Sales science video #2_Trim

 

In a series of video interviews, Owen Scott, Concentrate’s Managing Director, talks with Matt Aird, the CEO of Sales Science. Matt and the Sales Science team help B2B companies get more meetings with their ideal prospects, using sophisticated outbound sales programmes that combine the best people, technology and processes.

In this interview, Matt outlines the process that Sales Science uses when they're evaluating prospects, including writing sample emails, and practicing cold calling. Once the BDR is in place, Owen then outlines their key role - generating leads for the sales team.

Matt and Owen also discuss:

  • The main drivers for generating leads, such as business websites, email and social media

  • Moving them through the sales funnel – the buyer’s journey and how it needs to be supported

  • The importance of having documented sales processes

 

Matt and Owen also touch on the importance of having buy-in from a business’s sales team around the processes, to ensure consistency across objectives and goals. Owen also shares Concentrate’s first-hand experience with hiring our first BDR.

The transcript of the interview can also be found below.

Keen to find out more about scaling sales for your tech business_

Watch the rest of the Interview series:

Scaling Sales - Moving Away from the Founder Selling

How to prioritise which sales leads to follow-up

Seven key outbound and inbound metrics to measure

Transcript:

Matt Aird
Okay, so we got Owen Scott, back in the seat again this morning. Owen is the Managing Director at Concentrate - a marketing agency that helps technology companies based down in Christchurch. Owen, thanks for jumping on again.

Owen Scott
Thanks, Matt. No problem. Well, working from home today, so a bit different.

Matt Aird
Yep. We'll see how we go with all of New Zealand, trying to jump on the home fiber connection at the same time that we'll work our way through it. Alright, so a couple of things we wanted to talk about today. And we left these at the end of our last conversation around three - the three key points that you talk to your clients about in terms of setting up this BDR process. And the first one that we wanted to touch on is the the idea behind actually finding and hiring and bringing this BDR or this the salesperson into the organization. So what are - what are some of the things that you think about when you're hiring them for yourselves? I know you guys have just gone through this process or when you're coaching your clients on how to recruit this person, what are some of the things that you're looking for and keep an eye out for?

Owen Scott
Yeah, yeah. So the main thing if we go back to what we talked about last time, was that you know, rather than hiring the sort of superstar 15-year experience salesperson to replace the founder, we're looking for a low cost BDR, to take a chunk of the sales process, you know, off our hands. They're all prospecting piece. So really the, you know, I suppose one of the main things I always say to our staff here, because, you know, they're all introverts working inside an agency or you know, it's like your software people. The main thing is this person's going to come into the office and they're going to be on the phone and they're going to make a lot of noise and they're going to be a bouncy-headed person. It's quite a different, you know, it's quite a different thing fitting sometimes into a software company. But overall, the main skill is the ability to learn. So that's the thing is just, you know, getting a person that you can put in your business, and the can just learn and they'll learn about, you know, your business, they'll learn about customers, and they'll learn about process, etc. We've only sort of hired a few, but I suppose in your business, you're on BDRs all the time. I mean how have you found it? What do you sort of look for?

Matt Aird
Yeah, so that's a good question. Certainly the ability to learn or to be coachable is very important. And there's a way that we actually help - or that we actually assess that during the interview process. So when we're recruiting for BDRs, or SDRs, as we call them, we'll put them through an exercise where we get them to write a prospecting email, and also conduct some cold call practice with us. And then what we'll do is we'll provide feedback to them on that in a session. So we'll review their cold email, we'll provide feedback on how we think it could be improved. And then we do the same thing on the cold call practice. And by providing that feedback, and then coming back in a couple of days and reevaluating, we can then get to see whether or not they're coachable. Whether they take advice, and they want to improve or whether they're, you know, they're not and they think that their way is, is, is the way that it should be carried out. And so going through that process not only allows us to assess, you know, how coachable they are and how willing they are to learn, but it also allows us to assess their baseline skill level. Okay, so we can see that you know, on the activities that they're going to be carrying out on a daily basis. How good are they at crafting, a prospecting email or cold outreach and email and how good are they at a baseline level in terms of making cold calls We've found that by actually running those live roleplay examples, it really helps us to recruit the right people at the start. And that's regardless of background, right? Because as you said, You know, sometimes the background isn't always important. It's, you know, what do they come in? Or what does the CV not say about them that we want to try to uncover when we're bringing them into the business? Yes, there's a couple things that we look for.

