Episode 6: Misconceptions about Social Selling and what to do Instead with Alex Boyd
There is increasing pressure across industries to have an effective online social media presence, and this is especially relevant to sales. On today's show, we get together with Alex Boyd, an expert on the ins and outs of social selling and the CEO and founder of RevenueZen. RevenueZen is a growth partner to companies who want sustainable, scalable, long-term marketing and sales growth. Tuning in, you’ll hear how Alex first got into sales and recognized a need for a company like ReveueZen. In our conversation, Alex breaks down his approach to social selling and why he defines it as ‘helping people in public’. He offers useful advice for companies and individuals looking to take a strategic approach to social selling and unpacks how a company can help or hinder the process. Later, we get into some of the most common misconceptions around social selling, like mediocre content creation or having an entitled attitude to asking for a meeting. Alex explains the various factors you need to consider when building your online image and how to foster positive recognition. We had a great time picking Alex’s brain and loved having him on the show. For all this and much more, join us today!
Key Points From This Episode:
“A misconception is that you have earned the right to ask just because you've given. Giving does not mean you can ask, it just means it's a way to help them see if you have something that they want.” — @AlexBoyd08 [0:36:58]
“And it's like, ‘Okay, I kind of trust you because you have these connections.’ This same thing happens, whether it's on social media, or in real life. So if you've done that, you won't have to rely on just this cold call script in the ear that doesn't have all this rich context.” — @AlexBoyd08 [0:33:06]
“A misconception is that you have earned the right to ask just because you've given. Giving does not mean you can ask, it just means it's a way to help them see if you have something that they want.” — @AlexBoyd08 [0:36:58]
“Think about where you are and whether you need to make a change to get where you want to be. And ask yourself if you want to commit to the profession of sales or the industry that you’re in.” — @AlexBoyd08 [0:42:33]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
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 six of the sales samurai. Thanks for listening. Before we begin, do us a favor, take a moment to subscribe and download on today's show. We're going to be discussing misconceptions about social selling and what to do instead. And I have a phenomenal guest to help us tackle this topic. Portland based rebel rouser. Alex boy has spent a decade in the world of sales and growth and is currently the CEO of revenues in the software company and boutique B2B marketing agency for high growth SAS companies, Alex man, welcome to the show brother. Thanks for coming on.
Speaker 2 00:01:05 It's good to be here. Thanks Sam.
Speaker 1 00:01:07 Well, you know, we already talked about this offline, but you're out on the west coast and it's getting a little toasty out your way.
Speaker 2 00:01:13 Yes, it is. Slab it up with sunscreen, going for bike rides, spending time by the river and doing that all over again. You can't just selling is fun, but if you don't also do those things, it makes a dull boy.
Speaker 1 00:01:24 It does. And I've learned that the hard way through, you know, my wife in my ear saying you got to unplug, you got to unplug. It's a tough challenge for salespeople. It really is because the quota is always chasing you, but you got to do it. So do me a favor. Tell the audience a little bit about yourself, a little bit about revenues in who I'm pretty familiar with. And that's kinda how I got to know you Alex, but kind of give us a brief overview for the audience.
Speaker 2 00:01:48 Yeah. My background has been growth for almost 10 years now, revenues. And is it a growth company? We're an agency and a tech company and we focus on doing what we need to do to make sure that our clients are creating demand, building pipeline, closing deals, and just growing that chart up into the right every client we work with. We just want to see the key charts up until the right, if that happens doing our job.
Speaker 1 00:02:12 That's awesome. I'm curious because this is something near and dear to your heart, and this is something you founded. This is something you grew from really. I mean, bootstrapping it kind of getting it off the ground. What made you start reminiscing? What was kind of the epiphany and Hey, I got to do this because either no one else is doing it or they're just not doing it. Right. What was the epiphany for you?
Speaker 2 00:02:31 Yeah, it was those two things that you just mentioned. The role that kind of started it off. I was in financial sales. I was a broker. I did that for two and a half years. It was all I knew. All I knew was making $80 a day, 30 completes coming on a weekend, bust at $120 by noon, maybe sneaking in an episode of Hulu, you know, just because I dialed so fast and I was like, wait a minute, if I dial faster. And so, you know, I came in as this nerdy college kid with a philosophy degree coming into a sales role, accidentally being like, I'm going to science the shit out of this. And so I did. And so eventually I found tech in San Francisco and I was like, wait a minute. You're telling me I can do five good demo calls a day with people that already know what we sell that's way better.
Speaker 2 00:03:13 So I did that and then it just, the ball kept rolling. And after a year and change it that I closed over a million bucks in SMB business. I was like, all right, this is fun. But then what's the harder sell it's it's internal, it's building a team it's recruiting and all that. And so I took a chance to move to Portland and build out a sales team up there. And we built out in New York and SF in Portland and I eventually sort of spun off an SDR team and did that too. And eventually I hit another wall and there was a point at which I couldn't do what I wanted to do as the director of growth, you know, and I, I wanted to build it myself. And so I figured what I was thinking was either I deserve to grow growth agency or I don't know, I'll know if I do by virtue of our own growth.
