at 9:30 AM, and then a pizza at 1130 on the same day, followed up by an email that says, what's it going to take a Ferrari with a GIF of a Ferrari all of that same day within three hours. So you're doing, you know, multichannel, physical plus digital plus phone. I think that's what we'll see. Conversion rates actually exponentially increase. That's  
Speaker 2    00:10:05    Awesome, man. Yeah. I, I want to circle back to that as we're talking through this, because there's a couple of things that jumped out at me, Hey, multichannel, it's not a one trick pony. It's not a silver bullet. It's doing a lot of different things, very effectively and multiple and testing, and then tracking. It's all about all those three. And I love what you said earlier, as well, as you know, when you're talking through this type of thing, it's about noise, right? It was a lot easier because there was not enough. It was not a whole lot of noise back then. Now there's just so much noise. So I want to circle back to that. So let's jump into it because this is something I love to discuss. As I mentioned earlier, these are things that I'm always thinking of for myself. So organization, how do we create top of the funnel?  
Speaker 2    00:10:50    It's all about top of the funnel, right? Then there's a whole MOFU and BOFU food and all that fun stuff, but how do you get the tofu started? So I want to talk about like, and I know you got some specifics, like five specific keys to a successful outbound strategy, but before we kind of net that out, like, like, how do you define like an outbound strategy? Is there, and people talking about outbound seems like a lot of people have different connotations or thought processes around outbound. How do you quantify or define an outbound strategy therapy?  
Speaker 3    00:11:21    Yeah. I mean, even before you take a strategy, outbound in, in the general sense is just your reaching out, right? Inbound. They're coming to you. Whether you have great SEO, you put out great content. There is a customer who has a need, and they reached out to you that fulfill that need, right? Outbound is, Hey, I'm going to actively pursue the people who might not know about us. Who've made, never seen us and just start the conversation. And really it's, it's all based off of assumptions, right? I'm assuming you have this problem. I'm assuming you have this problem right now. And I'm making the, and I'm assuming you have the budget for the solution that we provide to fix that problem. And I'm basing all of that on the law of averages. Our average customer is X. We know that teams that are size 1000 to 5,000 who have marketing managers of X amount, or are already using XYZ technology and who are making this amount of revenue, right?  
Speaker 3    00:12:24    You're just doing law of averages. And most companies, no matter the size, that's, that's the principle behind starting a business or creating a product is you have a market in mind, you don't create this. You don't create outreach.io without understanding, Hey, VPs of sales at XYZ company, that's who we think our customers first now during your life, as a company, you are going to go through iterations on your customers might change, but it's youth targeting somebody based on assumptions and your kind of law of averages of who you think your best customers are. That's, that's the basis of outbound and the general sense for us to be successful. You at least have to know that. And we've had clients come to us who say, we have no clue. We have zero customers. We don't know who they are. Outbound still works, but it's effectively changing is that it's not driving SQLs anymore.  
Speaker 3    00:13:25    You're using outbound to drive market research. So you have to have a clear understanding of what the deliverable is you want from this vehicle. Um, you know, one of the five acquisition channels, and you have to think of it as an acquisition channel, which I think is lost a lot of times an outbound. And it comes back to that analytics play. You were just talking about, but most acquisition channels. If you think about ad words, Facebook, Instagram ads, anything ad related, you have clear metrics. Every part of that process, I know how much a click costs. I know how many clicks it takes to get to, you know, shopping cart. I know how many shopping cart is. It takes to have a, an order. And I know the average order value. Now I know how much I can spend on a click Alabama. You have to look at it that same way. And it's hard to look at it day one, because you might not have any metrics, but you'll have to think of it as an acquisition channel. Are we engaging the right way? Do we have the right messaging in front of the right audiences? Are we highlighting the right things? Are we measuring every step of it, but to us, that's the basis of your strategy.  
Speaker 2    00:14:33    That's awesome. Yeah, I, I that's, uh, you know what I mean? I think as salespeople, we over-complicate things, I think we overcomplicate to the 10th degree and get paralysis by analysis. And sometimes just getting back to the basics, right? To your point, inbound is where they raise their hand saying I'm interested. Outbound is where you're creating the based off some assumptions that you have around similar organizations, similar titles. So I think  
Speaker 3    00:14:56    That's a great way of, I think that, I mean, even to that point, I think you have to be realistic. What we're seeing, which is a, an awful trend in the market. And it's especially present and prevalent in the SMB market is coming to the game and saying, I want 20 appointments a month. Whether it's the us, whether you're hiring a young salesperson, whether you're hiring an SDR, you're coming and saying, I 20 appointments a month. And to that strategy and that conversation of what does this mean? It's where do you get that number? Have you ever done outbound before? No, this is our first time, but I want 20 appointments. That's what I heard you should be getting. It's like, well, wait a second. No, you can't use other people's results to guide your own goals because this might not be a channel that works for you.  
