Smashmouth B2B Blog: Sales & Marketing Demand Gen

Introductory Appointments: Your Goal is Meeting Number Two

Posted by Mike Damphousse

Which of the following is a good sales outcome for introductory appointments?

  • Proposal: The prospect let you pitch him for 30 minutes, told you to send a proposal and CC his director, who handles these types of projects.
  • 2nd Meeting: The prospect discussed her business issues with you, you asked good questions, you shared some anecdotal stories about how some of your clients have similar issues, and she asked for a second meeting.
I know a ton of salespeople that would put the first outcome in the success category.  You got a pipeline opportunity, right?  A proposal?

Introductory Appointments
WRONG!  You got a brushoff, a more sophisticated variation of saying "send me a datasheet."  He was just letting you down easy.  What he really said was, "Here's enough hope to keep you busy for a week or two and then you can go away."  You may have pitched them, but did they hear anything?  Was any of it relevant or bring value to them?

The second scenario is far more successful.  The next stage in the sales cycle has started.  She shared her real issues with you.  You shared some value.  She wants to continue the conversation.  That's how prospects buy today.
 
Make the goal of introductory appointments threefold:
  • Show professionalism and value by having a conversation and asking questions
  • Educate the prospect just enough to get a second meeting
  • Make the second meeting follow your agenda and then satisfy theirs
It's all about the second meeting.

Tags: sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, appointments, appointment setting, tips

Lead Gen Tips: Find LinkedIn Names That Aren't In Your Network

Posted by Michael Damphousse

Most sales people today have found that using LinkedIn as a research tool to identify specific prospects has been a fantastic way to find the needle in a haystack of potential leads.  However, LinkedIn doesn't always show you all the names of the individuals your search produces:

lead gen tips linkedin

So how do you find this specific person's name?  Just three more clicks according to Green Leads' BDR Mira.

  1. Click on the Title, which brings up the full profile.
    lead   gen tips linkedin 

  2. Remember the Title, and look to the right where it says Viewers of this profile also viewed...  Once there, find a contact with a similar title/company -- In this case, Gerardo (hard to see).


  3. Now while remembering the title/company of the prospect you want "Research Engineer Intern at VW Electronics Research Lab", click on the name of the person with the most similar title/company that we found above, Gerardo.
  4. Up pops Gerardo's profile, now look to the right again, and find a contact with a similar title/company to Gerardo in the "also viewed" section -- this is most likely your prospect.  So Tanya, expect my call.
    lead     gen tips linkedin

If you have any LinkedIn tips, or Lead Gen Tips in general, please share them.

 

Tags: sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, outbound marketing, cold calling, b2b marketing, sales2.0, demand gen data, tips, linkedin, lead lists

Lead Generation Tips - Take 3 Hour Lunches

Posted by Mike Damphousse

There were days in my lead gen life where I could have easily left for lunch and not come back for four hours. MIT data shows that that might have been a good idea!

Gerhard Gschwandtner of Selling Power just highlighted last year's MIT / InsideSales.com study of outbound prospecting lead conversion. The report details such information as the right time of day to call, the best day of the week, how the response time to a lead impacts conversion, etc.

It got me thinking. For many reps, unless territory comes into play, lead gen exists in a three-time-zone map. For years we've been able to sort our lists by time zone, but what if we could tune it even further and optimize the effectiveness our day using the MIT stats?

                    

Layer the times together and stagger them for time zone. Due to the East coast and West coast being predominant in our targeting, we tend to call 40% ET, 40% PT, and 20% CT/MT, so to simplify the discussion, I've just shown ET and PT. The timeline at the bottom is on Eastern time.

The chart shows that to maximize their production, East Coach-based reps targeting both coasts during the prime times for each time zone and assuming an 8-hour day, should be working from:

  • Target East Coast 8 am - 10 am
  • Target West Coast 11 am - 1 pm
  • Target East Coast 4 pm - 6 pm
  • Target West Coast 6 pm - 8 pm

For strategic planning purposes, this justifies bi-coastal teams. It also suggests a shift in activity during the day. Make the prime times the power-dial sessions, and make the lulls the time where research and other non-dialing activity is completed.

So the next time you run late returning from lunch, show this report to your boss and keep dialing.

More Lead Generation Tips.                    

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, outbound marketing, inside sales, cold calling, b2b marketing, lead gen, appointment setting, sales2.0, demand gen data, tips

5 Outbound Calling Best Practices

Posted by Michael Damphousse

5 Ooutbound Calling Best Practices

Dialing the phone all day is a task.  I have one guy who calls it panning for gold. He'll say he just swished the phone 20 times, found 4 shiny objects and none were gold.  Then an hour later he'll yell "Eureka!" when he does successfully set an appointment.

I presented these 5 Outbound Calling Best Practices years ago at a Boston Chapter meeting of AA-ISP  (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals), and they are still relevant today (with an update on the tech tools).