Speaker 2 00:03:58 And if I can't do it, I have no business being in this business. And so I thought, well, that's a fair trade. If I can't do it, I shouldn't do it. And if I can, I should, and this sort of self justified itself and in that act. And so, you know, I remember when you know your old company, I pitched a $400 Salesforce dashboard. I was like, we're getting the logo, we're doing it. We're whatever it is, you know? And like that was when you're first starting out, you just sort of bash your way through, through life and you do what you need to do. And things are so much different now, but coming out the gate, you just need to carve your path really quickly. And that's why I knew I needed to do. And so it was a kind of a terrifying, exhilarating time. Sometimes it still is, but fortunately it's a lot less terrifying today. It's much more of the kind of Zen of revenue versus the hard burst of it.
Speaker 1 00:04:45 That's awesome, man. That's a great background. I always ask this because I'm always curious, especially when I'm talking to a founder CEO who would have kind of launched things like what's the biggest thing that you didn't expect? Like what was the biggest challenge? The biggest learning like, oh my God, I didn't think of that. Or I did think of that, but I think it was going to be that hard. Like what, what was that? Or did you even have what I'm making the assumption that there was
Speaker 2 00:05:07 Always is? Yeah, there's, there's a lot. I think the first one that I noticed was because I hadn't been that many wildly different sales environments. I kind of assumed that what I knew applied everywhere and I got my ass kicked a couple of times. There were some times when, like, you know, what I thought was the one tried and true playbook upfront the client before they signed. They're like, you know what? I think this is great. I don't think it's going to work, but I believe in our ability to iterate. And I was like, nah, let's get work. And then it didn't and they were right. And I was like, shit, I do have to iterate a lot. And so when we started doing more leading into more of the content marketing and the ghost writing and the SEO parts of our business, it actually became more scientific, not less, which was good, but it's funny seeing like the chaoticness of outbound, I thought was, oh, this is just the way you do it. But really there was so many ways to do it. So that was probably the biggest thing is when you go from in-house to consulting, you're going to learn really fast that your way or one or two or three ways you've done in the past pretty well. You're gonna get thrown curve balls in the first few months. So be humble with your knowledge as much as my advice to people doing the same thing.
Speaker 1 00:06:15 Awesome, man. Hey, so one of the things, you know, I always, I love the origin stories of salespeople because they're so varied, like from selling knives door to door to, I had one person that sold mausoleums and that was their first sales job. Like that's I said, you got my vote, you won the challenge of, of the salespeople from an awards. That story, I think he may have mentioned it, but what was your first like true sales job, whether it's out of college or maybe it was during college who was kind of where you grinded your teeth or cut your teeth.
Speaker 2 00:06:47 It was definitely that brokerage check. But the funny part is how I got into it, because you could say it was the way I got it because I didn't know what I was doing. But at the time I formed a list of alumni from my college who had the keyword finance in their current job title. And I made a list. I realized it was building my first prospect list, but it was like, these are all people in some sort of finance. And I was like, I want to be at a hedge fund on the quantity of trading desk. So I'm going to start with the warmest lead. I didn't use these terms, the warmest lead source, which was my alumni. They knew who I am. It was the I'm graduated from this college. And I went down the list and the first seven calls, I got two meetings, one was a bad lead.
Speaker 2 00:07:23 He was like, look, this is, he was like walking back from the bar. And he was like, Hey man, this is great. I love that. You're really good at like, buy-side algo trading, but we do like, sell-side, market-making props to you and everything, but like this isn't really what we do. Like, you need to have a PhD in astrophysics for this type of thing, for like our team, but again, profit. And he was like, clearly had come back and he was like, took the call super nice. I was like, all right, that was weird. The fifth was somebody who was at a brokerage firm. And I had looked at the site. I was like, all right. I like research. That sounds cool. It sounds like my brain. And then client services sounds good. And he was like, yeah, you could also do sales, but you know, if you want to do that, you really gotta be a closer, you know, I was like, oh no, I don't, I don't want to do that.
Speaker 2 00:08:06 So I show up and the job that they have available is sales broker. And so, you know, it was, it was 2012 and I wasn't, you know, at the time it was like, I'm just out of college. I'm not going to not do a job. Like I'm not choosy right now. So I thought it was just like a 40 K base, you know, job. I didn't know about anything else. So, you know, little did I know what the, that there was like a bonus structure and everything. If I had known that up front, it would have been a lot different, but anyway, so I get in the interview and apparently my then manager would ask me a question. He was like, so how does a philosophy degree prepare you for sales? And apparently I said, philosophy is, is selling ideas. This is just a different product.
Speaker 2 00:08:47 And he was like, okay, that's he didn't say at the time, but he was like, that's, that's good. You got me with that line. And so I was like, okay, the power of one liners. It was instilled in me at that moment. Yeah. Then I started getting in and they were like, all right. So there's this rep of the month's bonus where if you have the most accounts opened you've yet another two grand. And I was like, what you serious right now? And then there was a different bonus for our pool. If you have like more share of your own party, it was a complex system and there was a discretionary, but I was like, okay, so there's 2.5 forms of additional bonuses. Okay. This is totally different. So I definitely saw the power at that point. And then during that time, I was trying for every promotion I could, I was trying for the equivalent of enterprise of partnerships, which are both like, kind of, you know, somewhat glamorous, almost wall street type of roles. Didn't get them because it didn't fit into the corporate culture though. I had the suit and tie on, but I didn't act like it. And I acted like this and they don't, they don't want that stuff. It was there that I think I learned the basics of just like the fundamental grind of it.