Speaker 3    00:15:42    Just like for us, that Liam Facebook advertising is not a channel that will ever drive positive results for, for, you know, conversions. It will drive results in brand recognition, but I have to better believe that's marketing budget. That's not MQL budget, that's the help other goals. And I think that's kind of the biggest issue is unrealistic goals or KPIs that are set on no basis of reality, because what you're doing right off the bat is you're building a magic bullet strategy that is actually going to be a disservice to the long run. That makes perfect  
Speaker 2    00:16:19    Sense. So let's hop into a gift. Cause I mentioned do something a little bit different. I know you've got some five, like, like, Hey, here's the core structure of how outbound strategy should look like and to be successful. I actually had five myself. I'm going to see as we go through this, how are to align? And if I'm so far off, or if I'm just going down the wrong path, I want to kind of bounce them off. One of you want to bounce ideas off each other and see where we align and maybe where there's not an alignment. Talk through that as well.  
Speaker 3    00:16:51    No, it sounds perfect. And what I always say, Hey, these are the five to any good outbound program to build this channel. These are, you have to be engaging and utilizing these in some way, one sales engagement, right? It's, it's a no brainer. You have to have an automation tool. You can't post a Google ad words without going through their infrastructure. You can't post Facebook ads without going through their infrastructure. And their infrastructure is now fully analytics. It allows you to preview. It allows you to have real time. You know, visuals, you have to have a sales engagement platform to be successful with outbound. For the pure reason of one, you need to automate a lot of tasks functions, right? You don't need to just upload it. How automatic emails go out that are adjusted, but you need to automate your task flow and sales engagement platforms are just allowing you to do that three that I always recommend right off the top or just Apollo outreach and SalesLoft.  
Speaker 3    00:17:48    I think on a team wise, those are the best SalesLoft and outreach being the best for an enterprise organization because of their amount of integrations. If you're an SMB, Apollo is fantastic. Anything other than that kind of downmarket, you lose a lot of functionality for a small cost increase, especially with Apollo being right there. So that's the number one most important item. It lets you track, what am I doing? I guess the best way to put it in and the advantage of it. And what I tell our clients is outbound. If I book appointments early in month, one, two, and three, fantastic. You want those easy home runs, right? But you got to think of outbound almost like baseball, not every batter going up is attempting to hit a home run. Sure. You have your kind of heavy hitters who, who they're going to swing for the fences.  
Speaker 3    00:18:39    But nine endings is a long game. And sometimes you're trying to bunt and just get one deer first base because you're trying to play strategy. And sometimes you're going to walk about, or because you need to do this or that outbound is that same kind of process. And usually if you're not scheduling appointments, which you should, there should never be a time where you don't schedule any appointments without you're doing something wrong. But if you're not booking them at the rate, you should, there's always a cause and effect. And having a good sales engagement platform will allow you to lock into that cause and effect are the open rates. There are there call connect rates there. Do I have good call data? The conversations that I'm having? Is it all, please remove me unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe. Well, that usually means your message. Is it resonating? So there's usually that cause and effect and that's the biggest advantage a sales engagement platform can drive for you. No, that's  
Speaker 2    00:19:38    Awesome. So would you say that is like critical mission, number one, have the right sales engagement platform at your disposal or is there something more critical in your estimation group?  
Speaker 3    00:19:49    I would say that if you're building outbound to be a channel, a long-term repeatable, you can build from it. That's going to be the number one most important is you can't engage in a channel. If you don't have a way to manage it, to, to view it, to measure it, to see what's working, what's not working. That's kind of the tool that powers that channel without a doubt.  