These 5 points may get more Eureka's out of your outbound marketing efforts:

  • List Hygiene - Keep lists clean and ready at all times for prime calling.  Track things like Time Zone, Direct Dials, Admin Names, Dialing Tips (press 0 for the operator), etc.  Validate lists prior to dialing. Remove bad contacts, or research and replace them. Don't dial until the list can be worked top-to-bottom in one sweep without a struggle.
  • Functional Tools - Fill the toolbox with tools, and know how to use them: LinkedIn, Google Alerts and Google Search, LeadIQ, Zoominfo, Discoverorg, others...  Use them to work smarter. If you find they get in the way when you are in power-dial mode, clean the desktop (next tip).
  • Clean Desktop - When it's prime time to dial, cluttered desktops and browsers can bring things to a grinding halt: Slack, Email, Browser Windows, etc. (that means Facebook and ESPN too). Close everything that is not pertinent to dialing.
  • Don't Dial - Still dialing with fingers on a number pad?  Don't. Get a click-to-dial, power-dialer or predictive dialer.  Or get on steriods with ConnectAndSell. The productivity increases are phenomenal.
  • Prime Time - Don't be power dialing at 10:20 am.  This is the most common time of day for prospects to be in a meeting.  They are more likely to be at their desks and willing to talk in the early morning, at the top of the hour (from 10 minutes to the hour until 5 minutes after, they are between meetings), at lunch, in the late afternoon, in the early evening, on Monday holidays.  Check out the article I wrote, Take 3 Hour Lunches, which discusses the day in detail and backs it up with data.

Just the tip of the iceberg here.  What outbound calling tips can you offer?  If they are tip-worthy, I'll add them to the growing list of lead gen tips.

 


 

 

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, outbound marketing, inside sales, cold calling, lead gen, sales2.0, tips, outbound

Fantasy Football Builds Stronger Inside Sales Teams

Posted by Michael Damphousse

Fantasy Football and Inside SalesMy good buddy and best man, Dave, has been commissioner of the same Fantasy Football league for over 12 years and a few years ago asked if I was interested in taking one of the empty slots.  My obsessive-compulsive, statistically driven, multi-scenario-challenged gaming mind was intrigued.  Could I possibly put together a team that could beat other experienced teams week in and week out?  Even if the matchup is one-sided on paper?

Sounds simple, but here's the deal.  I'm more of an owner and less of a coach, so I did what I do best. I hired Lenny, a co-worker at the time and a kick-ass coach, and learned from someone who knows more about Fantasy Football than I do and still enjoy the results.  Now three seasons later, Lenny is gone and I won last year's season.  This year opened with a tight match against Dave, and it came down to the last two players--he crushed me.  But I'm a coach.

Tips to learn from Fantasy Football when building awesome inside sales teams:

  • Be a coach. Understand your team and their challenges, week in and week out.
  • Understand the rules. If you know what scores you points you'll make better decisions.  Ask the commissioner (your boss) if it's unclear.
  • Learn from the pros.  We read Fantasy blogs; we also read B2B sales and marketing blogs.
  • Look for raw talent that requires the least maintenance.
  • Find the studs that, head to head, will overperform every week.
  • Think about your deficiencies and hire accordingly.
  • If your team needs adjusting, make the shifts.  It might mean cutting a player, or drafting a new one, or moving someone up from the bench. Think big picture.
  • Don't fall in love with a lineup.  If you need to let a player go, cut your losses.
  • Track the stats.  Every stat -- even the ones you aren't sure are valuable. They will be someday.
  • Think Superbowl.  Don't forget the long-term play is to win.
  • Lastly, have fun.  Every day.  Have fun.  If you and your team are enjoying your jobs, you'll always make the playoffs and be in a position to win!

ps.  I do have Tom Brady in both my leagues this year.  Maybe I should take some lessons from Belichick?

Tags: sales, b2b, inside sales, b2b marketing, appointments, appointment setting, tips, tv

Appointment Setters Beware! Google Hangout Just Hijacked Your Meeting

Posted by Michael Damphousse

Google has figured out a neat way to take over the conference call industry.  They just added their Google Hangout invite link to EVERY Google Calendar invite that you schedule.  It's listed above the meeting notes, so if your not paying attention and you've got GoToMeeting or WebEx or Join.me bridge numbers and links in the body of your invite, expect a few people to click the Hangout link and ignore the rest.  I've done it twice in a week!  

Your cancel and reschedule rate will soar through the roof!

Appointment Setters Beware Google Hangout

There is a manual work around and an admin level work around.  The manual work around is simple, just remember to click Remove as you are creating the meeting.  The admin level fix is that they can disable this feature through the calendar settings page in the Admin console. 

Note: Hangout video calls are only added if the event creator has an active Google+ profile.

Don't get a No Show or Cancel or Reschedule if you're using Google Calendar.  Pay attention and click Remove, or switch your meetings over to Google Hangout.  Either way works for me.

Tags: b2b sales, demand gen, inside sales, appointments, appointment setting, tips, meetings, b2b appointment setting, google hangout

In The Summertime - Mungo Jerry Lead Gen Tips (tap your feet)

Posted by Michael Damphousse

I just listened to Mungo Jerry's "In The Summertime," and it made me smile, tap my feet, rock my head, especially with the banjo player huffing and puffing into the jug.  Love it!