Speaker 1 00:09:50 That's great, man. I love hearing those stories because I'm always been a big believer in those are the things that really define you. They define your philosophy. They define who you are as a sales person doesn't mean you haven't evolved or grown, but a lot of those core elements of how you approach sales were kind of baked in at that point in time. So I always love to hear that, but I know on our conversation today, which I'm actually really excited because, you know, I've heard this now for a couple of years, social selling, social, selling, social selling. And I think there is a lot of misconceptions around social selling and what it is and what it really should be and how you really utilize it. I think I ever heard cold calling is dead. It's all about social. Like I've heard every spectrum of social selling and cold calling us as the two arch enemies. So on our conversation, we're going to be tackling the misconceptions around social selling and really how you should be doing it instead. So I'm really excited about that. Like to kick things off, like how do you define social selling? Because I feel like everybody, I talked to, they say socially, oh, it's all LinkedIn. Oh no, it's Twitter. It's this? Like, how do you actually define social selling? When you think about it, Alex,
Speaker 2 00:11:01 I call it helping people in public. Okay. Right. So imagine if you were doing a discovery call and then presenting some kind of challenge or style insights, but 2000 people were watching you do it. Like, that'd be great. Then imagine all of your pipeline was watching you pitch. I mean, this is a ridiculous period, but when you're on, doesn't matter, if it's LinkedIn or Twitter, it doesn't really doesn't matter what it is. It could be Twitch for all I care. But the purpose of it is that if somebody asks a question and you give a really good answer, that's either insightful, funny, entertaining, or builds trust in some way. And then if hundreds to thousands of people see that you've essentially done, you've preloaded a lot of work that we do in private. Those people think of cold calling is this, but in private, you privately call somebody and you do that thing. Social is just doing it publicly. That's different. But at the core, that's what it is. It's, it's helping people in public. It's doing your job while being seen to do that job. Right.
Speaker 1 00:11:57 And this is why I was excited about the conversation because you know, in my book and how I, and I'm very bucketed and that's how I approach everything is boom, boom, boom. Hey, social selling is primarily in my world, LinkedIn and engaging. Are you posting content? Are you commenting? Are you liking, are you doing those types of things, but Hey, I don't necessarily think to your point. I don't think that's the end all be all of it. And I think I'm missing a lot of the elements there. So for people that are like, Hey man, it takes too much time. Or, Hey, I don't really know how to do it. Do I just put out an article every so often? Do I dislike people's stuff, I'm social selling. What's kind of the blocking and tackling that you say, listen, maybe for a starter or just to get things in the right direction. Kind of. How do you approach that?
Speaker 2 00:12:41 Yeah. I mean, there's still needs to be just kind of in the same way that you recognize a great salesperson from you hear their call and there's no script, but there is a structure. There is a goal, right? It's the same with social. If you're just going on and leaving comments to comment with no goal, you're just aimlessly using social media. And that's, that's uh, one big misconception, especially in the part of managers who manage experts, social sellers and the manager doesn't get it because they're like, you're just commenting. And they're like, no, it's so structured and it's such a goal to it. But I mean, the goal here is to find the best communities, relationships groups, people that you could build trust with who at least in B2B, which is the most common version of this by your experience. And so if you know something about something and you can teach it to people, then you help them.
Speaker 2 00:13:33 And then they want to reciprocate by helping you. And they just continue that on. Right? And so, for example, here's a form of social shopping. I go on the sales samurai podcast, you released five episodes of it. Let's say have no network. I go to the past people who've been on, on the episodes and I send them a note saying, Hey, it looks like you were on the sales seminar podcast. I just did my episode a week ago. It was super fun. I love Sam's hat. As you think about it, right? Like, oh, you can't see that this is audio. Nevermind. Well, you get the idea, right? The point is I found a connection. You know, it could be the case that here's one thing I did four years ago is in modern sales pros, which is one of the big forums I joined. I was just like, I just want to see what's happening.
Speaker 2 00:14:13 I started writing stuff. So writing comments to the forum, people would notice that they'd be like, oh, that was a great response. And so they'd see me on LinkedIn and then they'd comment on my post on LinkedIn. And then there would be a relationship there. I have genuinely good friends. I've made him doing this. Like I met Amy. Valez pretty quick in this process. And it's just, she would punch me if she heard me call her a business friend. Cause she'd be like, no, screw that. Like, I'm your like, friend for life and shut your face. If you think it's any different. Obviously I wouldn't say it a different cause it's true. But like you got to get deep into it, you know? And in the same way that I didn't qualify for promotions at that brokerage firm. Cause I wasn't like corporate enough. I just bring my full self to it.
Speaker 2 00:14:58 I bring my full self to LinkedIn. So I cracked jokes. I am myself, I don't hold back. And that's how I can form good relationships with because I actually do really care and give a shit about people. And I want to share what experience. I know what I also want to ask a questions and learn from others and help them where I can, if I can write something funny on their posts and then other people see it and so forth. I'm just, it's like you're at a trade show and just having a good time, but digitally.