Speaker 2    00:20:12    That makes sense. So kind of my here's mine. So here's my number one. Cause you said that is critical and I don't disagree with you. My number one was market. Hey, what is your tan you're saying? And your Psalm, right? What's the total addressable market available market and really obtainable market. You know, what is that ICP for you? You got to start setting trying to get real wide, real fast. How do you really drill down on the, on the top people that way your value proposition resonates with them. That's where I started. And I'm sure somewhere in the, I know it is, I know data is big to you. So, so I know that somewhere in your mix, I know that's my  
Speaker 3    00:20:50    Number one. Number two is data. And again, a lot of, a lot of what your outline it is already a well, if you're an organization, you already have a sense of, if you're doing marketing, we know who we're marketing to. So I'm already filling that in as, Hey, the way I'm positioning it as more, Hey, I want to build an outbound channel. What's step one, step one is you need a tool, a place to execute on that channel. But step two is now what do we do with it? What do we actually put into this in order to kind of prospect too? So number two for me is data on a twofold front, which is one who are you targeting, right? Like who is your Tam? What does that actually this stuff. And, and you went in depth and started segmenting. And that was kind of what you were outlining.  
Speaker 3    00:21:37    I mean, for the most organizations that we're speaking with, just, who's just somebody who would want this product, right? Let's not even get into segmentation and even more segmentation, they're using Salesforce. If they're not using Salesforce, that's usually a better customer. I think that's a layer that enterprise is very aware with. Um, they can pay for the people that analyze. They can pay for tools to analyze. They can pay for data sources that can get them, you know, very segmented, you know, trigger base intent-based data. Uh, but the majority of SMBs it's just, Hey, who did you have this product? You built it. You're part of this team. Who's it for right before you get into intent-based and all of this, just who's the high level, who is this for? Because at a minimum you can use a sales engagement platform with very rudimentary messaging and have success in multiple layers.  
Speaker 3    00:22:33    One is you can learn that our messaging based on their responses, you can just look to start to have conversations with them, not even push them into a sales pitch and their heat. You're actually going to book some sales meetings. That's just rudimentary for me. Also, it comes down to, you have to have a good data source. So not only understand who you're targeting, but you have to have a good data source. It is probably your number one investment, but it also be the most important when you try to cheat the system you're going for early wins out the gate. And I understand that's valuable for us. We are good partners with ZoomInfo. I kind of see that as a Mecca, but again, lead IQ is another tool we've been using since 2017. LinkedIn sales navigator is obviously a core tool. If you're trying to kind of do some sort of scraping off of LinkedIn and just following people as they progress in their life, seamless is obviously a very, a big one that's popped up recently. So there's a lot of data tools out there based on your budget and your need. I understand that everybody can get the zoom info, but there's definitely tools and access to data at every pretty much budget point. But data's definitely number two.  
Speaker 2    00:23:47    Yeah. Well, I kind of segment, am I looking at market a little bit different? I kind of look at market as the holistic. I don't think we're too far off on that. And I think of data as the granularity, right. And trigger events might be a part of kind of data from the ZoomInfo, but the persona, the contact information, the email, the direct dials, all that kind of fun stuff. I segment them out and I definitely believe you can know who you're going after as an ICP, but you can't actually reach them. It was a crack, right? I mean, if I can't actually talk to you, I may think Target's a great one, but if I can't actually talk to anyone at target, my views are crap. Right? So I'm in agreement with the data you're only as good as your data, right? I mean, I think that's the key piece of it. And you guys actually gave some great resources. I appreciate those. I, we use seamless here. We did use discover org or ZoomInfo now, but to your point earlier, they're fantastic. Nothing against us, but they're there there's a cost associated for sure. In leveraging that solution. What's number three for you  
Speaker 3    00:24:47    Three or four are kind of a, a, a toss up it's, it's kind of it's the chicken or the egg scenario for me. And so I'll start just with the, kind of the idea that I'm building the channel. So the next is what engagement channel are you actually going to utilize, right? Are you doing email only? And I get, if you're a solo founder, you're just trying to get your first couple of clients. Email might be easy. You're fortunate. And if you have the right messaging that works still to this day, but it's what channel are you now engaging in for us? It has to be kind of everything in today's market, email, LinkedIn phone now moving into direct mail and gifting. Because again, that mix, then you're not going to use every channel for every prospect. Now it comes back into that data play, which prospects can you spend more on to convert, right?  
Speaker 3    00:25:42    If you have fortune 500 targets and SMB targets, well don't gift to the SMB market, but gift to the fortune 500 market. Because again, it all comes down to the key analytics and that's the cost per lead. And really who cares about the cost per lead. It's the cost per closed one deal. And the average ACV value on that. And that's the things you have to look at, but for us it's channel, you have to be engaging them all. I don't think you need auto dialers. If you have good direct dial data, you don't need to spend the money on, you know, connect and sell or, or, um, yes, that increases the amount of calls you can place that once. But that's basing the fact that you have poor data, because if you have cell phone data or direct dial data, you should be building sequences specific to those audiences. And you know, at that point, if you have somebody's cell phone, you want to make sure you leave a personal voicemail, not an automated voicemail, so it's channel and who you engage them with and how you engage them with.  