Owen Scott
What we actually did at Concentrate, because we hired our first ever BDR. So you know, it's a bit of a scary process for us, because... So before we sort of committed to anything, we actually did a two week trial. So we actually paid him just contract rates. And we did a trial, we got him to do some calls, we recorded the calls and just observed that whole process and it just gave us you know - we - it was more about our lack of confidence in hiring a salesperson. So it was a good, good sort of little experiment to do.

Matt Aird
Yeah, I love that. That's really good. Okay, next piece is once we've got that BDR in place, you talk about marketing - holding marketing's feet to the fire and owning a lead commit or lead generation responsibility. So moving their focus away from branding and website to generating leads for the sales team. So talk us through your ideas. I know you guys do this a bunch for clients, and that's what you guys hold yourselves accountable for but what, you know, what does marketing need to do here in order to make this happen?

Owen Scott
Yeah. So the first thing to sort of I suppose for us to conceptually sort of understand here is there's two things going on is there's sales, and there's marketing and we're talking about a marketing function and it's generating leads. So in our Market Measures Survey, we found - we asked people what's the prime source of leads for the sales teams, and we compared that to equivalent USA companies. In the USA 80% of companies said the prime source of leads was marketing. In New Zealand tech industry, 40% of companies said their prime source of leads was marketing. So we're half - it's just dramatically different. So what happens is in New Zealand, the sales teams do everything they expect that unicorn salesperson, they're finding leads, nurturing them, you know, and closing them, which is fantastic. They do a good job of it, but it's highly inefficient when you're trying to scale. So we're talking about bolting that marketing function on. And the fundamental sort of way we do that these days is, you know, we can do it online. And we can do it by sharing some of our knowledge and experience online and engaging the people early in the sales process.

Matt Aird
Okay, so let's say I'm starting up - I just founded a tech company and I really want - I really believe in this as a principle and an idea. In terms of having a marketing team or department or function, whether that's just me or a Co-founder, we want to we want to start to generate leads. What's the first thing that I should do to get that process started to get leads coming in? What are the first actions I should be taking?

Owen Scott
So the first thing is a website. So which obviously everyone has a website but I'm talking about a - so most websites are a sort of brochure. That's something that I go and look at once and I never have to go back to again, because I know your business, we're talking about a so it's a website where there's going to be a live sort of center for all information that you are going to share with people that are out there searching to solve their business problems. And the typical one is that also websites tend to be what we call all the call to actions on the website. And those are things I can do on your website, or what we call bottom of the funnel actions. So they're things like, talk to sales, do a demo, contact us, whereas we're talking about things way at the start, which is how do I diagnose my problem? What are the seven tips to get my head around why my business is not growing? You know, it's these early content pieces. So the starting point is a website that you can update on a really frequent basis. It's not a beautiful polished thing. It's just you've got to have that sort of foundation portal.

Matt Aird
Okay, so a foundation website that allows you to push content into the world. That makes your prospects - would we call it problem aware? So we've got a solution, which is our tech product, do we want to make prospects problem aware in terms of Hey, this is why the - or this is what's happening in your business so that we can get people thinking about that so that they then start to look for the solution. Are we doing a combination of problem aware? Here's a solution, or it's just kind of depend on how, how much you know how much time you've got to produce that stuff?

Owen Scott
Well, it's sort of a journey. So if you think of three stages. So, the first stage is that we need to become aware of the problem that I have. So what I mean is, I'm feeling some symptoms. You know, my margins are down. Orders are not, you know, happening very quickly. We're taking too long to, you know, to maybe deliver our product. We're getting too many defects. What's the problem behind that? So that's the first piece where people go searching on the internet to find that so we can help them with that. The second piece is the consideration phase. So that's about people saying, okay, I understand what the problem is. Now, what are all the options available to me, and only one of them will be your solution, it's just more of a generic thing. And then finally is the decision stage which is saying, right, I want to buy you what's good about you, etc. So the way to think of it is you're supporting and helping people through this journey. And if they're not on your website, figuring it out, they're on someone else's website, because they're all out on the internet.