Speaker 1 00:15:23 Gotcha. That makes sense. So for me, as I think through this, you know, like you kind of were walking us through a scenario, like we were talking about the podcast I was on sales Stanford. Didn't my episode. Love that hat kind of a way of an entry point. If you will, just a conversation and an organic conversation with some synergies between people that have done the same thing, the same podcast. How do you go about like, like I'm a big believer. Like every morning I listen to podcasts, listen to three podcasts. Every morning I read two blogs. I kind of digest industry blogs, sales, blogs. And then I just kind of get my motor running and then I hop into my day. So is that the way you should approach sales, social selling like, Hey, I need to go on LinkedIn, but what am I saying? Like what should the approach be? Like, how should you approach? Like every day I'm going to do X, Y, and Z to begin, I'm going to do it five people. How would you recommend Alex for those that are just like social selling? What, how do I do that? Like what would your advice be?
Speaker 2 00:16:19 I would say to pick a small group of the people that are the best connected in the industry, whose content you actually like that, you know? So, and not everyone, if you're extremely beginning, you won't even know this, but let's say you're connected enough that, you know, like, all right, here are three friends of mine that I know that take my call or, you know, we've worked together in the past. And then they post once a week and at least 20 people liked their content. I'm just going to comment on their stuff whenever it comes out, because I genuinely like it. And then maybe a next step is if anyone else who looks interesting based on you know, who I work with also engages, I'm going to talk to them too. So, you know, let's say like a VP of marketing at a big tech company likes your podcasts.
Speaker 2 00:17:01 I might be like, Hey, like I know we don't know each other, but it seems like you're, you're connected to Sam. You guys worked together in the past, you know, just all drive a new connection from that. So you're really just taking one connection and parlaying it into more. The simplest thing is pick your little short list of people and then just do one thing every day with them. You may not want to rely on the default like dinner, Twitter feed that may not show you the right people. You may want to be like, no, no, no, it's these people, not the ones the algorithm says that are important for me. When you get more advanced and our LinkedIn product does this, we curate your influencer list, your competitor list, your customer list. And we just show you whenever your target prospects are engaging. So it just relieves all the scrolling and cooking.
Speaker 2 00:17:41 But that's what I do at this point is I just look at the top scoring interactions and I go to those cause I don't have time to click around and scroll. So you, whoever is like, if somebody has viewed my profile, liked my post and like my friends post on LinkedIn, that's a high lead score. I'm doing that today. I don't have a lot of time. So I'll spend 10 minutes a day on LinkedIn. That's what I'll do. Right. But if you're just starting out and you don't know who these people are, start with what you do now and then get to know more people. And then your circle expands and expands in a year or two in this is now a major source of business for you.
Speaker 1 00:18:12 That's fantastic advice, man. Hey, so you brought this up earlier. I think in some way, like I always try to decipher like whose role is this? Like, is social selling really on me for my personal brand? Like I should be doing this for me. Like, it's the individual contributors role to go do this? Or is it the companies? Is it like, what role does each play in social selling and how you see it?
Speaker 2 00:18:37 I've seen companies get more or less involved. There are some SDRs who don't do any cold. Outbound only use this. And they Excel talk to Evan Patterson that reprise a few days ago. And he was like, this is all I do. It's all about product. He was like, I already get it. You don't need to explain it to me. I understand what you're doing. Cause this is my life. He sounds good on the phone. Like I talks well, but he's like, I just don't need to. It's just, this is playing on our agency side. Most people, we ghost write posts for our CEOs and founders. And that's more of like an assistant social selling. A lot of tech companies buy our services for us sales leadership or for like enterprise AEs who need to practice their writing chops. But they do have good stories. They have customer stories.
Speaker 2 00:19:17 They need help telling it, right. So what we're seeing is, I mean, we're one of the first agencies to like enhance social selling, but we never presented as permanent training wheels. We want people to be able to do it themselves. So sometimes companies provision tools they'll offer support in the right places. They'll train, they'll encourage, but I find the best thing a company can do is make everything available. So one thing I tell people to do, as I say the best way to make sure people have content to post is have whatever company-wide channel, whenever a CS person or a salesperson. And it gets a good testimonial from a client or prospect posted in the company. When it slack with hashtag testimonials. If you need a post idea, you go to that channel, you find the testimonial, you post it up, you talk about what it means to you and then that's your post.
Speaker 2 00:20:05 That's a customer story. So just encourage it by making more of this stuff available. It's this culture of like warmth and encouragement and ability versus this culture of don't go on LinkedIn, what are you trying to look for another job? Like there's this culture of openness and this culture of, you know, get off LinkedIn, do your job, which is just sort of an oxymoron in this case. But yeah, I've seen companies who are very forward-thinking offer more and more support. There are multinationals who leverage our work across writing and outbound on LinkedIn only for, you know, 20 of their managing directors and their ROI is huge. And it blows their mind because there's like old, you know, enterprise people, but they they're just like this works just magic. And then there are startups who, you know, one sales rep out of many is the one doing this.
Speaker 2 00:20:52 And they also think it's magic. Like what is he doing all day? I said, his number is so good. Well, you need to make any calls. What is he doing? It's just like, so the company can do a lot to help or hinder. But at the end of the day, it's gotta be the individual. The individual does not want to do this. It will not work. It will sound canned. It will be disingenuous. If you love cold calling you and your company tries to make you do this, you're going to have a bad time. So it cannot be an imposition or a command
Speaker 1 00:21:21 Feedback. So let's kind of hop into it. Cause this is a, I always love these conversations from misconceptions around social selling. Let's just say, Hey, what are the top five? Like when you think about the most common misconceptions that you hear, see, do whatever the comment might be like, what are the most common misconceptions you see or hear around social selling?