Speaker 2    00:26:42    I think it's a good, I, and I might've got a little granular on this one, but I think it actually ties with your sales engage. I kind of put sales engagement here. I kind of figured the data first, make sure you know, your market know who you're actually going to talk to. And then how you actually got to talk to them. How are you going to communicate with them? What engagement platform, what's the copy, what's the value prop. And then what channel to your point, is it all email? Is it social? Is it a postal IO? Like how are you meeting that story together across multiple channels? And I want to, I want to pause there for a minute because I think you brought up a good point earlier around, you know, email and the decline and at what you've seen over the years, I think you even said your business email used to account for a lot. Now it's about forty, forty five phones picking up about 35 40, and then social is kind of filling in the gaps. You said, call reluctance. I think you have people calling. They love to call them the United States. Like, what are you finding the biggest roadblock when it comes to outbound strategy? When it comes to the sales, psyche sales mentality is phone. Just, uh, I'm just trying to think through like,  
Speaker 3    00:27:49    What does it mean? Yeah, no, no, it's a, it's a great question. It's also like the unique value proposition of Liam and other companies like us is, you know, one of the biggest changes to the market is you build a role around the function, right? An SDR is a pretty recent type of role and what it's become and in it, w w what you inherently have is a very, very young salesperson, right out of college, or first job in sales, average life cycle of an SDR, I think is, is 10 to 12 months. If you factor in your cost of recruiting your cost of training, your cost of ramping up an actual pipeline, you're only really getting 6, 5, 6 effective months out of them. Before you have an option, you have a job for them internally that costs more, or you just lose them outright. So essentially every organization is gambling that they can retain that talent into a next position.  
Speaker 3    00:28:52    Like an E. The problem is what we also get distracted in is thinking every company is a high funded tech company. That's on his path to becoming a billion dollars, medium size businesses. They don't have enough money to hire a sales person, let alone an SDR, and the fact that they can gamble and potentially lose you after, you know, eight to 10 months and have to repeat they don't, they also don't have the training program internally to train an effective SDR and to tell them what's wrong and right, and to give them best practices. And that's the majority of the SDR market. So you have young unqualified in the sense that they might be out of college recently might be their first sales job. They don't know how to write sales copy. They don't know how to do phone scripts, culturally, I think in just the U S culture, the idea cold calling all day as something we equate to the nineties and what we don't want to do anymore.  
Speaker 3    00:29:46    It's probably a millennial, you know, the new generation thing of, Hey, if we can send more emails, why do I have to call? I think all of that factors in am I good on a phone, right? I'm calling C-level executives of fortune five hundreds, and this is my first sales job, and it's my first cold call job. So I think all of that adds into reluctance, the inexperience, the no education, and yes, you can do it on the fly, but I think you see only kind of the best talented ones, uh, who will probably have a long-term career and becoming a high level executive or C-level and sales, uh, kind of Excel when you don't have a lot of coaching and training and oversight. And I think that's also inherently why email underperforms is because while who's helping you write better, oh, I saw HubSpot posted these top 50 subject lines.  
Speaker 3    00:30:38    So I'm just going to copy and paste that instead of testing it my own, like testing my own for what works with us. Oh, like Sam Nelson from outreach posted, this is a good email. So let me use that same exact email. So if you are the recipient of outbound, you see all of the same messages come through, because again, you don't have the education on what can you play with what can't you play with. It's okay to mess up with messaging so long as you refine it. I think marketing, you see that a lot launch 50 versions of copy. And as soon as one underperforms, the other shut the other down so that you don't keep sending traffic to it. You see, even with the most basic marketing kind of clicks Facebook or Instagram or whatever, it's, you want your button to be clicked now, or buy now, or click here or find out more, right?  