Matt Aird
Yep. Hundred percent. Okay. And I think, from looking at - and I really like that you touched on the consideration and the decision piece there. Because looking generally at the tech landscape, what I see a lot of is content that's aimed towards the top of the funnel, top of the funnel content that brings leads in that creates or that allows people to become problem aware. It's the stuff further down the funnel. And I'm passionate about this, because this is where it supports sales, right? But it's that stuff further down the funnel that moves people to the next stage of that buying process that I think is under, under done generally by most companies. And so it's really good that you touched on that and maybe those are some things we could dig into in a further discussion because those leads are important the top of the funnel, but I agree with you 100% that we need to find ways to help prospects move through the funnel with content. So that's some, that's really interesting. Anything else you want to add to that? Or?

Owen Scott
I think we could sort of probably have a conversation in the future that's really digging into the content type here, because understanding the types of content and where they fit is quite an important aspect. People, you know, we're just going to get our head around that.

Matt Aird
Yep. Awesome. All right, then the final piece. So we've got the BDR in place, we've now got leads that are coming into the business. The final piece before we throw that BDR or that SDR in that hot seat is developing a process that that BDR is going to follow. Do you have any tips or advice? Or what did you guys do when you bought that BDR in to make sure that they had a process or framework for success?

Owen Scott
The main thing about a sales process is that we haven't go at writing stuff down. So everyone, you know, whenever you talk to people, they go, yeah, yeah, yeah no worries we've got a process we're sorted. We have a sales process that, you know, we have different stages in our sales cycle. They're all defined, but actually have a go at writing it down. And you actually find that everybody's got a different view. And they're all doing things their own way. And so it's really good to have a common process, and to really work hard on that. So what it starts with the first thing is that the stages that you have chopped your sales process up into, and you know, what you're going to do in each stage and what you're going to achieve each stage and what state the buyers and at each stage and then just get common agreement with that. So what we did is we just started a Word document and just started writing this stuff down. And we basically just did a review of it this week. So it's actually it's sort of something that it's like once a quarter, you pull it out and you go, "Actually do you know what? We've learned a bit more about this and we're going evolve it." So, some common - common sort of the library will all this information so we can all do it consistently.

Matt Aird
Yep. So two things I just latch on to immediately from that responses. One is make sure it's written down so that it can be followed. And we see this, we see this a lot, where, especially when companies are looking for that, that "unicorn rep" as you've coined it, right, the person that does everything is that they'll bring in a unicorn rep, that rep can start to generate results, then they'll bring in another rep, and just expect them to do the same thing. And the problem is that they each operate in their own way. And so now we don't know what's working. We don't know if it's because unicorn rep one is just - he's got a better process or he's just better at selling or unicorn rep two has a worse process or is just better at selling, or they getting better leads or worse leads or whatever it is. Because we don't know what they executing. We don't know what they're doing on a daily basis. And so we can't then scale that organisation, because we're relying on the individual contributors to generate the results. So that number one is document what needs to be done at each stage, where the buyers need to be in order to progress and how we progress them through that, I think are really big keys. And then - I can't remember the second one was that you mentioned there.

Owen Scott
Last one is about, you know, keeping it up to date as well. I think this really key.

Matt Aird
Get buy in from your salespeople on the process, too, because we've found this is that if the reps are contributing to how that process is developed, they're much more likely to follow it. Because it means they're going to understand it at a deep level. It's not just something that's being dictated down to them. They may not if it is done that way, they may not understand the reasons or the reasoning behind each part of that process. And so they don't have - they won't have the buy in. If you can build it in collaboration with the people who'll be executing it, you're going to get much better consistency across your team.

Owen Scott
Yeah, agreed.

Matt Aird
Cool. All right, any, any final thoughts?

Owen Scott
No, I think, you know, I mean, the only other thing that we've sort of really tried to work on in our processes is what we call our sales plays. Okay, you know, trying to say, Well, you know, if we do it - a call to our client, their first call, which we call a connect call, you know, what prep do we have to do beforehand? What documents do I have to have opened on my PC to share, you know, when I do the call, what are the outcomes at the end, you know, we need, you know, it's once again, it's just all about trying to have consistency on those different types of calls.

Keen to find out more about scaling sales for your tech business_

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