Speaker 2 00:21:42 Yeah. So one of the first ones we mentioned, which is the manager saying it's just social, which is like, okay, too reductive and reduces the goodness out of it. And so that's one, another one would be that it is the same outbound outreach process, but done on a social media platform. And that's another miss, right? So if you copy your outreach cadence, and you turn it into just connection requests and messages or InMails, and then you rinse and repeat, you'll also not. I mean, I hate to say it because like it works well enough that some people will keep doing it, but that's not the best way to do it. It's a misconception. That's the way to maximize it. Another one is that creating a feeling of obligation and somebody else is the end all be all of a relationship, right? Like I liked your post and I left a comment, please take a meeting with me.
Speaker 2 00:22:31 Like it's this form of entitlement that we want to avoid. But a lot of people think of that too. Right? So they it's just social, but I'm being told to do it. So I'm just going to use my Irish kids here. I'm going to like some content and I'm going to ask for a meeting. And then another one is posting on LinkedIn involves sharing blogs. Almost every company. I see a minimum, but not a growth level of maturity with LinkedIn. They buy any of a number of software platforms. So I push them any that take certain blog posts from a company or otherwise. And they spread out to their sales team and they say, everyone share this post. And I get no leads from it. That's not content marketing. And so the first thing I do with those companies is I come in and I show them a difference.
Speaker 2 00:23:11 And I'm like, all right, here's a customer store. We ghostwrote for your top enterprise eight. It has 10 times more engagement than this blog from their company account where you have $20,000. Like, and it feeds that they were working on who saw the post. So the sharing of blogs does not make content marketing on LinkedIn. And this is where you start to need to bring in more marketing skills to sales, which is, you know, it's something new. This is not a net new thing salespeople have learned. Right. So that's another big one. So I think that's about four right there, but most of them come back to one of those things. Gotcha.
Speaker 1 00:23:49 You bring up a good point. Like I found myself doing this as well. Like you just assume that, oh, it's social. You should know how to do that. Like go post something like that's, I hate saying that about myself, but I found myself doing that in the past. And maybe even up to this point, like, Hey, it's just posting stuff on LinkedIn. It's posting stuff on Twitter. It's that? But to your point, there's no goal behind it. I mean, there is, I mean, you're trying to get awareness, whatever, but no real goal behind it. And I also find that a lot of the weaving you brought up outreach and sequences bubbles to the top for me is that a lot of those are, Hey, I connect with some on LinkedIn and then you immediately hit them up for a meeting. And it's happened to me.
Speaker 1 00:24:31 And I hate when it happens to me. And yet I find are like, that is a very common go-to in sales that is social selling connect, follow, like a couple of times and then send a connection request and then ask for a meeting. And it doesn't work. I mean, if I looked at the numbers, it doesn't work. Like that's just, it's not an effective way of doing it. So to your point, those are the things I struggle with as well. It's good to hear that. I don't know if it's good to hear, but those are the things that seem to be a common in what you're seeing as well. Right, Alex.
Speaker 2 00:25:07 Yeah. And so when you think about the most basic thing you want to accomplish on, this is a nice thing about social is there is a face, there's a picture when you cold call and you don't get a picture. There's no right. Literally face recognition. And we're pretty good at as a species at recognizing faces, we have a big part of a brain just for faces. And so at a basic level, if you leave enough comments, someone's content, they're gonna remember your name. Remember your face that is worth something in and of itself. And next question is, all right. So now that they know your name and face, what do they know you for? There's one person who comments on my LinkedIn often and he tries really hard. It's not super valuable stuff. It's just kind of cheerleading. I never really give a good response cause I, I know this person's name and face, but then now I think slightly like, okay, I'm also not a fan.
Speaker 2 00:25:55 Like it'd be better if it was neutral, but there are many people who are like every time they leave a comment on my stuff, it's it's gold. I love it. It's funny. It's, it's insightful. And that's positive recognition, right? So you, you can have a personal brand with negative neutral or positive or anywhere in that spectrum recognition. Obviously the ideal is at least neutral if not positive. So that should be the goal of anything on social is people should know you and think well of you for what is you do, right? I mean, they can think, well of you as an accountant or an entrepreneur or whatever it is. So, so ideally they think of you as being good at the thing that you sell. Yep. Here's the thing about social selling. It's much kinder to non industry changers. If you're in cybersecurity and you jump over to selling luxury goods, you're going to have a weird time.
Speaker 2 00:26:39 Whereas your network is going to be like, we know you for cybersecurity. What is thing you're doing? So it's easier to always change jobs industries and hide behind the phone. Cause you haven't done that. Right. Right. And so this is kind of an asset that helps the more you, I don't want to say stick to your lane cause I've been in a wide lane, but I made at least in LA, I'm not, I'm not over in. Nobody knows me for software development advice, but I can go from sales and marketing to SEO and growth and LinkedIn, I can cross over here, but I can't go so far a field that I'm being irrelevant to people. So if you're just starting out, just think, who do I want to know my name and face and what do I want them to think of me as? And that can be the simplest version of a goal. Maybe it's just, I want these three people who are influencers, quote unquote in the sales space to think of me as insightful on the topic of cold calling right now. You know what? You're going to talk about, what posts you're going to rely on. What's what you're going to use as an end for a conversation, guides, everything.