Speaker 3    00:31:31    They're allowing you to play with that, knowing that, Hey, your audience is going to interact differently, every piece of collateral. So you need to test it. And that's that biggest kind of void, which is great for us because our team members, which are just different culture, different training, different economic situations, they want to be an SDR for 5, 6, 7, 8, pay them what they should be paid. And they will be there for 15, 20 years. And I think that's why a lot of overseas call centers and outsourcing has just worked in general, right? Where in the nineties, the us had a lot of outsourcing. Then it got shipped overseas is because, Hey, I don't mind making it. I can be happy placing all these phone calls every day. So long as I'm making a good living. And I don't need this American dream idealistic, I one day want to be the CEO of Disney. And I can't stay in this position long enough if I want to keep that trajectory.  
Speaker 2    00:32:29    Yeah. That makes sense. You know, I kind of, I break it down and you gave a good answer around what were the challenge where these things are bubbling up and why they're surfacing this call reluctance, or the challenge with reps from the top of funnel standpoint. You know, what I, I have toyed around with is there is a fundamental gap, right? To your point, you either hiring in college students that you have to train from the ground up, whether you have training resources or not, you're trying to train them. It takes time to ramp them up. That's time loss, right? There's that ramp period. And then you have enterprise reps and do you really want them spending their time trying to do that as well, as well as manage half million dollar meals and keep things moving down funnel, what's the best use of their time from a sales perspective, right? And those are the things you're constantly jumbled. There's that big gap between what the, who does it and how do they do and how do you do it effectively? And I think that's where you said services like yours. That's why it's blunt. Like that's why you guys have been successful because there is a huge Delta, there's a gap there that companies need to address. So I think it's a fair point.  
Speaker 3    00:33:38    Yeah. And I think, look, I think before we touch on the last two points, I think the future is you have every company has a consortium of outsource and in-house that you just need it because one advantage you have with outsourcing that low function at the sales pipeline with booking those SQLs, especially since a lot of it is automated now, and it's easily measurable. And executable is the consistency in your pipeline. I'm a business owner. If one employee leaves me, who's an account manager, a success manager, an SDR, one person leaves, how do I bring it? You don't have the bandwidth to have five people waiting in the wings. And I now need to start the HR process, the hiring process. And oftentimes you're taken by surprise from it. And that still happens in sales. If you lose an SDR that can impact your pipeline for six to 12 months, if you don't have someone immediately coming into play it because outbound today is actually pipeline for next month and the following month. And so that's one of the big advantages of outsource is, Hey, we're always on right there. It's always on partner. And we can offset some of that loss pipeline if it happens internally.  
Speaker 2    00:34:49    That's good feedback. All right. Number four for you.  
Speaker 3    00:34:52    Yeah. Number four is messaging. That's the number four, right? And by messaging, I mean, what is the copy? What's your email copy. How good is it? Is it segmented? Is it personalized? Is it relevant? Is it tested? And what's the copy for every channel, whether it's email, it should be email copy. Right? Email copy is very different than LinkedIn copy. I don't know why in the last two years, everyone just thought, let me cop what I copy and paste when I put an email over to LinkedIn, but if the worst, right? Because LinkedIn, you consume differently like a phone, right? What's your phone script, which is different than your email script. And I, the worst is that most people thinking of copy and which channel you're engaging in, as you consume just naturally as humans, you consume media differently based on where you're kind of experiencing that media, how you kind of do television, right?  
Speaker 3    00:35:55    Television ads are very different than billboard ads and billboard ads are very different than Facebook ads and Facebook. You can have the same company do Facebook ads and Instagram ads. And they're inherently different because you know that you consume Instagram differently than you consume media on Facebook because you're there for different purposes. That's the same with email, with social, with phone, with direct mail, right? Direct mail is that small, short, handwritten card. You can be a little funnier with her because it's L with it because it's a little personalized, a phone scripts are straight into the point, like with humility, right? And what people don't understand and what we coach our, our SDRs, who are just learning how to cold call for sales is camp. You're calling a C-level. I get you're a young salesperson. Be humble. If you mess up, say like, wow, I really screwed up this call then.  
Speaker 3    00:36:49    And I, you can tell, you can probably tell I am a new SDR, and this is one of my first outbounds. I'll tell you what, just don't hold it against the company. Right? Don't hold this bad call against the company. But I still would like, you know, by the way, by doing that, you're more personal. And now the prospect might actually convert. We have people who have been cold calling for two years, who still use that, even though they're incredibly good cold colors, because they know that's how they can get in with that prospect. So messaging is super important. I know  
Speaker 2    00:37:19    On that note, on that note real quick, because you, that's a good point. You bring up, I think we sometimes forget, just have a conversation, have a natural curiosity. It should be, it shouldn't be tug of war. Like it shouldn't be an interrogation. It should be a natural curiosity. There's a reason, like you said, there was an assumption you made and while you reached out to this person, like have a conversation with them. I think sometimes we lose sight of that, that end goal. So I just wanted to point that out. Sorry. No,  
Speaker 3    00:37:49    That's exactly right. That's what we've preached too. Like, how do you talk to your friends? Do you feel like you would never message this to your friend, like wanting to go to the bar on a Saturday night, right. But that's the way we consume, you know, conversations, whether it's email, I don't care if you're messaging and by the way, it's actually most young SDRs or yarn sales professionals probably think, Hey, that the CEO or the C level, you need to be incredibly formal. It's actually like completely opposite for me. Just send me five words, if it makes sense. And it's right for us, I'll follow up on you. I'm a business person. I'm incentivized to make big, good business decisions that will benefit us. And again, there's good tools out there. conversion.ai, which I think is the backbone of what lavender is built on today. You can just go sign up the AI. And by the way, within that platform, small, I think it's like $10 a month or something cheap. It gives you all copy AI based copy edits based on how humans interact directly within platform, based on the channel that you're engaging with. So you just copy and paste your message in there and it spits out what you should change it to based on how humans interact on that channel  
Speaker 2    00:38:59    Cost of conversion, AI, a shout out to conversion AI. Right. Kevin.  
Speaker 3    00:39:03    Exactly. Right. Awesome. So  
Speaker 2    00:39:05    You have, you have copy as your number four. I kind of we'd copy into the communication right there. So we're, we're tracking so far. I'm giving us, I'm saying we're tracking so far. How about that? Yeah, my number four, which you have we done above, if I'm not mistaken, my number four is metrics. Like how are you tracking success versus failure? What are the KPIs to your point earlier? It can't just be, I need 20 appointments a week. Like, what are the KPIs along the way? Why is that? The KPI is that actually success, success the whole nine yards. So metrics for me is number four. How do you know if you're doing the right thing or you're not doing the right if you're not tracking it appropriately?  
Speaker 3    00:39:50    Nope. I put it in there with sales engagement, just kind of the advantage of it. It's definitely one of the most important I argue you should be going more in depth with your, your metrics and measurement, meaning don't just look at it on number of prospects contacted to conversions, actually understand your inbound deal flow as well. How many inbound leads does it take to have a qualified meeting? How many qualified meetings to proposal, how many proposals to close one deal from that inbound traffic? What's my average deal size, same with outbound, right? So now I want to measure, deal size inbound versus outbound, because I think a lot of people are normalized with marketing, the cost it takes to do SEO and ad words and all this, which is incredibly expensive. And what they might not realize is, Hey, if you actually average out or look at conversions, deal conversions and average customer values and average customer life cycles, are we signing higher ticket, longer term customers through outbound, but we're actually asking for, we're putting less resources and saying we should have cheaper appointment, you know, price per appointments in outbound than we do in marketing.  
Speaker 3    00:41:02    So not only how successful is your mark or your outbound campaign, but how does that compare to your entire company kind of deal flow as well? So kind of the revenue conversation, which is picking up right, lops is becoming more and more popular. It's Hey, as a use outbound as a function of the revenue operation. And is it performing or underperforming because what you might find out is, Hey, we don't convert many prospects into leads, calls or appointments, but it's a much higher ticket value when we close the deal. So we're willing to spend $1,500 per, per lead because Hey, the fortune 500 are coming from this channel. Whereas marketing, we're not closing fortunate. It's SMBs, which are low ticket values.  
Speaker 2    00:41:50    I think you're right. I mean, I think we look at the baseline, we'll move on to number five, but you're right. It's easier to look at the top line numbers. How many have converted? Well, how much ARR, which the average deal size, whichever sales cycle from that leads or so on and so forth, but getting in the granularity because really the top level, maybe a little bit misleading, you know, in a past life, we did everything Facebook, we did them all. And if you looked at the numbers, Facebook was our number one lead source. But when you looked at the average deal size from Facebook, it was nominal. It was only a $5,000 deal. But when you're looking at something else, yeah, you've got a lot less quantity, but the average deal size was 140 grand. So what's the best bang for you like to your right? I mean, I know it's more matte, micro than what you're saying, but going along those lines, dig a little further in, get a little bit more granular on what is the value and what are you looking for from it. So I think that's a good call out. What's number five for you.  