Speaker 1 00:27:39 That's fantastic. Hey, so you tell me where you fall on this. Cause I know you said you have a rep, there's a rep that is one of your clients that doesn't even cold call anymore. He's social selling and he's, he's killing it. So talk to me where you fall, like where does social selling? Is it just another tool in the arsenal? It should be woven into everything else. Hey, this should stand out. Like where do you kind of fall in that battle? I hate to say it's a battle, but you know what I'm saying? Like where do you kind of believe social selling falls in the overall sales ecosystem?
Speaker 2 00:28:08 I remember a good ebook from SalesLoft a while back. And they had this question of, should you call or, you know, what gets better results? And their response was good. Their response was we have two of our top STRs. One makes DOE calls in one sense, a lot of really good emails. And one does a lot of calls and very few emails. They have similar results. And the point was that, which you kind of touched on earlier is, is you don't need to make everyone do this. And when I do SKS or similar sessions on this topic, I start with being like, most people will not want to Excel at this right now, but some of you will and you'll probably lead the way for the rest. So I usually like to present this as like an opt-in thing where if you really want to get after this, and it sounds like a fit for you and your personality, then you can really amplify it with the structure and type of things that we do.
Speaker 2 00:28:55 I don't think it should be in a position. I think that in general, if somebody is getting good results, that should be left up to them, how it happens. So I also think it's going to have to be more important in the future right now you're seeing, well, the last five years, the amount of pure mass coding you can send has gone down. There's a number of reasons why I won't get into it, but like everyone knows this to be true. And if you dispute it DME and we will you'll leave with your mind change. Same thing with foam ducks to connect rates are lower than they were 10, 20 years ago. You used to get an email. You're like, oh boy, I got an email. And now you're like, oh shit. You know? So anything mass has decreased in effectiveness. So anything high quality and low volume will increase in effectiveness, right?
Speaker 2 00:29:39 And I think social selling fits that. So it's, it's an increasing, increasingly important thing to be doing for those who want it for whom it's a good fit. Some people's personalities, it just does not jive with it. You hate being on LinkedIn. You just want to go to events and that's all you do business. You want to be an offline person. Wonderful. I don't want to make that person do anything different, but some people it's a great fit for the STR. I mentioned, who does really good work. He loves it. He just has a good time like talking on social. People will just want to know what they do. And that's kind of what I do. We get a third of our business. I write posts, people, DME that is a third of our Asheville as a company.
Speaker 1 00:30:18 You know, you bring up something that resonated with me just a minute ago where you said, Hey, you know, email is decreasing. The juice for the squeeze is, is just diminishing. Same for phone call. It's going down, social selling. And the thing that jumped out at me was it's a little lower volume, but quality versus quantity. I know that's not the right term for this scenario, but what jumped out at me in that statement was I think we look at social selling. Like we do email, like it's mass. Like we scale, we've got to scale it. We've got to scale it. And that's not necessarily the approach. Like what you're saying is be very specific. Take five 10 people, not all of your prospects, 2085 and try to widget it into for everyone. Be very specific. I think that's a mind shift for a lot of sales, professional sales leaders. Does that make sense when I'm saying, does that kind of job? Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:31:09 It does one interesting tidbit is that Salesforce has about 30% of the CRM market share. You would've thought it was higher. Right? Right. But that's what it is. I mean, it should say I'm 31. I don't know whatever, something like that, but it's not 80. And then if you think about low volume of leads versus a big call list, right? So you look at a big January to ZoomInfo list of your entire market. You're like, all right, I got to touch all of these leads I have to. And the only way to do that is to go fast. What if you just didn't do that? What if you just pick the ones that were the most likely, and you said I'm not even going to speak to the ones that are low chance, I'm only going to speak the ones that are high chance. I just do that.
Speaker 2 00:31:50 It's scary because what if you're bad and you're wrong. And that low volume means that you're testing to show for it and no activity. Right? So I get that. That is a risk. If you are not good at the job and you want to be able to rely on activity, justify your re your lack of results. But say, at least I tried, that's a big mental risk. Cause you want to not have that happen. But people don't realize that if you do this properly, your conversion rate on asking for a meeting from social selling is like 60%. And people just think that's bullshit until they are in a group of people who are really good at it. And they're like, no, that's, that's what I have to. If Josh Braun asks anybody for me and they'd be like, I've seen you a bunch. I will happily meet with you.
Speaker 2 00:32:32 Right? Like who's going to say no, you know? So yeah. I mean, and this BD and people like, oh, you're a founder. Like no, this BDRs the same thing right at the title act, it's somewhat important, but it's not actually as important that the fact is they have to have seen, you know, you, you have stuff in common, you know, the same people, you know, it's like, if you at a party and you have been talking to these people and then this person, you want to meet, talk to those people too. And you want to meet that person and you join the same conversation. They're usually not going to totally ignore you because there's this social kind of thing that, that ties it together. And it's like, okay, I kind of trust you because you have these connections. This same thing happens, whether it's on social media or in real life. So if you've done that, you won't have to rely on just this cold call script in their ear. They'll have all this rich context. And I know Sam knows these people. I know. I have seen Alex talk about this stuff in the past, you rise above the noise.