Speaker 3    00:42:44    My last is consistency, right? So outbound only exists if it's consistently kind of, it's a consistent function. It's day in and day out, right? With sales engagement platforms, you're going to have tasks build up. And if you don't get to them now your pipelines, you know, a mess you can't actually measure and build a pipeline if you're not consistent with the day to day activities. When I say consistency, and I want to make a clear differentiation, I'm talking about the individual sales reps, consistency, you have to upload new prospects every day. I'm not saying it has to be a hundred or 10. I think average is an average SDR can do seven 50 to a thousand. If you're in an SMB type of market, if you're going much higher level, you're probably going deeper within an organization. But that 50 new prospects per day is probably what the average is in the industry.  
Speaker 3    00:43:42    You have to do that daily. Then you have to do the activities. You're going to have manual steps, manual custom emails, manual, social steps, engage with content on LinkedIn. You're going to have your phone call apps, right? The average sequence should be at least 12 steps over a 20 to 23 day period. And that should be your smallest sequence. If you're engaging every campaign, knowing that the average prospect will convert from days 10 to 14, et cetera, et cetera, consistency, not consistency and pipeline, right? Number of appointments that it will not be consistent. It will not just be a direct correlation from activities performed. You can't just say, Hey, if you continue doing that every month, I should receive 15 appointments. And when you deliver you're underperforming, that's not what it is because there's too many market correlations. You have 4th of July in July. So do you lose five days of prospecting?  
Speaker 3    00:44:43    You have to con you have to account for that. You have, you know, Christmas in December, you're going to lose giving us an entire week. You have COVID, which comes around. So outbound, can't just be seen as I want this metric every month, no matter what, because now you're not actually building this kind of consistent channel. You have to in your kind of, uh, leadership already account for ebbs and flows in that consistent goal setting. So you can say averages. I want a consistent average across 12 months across a year. Fantastic, but it's not, Hey, set me 15 appointments a month every month. And that's it. Because now you're going to take away from my consistent workflow in order to make up for this loss, I have to dump in a bunch of prospects by dumping in a bunch of prospects to make up for a week loss. I'm going to have a back load of phone calls, steps. Now I'm going to have 150 calls steps today, but I can only get through 60 or 70 because I also have LinkedIn steps. So now my actual metrics and this whole pipeline is a skew, right? Because you tried to make up for just a pure appointment counts. So consistency and activity, and it doesn't necessarily mean an end, you know, funnel consistency.  
Speaker 2    00:45:59    That's a good one. To be honest with you. I think that's a, that's a great one that I think, I think is table stakes for me, but you're right. That shouldn't be table stakes because in today's environment, I think that goes back to the comment I made earlier. Kevin, if you have an enterprise rep doing that, they're trying to work stuff down funnel. They have 14 different opportunities. It's very easy to say, Hey, I'll put that to the back burner. I'll put the top of the funnel, all the prospecting, the phone calls I'll do that tomorrow instead of tonight. Right? It's really easy. So think that's a good call out. I liked that one from a consistency standpoint. My, I don't think it's too far off from it. Just a little bit different. I put mine as training and coaching. I put mine to constantly be reinforcing, reinforcing. What's working. What's not, Hey, how do we get our, what's the old saying, you can only control two things and sales activity and skill. There's less skill. You have more activity you need to do and vice versa. So I think training and coaching for me, but I would figure out where to put consistency because I do think that's a big one.  
Speaker 3    00:47:01    Yeah, no training and coaching pivotal, right? That's one of the reasons like SDRs and our Santa Domingo office that we hired two years ago, a year and a half ago are now so good that you, you can't have them just be on one account. You have to have them roving and training and teaching and filling in to help counts that hit quota, where they need to. And it's only because of that repetition, that continual onboarding. And how do you maintain that? It's also sadly the number thing that's probably left behind in the industry only because the average company who's now trying to take advantage of this channel, doesn't have the means by which to train. And I think we've become, you know, bright eyes when we see outreach and all of these companies who have huge teams and infrastructures, and they're pumping out content left and right SMBs, there's two problems with that.  
Speaker 3    00:47:54    One is they don't have a way to consume that and then teach it. And then two is even leadership in SMB companies don't have the knowledge or experience to understand that this product, that like the outreaches and the HubSpot and all this content that's being produced, it's a framework and not a, it's not what you should use. It's just a framework. And I think a lot of people are consuming it as this is the end all be all of what we should be doing. But what you don't take into account is no, that's, what's working at a billion dollar company who has amazing brand recognition in the sales world, and they're having amazing results with those strategies, use that as a framework for how you should build one specific for you and your company, and again, in the SMB market. And that's probably the biggest market coming into the outbound world. It's just, I don't have money for that amount of resources, let alone the sales tools and the sales engagement, then the data, and then to have a consistent person in a desk who knows what they're doing and how do I do it? All right. So where do I cut corners? I think what you see now is a lot of cutting corners.  