Speaker 1 00:33:27 Gotcha. Hey, so you're right. In some ways it's a big roll of the dice. Like I have low activity because I'm really focused. And if nothing pops, however we want to quantify it. There is a mind shift there. My question to you is like, as a sales leader and you're very science and that's what you were talking about earlier. That was the science. You love that piece of it, but there's gotta be a trigger where you're like, okay, I've been gauged. I've been gained. Like, you've also got to know when the, like there's a science to the timing of, Hey, I do need a DM. This person. It's time to ask. I always think of Gary Vaynerchuk, jab, jab, jab. Right. Hook I give, give, give then ask. Right? Is that the, like, I'm just trying to get my head around that. Is there a method to that that, Hey, yes. Sam, you should give, give, give, then there should be an ass, like for the sales people out there, like how do they know when to transition if you will, if that makes sense.
Speaker 2 00:34:18 Yeah. So, and this is definitely more of an, of an art it's active listening. When you're listening actively, you could tell when someone is ready, if somebody is short, guarded, not giving you a ton, it doesn't matter how much you give. You have not. You've not gotten the meeting position yet. If somebody is immediately super open with what you're doing meeting is earlier, right. And when I, when we build our products, I quantify this like a high lead score indicates by virtue of what they've done, who they know as you could probably ask for meaning right away. And they'll say, yes, if it's low, you probably want to start earlier in the funnel. So like, let me think of an example. Like if it's somebody who's a good friend of mine, who's also bought from us in the past, writes a post, somebody squarely in my target market who is similar to another marquee.
Speaker 2 00:35:03 Client of ours leaves a comment, congratulating them. I'm going to comment on it and be like, yo, how do we not know each other? And they'd be like, oh my God, we should connect. Right. You can just sort of jump right in. But if not, if you've nothing to talk about, you have to come in and start and look for something. That's an opportunity. So, and this involves knowing what you do, what you're good at and what their world is like. So one example in my world is when I'm talking to someone just about how their stuff is going, how are things looking, whatever, whatever it was, if they mention a problem or question, or it comes up, I can tell that they might use a second set of eyes on X, Y, and Z thing. I'll put it out there. Right? I had a manager a while back who said, it's like, you have this nice plate of food and you're just sort of wafting it in front of them, waste of them ticket.
Speaker 2 00:35:50 And so I'll waft. And if they reach as I waft, then I can offer, but you don't want to throw the food at them. Right. So people will just, they'll waft when that weight and they're not taking it, throw it and it doesn't work. It just pisses people off. So for me, I'm just like, here's an example of someone's like, yeah, we're, you know, growth is going super well. Outbound seems to be really good. I just wish, you know, inbound could be a greater part of our funnel as time goes on. I might say, yeah, that makes sense. I mean, loving how much your total call volume has helped increase pipeline. What are you doing right now to make inbound set up for the future? And if they say, I don't really have a plan for it, I'd be like, well, shit. I mean, if you want to chat some time, I have a couple of ideas that are pretty relevant on how we've seen people do that.
Speaker 2 00:36:35 I don't know. Do you know this company? And then I'd say, oh yeah, I do. I go, well, we've been helping the X, Y, and Z. I can share more if you, if you want to chat some time, no pressure, but here's my link. Right? And so that's, that's my world. You could replace those words in that jargon with any industry, but you're just listening for the challenge or problem you offer. If they reach, then you are allowed, they have given you consent to them, request a misconception is that you have earned the right to ask just because you've given right. Giving does not mean you can ask. It just means it's a way to help them see if you have something that they want.
Speaker 1 00:37:10 Gotcha. So help me understand that. Cause I know we're all big in to metrics and KPIs and all this fun stuff. And sales like social selling is a little harder to quantify like success because it is more like, how do you recommend quantify as an individual? And maybe even as a comment, we work with companies where the KPIs, you really should be looking at the Dean that's successful or not a success and change lanes or switch whatever the case might be.
Speaker 2 00:37:35 Yeah. I mean, it's like anything else, there are activity KPIs. Some examples could be engagement, views, and comments on posts, amount of content that you've written comments, you've left messages you've sent some received, but the end of the day, it's how many opportunities were sourced from this. And so for me, I just track anything. That's from LinkedIn in Salesforce, by label with source equals LinkedIn and for the marketers out there, if somebody comes in and it's labeled as SEO and they say, they found me through LinkedIn, I will change the lead source. So it accurately reflects that. And I will not attribute stuff to organic that shouldn't be there and that's a debate going on, but that's how I measure it. I mean, I'm a founder. So for me, I care about the revenue from it. And I know now that the more posts reach that I get more comments, I leave the more good stuff I do.
Speaker 2 00:38:20 The more people IDM with after a conversation, the more naturally meetings and pipeline will occur. So I track everything I want to, I want to see all those things go up. And so there is a wider range of metrics than usual because you concept metrics connect to this metrics, audience metrics, activity metrics, and then you have the more normal business metrics of leads, ops revenue. All right. So I tracked revenue actually did clients because the lifetime value of somebody who found us on LinkedIn is the highest of any other source for us higher, even referrals, which is interesting. We don't have long-term contracts. So for me, I care a lot about that. You want to know like the lifetime revenue from that because it's, you know, that's my rent money. So I have to know, yeah, that's what I track it. There's more things to track than just to call to demo file. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:39:13 You know, I think on those lines is, you know, um, and maybe that's for my Cintas days was very transactional quota. Every week I had to hit a quota, you know, salespeople need immediate gratification for, you know, in some way shape, form or fashion. You'll pick up the phone, getting an appointment, immediate gratification, right. Social selling isn't necessarily that you're doing a lot. You're planting a lot of seeds. Right. And so for a sales person, quantifying that, or keeping still staying down the path without saying, Hey, this doesn't work. Do you see that is a little bit more challenging than like they, they're not tracking the views and all that is, is that a fair assessment? Or am I off base there?