Speaker 2    00:49:05    No, that's a good call out and I don't disagree with you at all. And I think another layer to that, even if you're saying I kind of quantify startup startup, and I think along the path, SMB startup enterprise, this whole mid-market all, however we bucket these companies, they all have unique challenges, right? It's whether I don't have the time, the resources, because I know from an SMB or startup, you're just stretched. So lean from a resource standpoint that you have to have people doing a lot of different things, wearing a lot of different hats. And we all know you can be a Jack of all, but a master of very few and you get pulled too thin. So I, 100% agree with you. Final thoughts, Kevin, what's a final thoughts you want to leave by the way. Great five. I'm going to recap that in the show notes, because those were awesome, but which final thoughts for the audience?  
Speaker 3    00:49:55    No final thoughts is look outreach or outbound sales is just, I mean, even though we've advanced so much in five years, it's still so much in its infancy. I think, I mean, we're recording this right now in June of 2021 and the amount of billion dollar unicorns that just came over in the last two months in this space, I think is indicative that more money is going to be spent in sales technology and in data and in training manuals and guides for a young sales team, you'll see the role become more and more of a long-term role as well. Where if you're an SDR, you don't necessarily try to become an ag. You try to take the next step in an SDR position as an SDR manager or leader. So we're so much in its infancy. It's grown so much since 2015, but we're still so early on.  
Speaker 3    00:50:47    And we're still at the point where creativity being unique, going with your voice first and being a human is actually still going to win because there's nothing built there yet for it. That's not truly incredibly expensive enterprise writes and DOSO postal incredibly expensive. You can still send via Uber eats a pizza to your prospect for very cheap and probably book that meeting, right? That's good cash conversion rates as well. And really you have tools in place. You don't need these heavy softwares. I think over time, more and more of that software and data will become accessible, but still so early in the infancy, but it works. Outbound works. It is a successful profitable acquisition channel.  
Speaker 2    00:51:35    Yeah, I think those are, I think there's a good final thoughts. And you know, I think I would layer into that. I know you would agree with this is to your point. Things have changed so much and they'll continue to change. And as a sales professional, you've got to be nimble. You've got to invest in your self improvement. You've got to do your due diligence. You've got to test, you've got to do all those things to constantly be improving. Like if you're listening to this podcast, that's part of the self-improvement journey that you've gotta be doing because things do change. I think you mentioned it. People copy and paste, great subject lines from HubSpot. Anything that's good in sales. People will beat it to death in saturated market until it's been tapped to the fullest. So you've got to constantly be trying to find the next edge, the next innovation, the next top track. So I, 100% agree with you, Kevin, how do people find you? How do people learn a little bit more about leading them and to give us an understanding of that, how they connect with, you  
Speaker 3    00:52:34    Know, fantastic. You can always just go to <inaudible> dot IO, myself, Kevin at <inaudible> m.io is the easiest way to get ahold of me. If it's an outbound message, it's gotta be a good one to get my response and attention. I always recommend people go to our Instagram page, follow us at M I O just because it shows the human side of outsource sales development and what a true SDR floor is looking at looking like more and more these days.  
Speaker 2    00:53:01    That is awesome. And I'm going to include all those links in our show notes. That way the audience can find those pretty quickly. But Kevin, thanks again for joining us. Sincerely appreciate it.  
Speaker 3    00:53:12    Yeah, it was great being here.  
Speaker 0    00:53:14    Thank you for listening to the sales samurai podcast with your host, Sam Capra. Be sure you subscribe to our podcast and visit sales, summarize.io and join the conversation. Access show notes and discover bonus content. 

Kevin Warner

CEO & Founder @ Leadium

Kevin is the Co-founder & CEO of Leadium, the industry leader in outbound sales, focused on connecting a talented global workforce to small businesses, startups, and Fortune 500s who are looking to accelerate their growth. Kevin founded Leadium in 2017, bringing more than 5 years of experience in sales and customer success with leading enterprise companies and startups. He worked with Wayup as they participated in YCombinator and obtained $15m in funding.