Speaker 2 00:39:55 No, that makes sense. I mean, in my experience so far, because this is a newer way of doing things and it tends to contradict any formal sales training I've had in that country. It's different for this. Right? And so what I've seen is the people who do need to be convinced that the metrics, the ones that just say, I know this works, this is how I live my life. How would I do it any other way? They don't meet the metrics. And there are people who won't do it because the metrics aren't there. And so I've kind of funneled the people who it's funny from my own ICP, people who will and likely won't buy from us when it comes to LinkedIn support or, or platform licenses of any kind, there are the believers and the ones who refuse. And there are some who, who just need a little push on the way you could take somebody who detests, LinkedIn and social and thinks it's, you know, a bunch of crap and you could feed them all the metrics in the world.
Speaker 2 00:40:48 They probably still would be skeptical. I don't have a good way of getting around that nor do I need to. I only care about the ones who are believers or close to believers. Right. And that's me speaking as a founder, I have to not care about the laggards yet. I have to, nor does any tech founder. I mean, it was the first piece. He came out somebody who was like, that's dumb. I'm going to read my newspaper. Like I don't care about you yet. Right. And that's why I'm just like I do. But I'm just like, like perhaps to you, I won't train you to change in my business. I'm only looking at these people. So it's a fair question. I just segment my attention. I'll worry about them later. I care about the percent who are primed or doing it. You know, it's probably closer to two or 5%, but that's all I need. Yep.
Speaker 1 00:41:30 That makes sense. So, as we wrap up final thoughts, feedback, tips, techniques, whatever that you want to leave, the audience, the listeners
Speaker 2 00:41:39 Ask yourself. If you're in the industry, you want to stay in. If you are in growth tech and you're like, this is all I could do. I can't see myself going anywhere else. Even if the money was a little bit better in telecom, I still wouldn't do it. Then you're in the right spot. If you're looking for a time to change industries, the sooner, the better, because the longer you invest in a particular field, the more, you know, comfortable doing the aspect of it. But I think being a growth person, whether you're in sales or CS or marketing is way easier than being a salesperson that does HR tech sales, and then security sales, and then talk on sales. And I know that that does contradict some advice. And when I'm building a transactional inside sales team, I give the opposite advice, right? Because I've done the opposite.
Speaker 2 00:42:26 I've built teams that way, but it's different. The more complex, the thing is the more knowledge you need, the more you want to stay. So I would just say, think about where you are and whether you need to make a change to get where you want to be and ask yourself if you want to commit to the profession of sales or the industry that you're in. Because a lot of very successful people build careers that are from many functions in the same general column. There are examples to the contrary. I have lived them build teams on them, but I think a lot of people don't think about that. Whether they're in the field that they just love, right. I love space travel. I do whatever. I'll take whatever seat in the bus. If I can be in space, great. I'm going to join a manufacturing tech that fills the NASA. One of our clients does that base cell to space X. Awesome. Right. And you probably don't care if your sales, CS or engineering, if that's you. So more people should consider that. And I would want people listening to this to ask themselves that, okay.
Speaker 1 00:43:20 Yeah, that's good feedback. You know, I wish somebody would have asked me that question early, early on in my career. It wasn't until really later in my career that I really posed that to me, are you happy in what you're doing? Is this, is this what you want to be doing? Is this what you want to be selling? Is this the, whatever they termed it, as, you know, reflecting on that you should be doing that. You should be doing that pretty often. You know, it's not making you happy and the path isn't there, then why continue to do it. But no, that's a great feedback. So Alex, how do people connect with you? How they learn more about revenues then, which is a fantastic organization, how they learn about you, connect with you and then how they learn a little bit more about revenues. Then I'll
Speaker 2 00:43:58 Live true to my word and say, find me on LinkedIn and send me a DM. If you look on Alex board on LinkedIn, I'm pretty sure I'm the first one that pops up and not be surprised. LinkedIn's algorithm
Speaker 1 00:44:09 Is all off. I
Speaker 2 00:44:11 Know. Yeah. LinkedIn's algorithm does think I'm an influencer. I downloaded my, my ads, privacy data, and it says that I am an influencer. So it actually uses that term. So I was like, all right, that's cheesy, but whatever. Maybe the algorithm cause I post off and whatever, but find me on LinkedIn and we'll help the algorithm further.
Speaker 1 00:44:30 Well, Hey, we'll also, we're going to put a link to Alex's LinkedIn. We're going to put a link to revenues then in the show notes. So you can always find Alex without having to search and rolling the dice with LinkedIn on the algorithm. We'll make it easy for you as well, Alex, thank you very much for being on the show. Absolute pleasure having you brother. Thanks so much, Tim. It's fun.
Speaker 0 00:44:50 Thank you for listening to the sales samurai podcast with your host, Sam Capra. Be sure you subscribe to our podcast and visit sales samurai.io and join the conversation. Access show notes and discover bonus content. <inaudible>.
Founder & CEO @ RevenueZen
Portland-based rabble-rouser Alex Boyd has spent a decade in the world of sales and growth, and is currently the CEO at RevenueZen: a software company and boutique B2B marketing agency for high-growth SaaS.