...then BOOM! The song is over and I remembered all the times I heard inside sales reps complain that "It's summer, nobody's working."  

Folks, that's one of the biggest myths in lead gen.  In fact, it's so twisted that some hidden benefits of summer are shrowded.  Let's take a look.

Yes, most people take vacation time in the summer.  I do to.  That said, how many vacations can one take?  They can't be gone all summer.  In fact, some very important things happen because of vacations:

  • Desk time - Most people planning vacations plan some time in the office (ie: not travelling) prior to and immediately after so that they can get their ducks in a row and return hitting the ground running.  That is more time for them to be at their desks picking up calls, or paying attention to an email inbox that is organized.  Take advantage of it.  
  • Responders - "I'll be out of the office until Monday, July 21.  In an emergency you can call my cell ###-###-####, otherwise, you can contact June, my assistant at ###-###-####, or John, my senior team member at john@emailme.com".  Nuggets: The prospect's cell number, the assistant's name and number, and his trusted underling's email address.  Use them.
  • Scheduling - It can get dicy trying to pick a date, sure, but use it as an opportunity to book a meeting in close -- to set some urgency.  
  • Lighten the mood - It's always a challenge to find the common thread in a call to make the prospect feel comfortable listening to the business end of a conversation, what better common thread than "Oh, vacation, I just got back from the Cape, what are you planning?".  People buy from people.
  • Attitudes - Let's face it, we're all a bit happier.  Happier = Approachable.  

"We love everybody, but we do as we please
When the weather's fine
We go fishing or go swimming in the sea
We're always happy"

Enjoy the video, and take Mungo Jerry's tip to heart: "Go out and see what you can find"!

Tags: sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, inside sales, cold calling, lead gen, tips, life, video, b2b appointment setting

@HubSpot Eliminates 2 Billion Cold Calls (from #Inbound13)

Posted by Michael Damphousse

inbound marketing summary 2013 resized 600

Just prior to Seth Godin stepping on stage, for what was an entertaining and thought provoking keynote, HubSpot CMO, Mike Volpe, announced that "We saved the world from 2 Billion cold calls!"  And they did.  I personally may have benefitted by 1 or 2 a day.  

HubSpot Orange Kool Aid

Inbound marketing techniques continue to evolve, and HubSpot is the pioneer for Inbound.  The tribe they've created in the past few years is amazing.  Almost 6,000 attendees to this year's Inbound conference were gathered for lots of marketing goodness, not just the orange kool aid.

In the world of sales, selling doesn't start until a conversation starts with the prospect.  Getting that conversation going has been revolutionized with Inbound Marketing.  The prospect is typically educated more than an outbound generated lead, they are thinking about the topic that your product or service addresses, and the time is fresh to start the conversation.  In short, they may be further along in the funnel (waterfall if you're a SiriusDecisions follower).

The top outbound marketers have embraced inbound marketing, not shied away from it. Compared to a purchased list or even a list of prospects warmed up with other marketing assets, an inbound list is the cream of the crop.  However, unless your inbound lead comes in the form of a calendar invite, date, time and phone number booking one of your sales reps for a appointment, there is still work to do.  The outbound function assigned to these leads is typically referred to as Inbound Response.  

Things to remember:

  • Scrub the data. Have a data team do list hygiene to correct and/or append needed data fields.  Or use tools such as DemandBase to dynamically append data.
  • Know your history.  Use tools such as HubSpot, your CRM, or other tracking systems to know how your company has interracted with the prospect in the past.
  • Intel.  Research the prospect on LinkedIn, Google, Social Sites.  The more you know, the warmer that lead.
  • Score your inbound leads. Don't assume they are all orders ready to be had. Don't waste your time on mickey@mouse.com
  • Pounce!  Once you have your ducks in a row, call them.  If they don't answer, email them.  The effective value of leads deteriorates every hour after they submit a form.

I just tested the above with a lead that came in through our HubSpot system within the hour.  It took me 2 minutes to correct their missing title, see that her colleague talked to us at the SiriusDecisions conference in May, add her LinkedIn url to her profile, note that we're connected by 8 people, and she visited 5 blog articles today.  Reviewed and scored -- 2 minutes.

Create great content.  Socially surround your market.  Optimize all conversion techniques.  Gather these inbound leads, then follow the process above, and your ROI will go through the roof.

Let's get back to the 2 Billion cold calls saved.  Inbound marketing certainly does reduce the number of cold calls an outbound marketer has to make to get the conversation started.  It streamlines the process.  The blended approach of Inbound and Outbound will increase the top line faster than any other methods available.

Is that lead an Innie or an Outie?

(took restraint not to post a pic of a belly button)

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, outbound marketing, inbound marketing, cold calling, b2b marketing, social media marketing, hubspot, appointment setting, tips, inbound, linkedin, outbound, lead lists, outbound calling, b2b appointment setting, demandbase

Social Surround - Social Selling Takeaway from SiriusDecisions #SDsummit

Posted by Michael Damphousse

Social Surround Selling Techniques resized 600

I'm just coming off 19,000 miles, 3 countries, and both coasts of the US (back and forth twice) in a 5 week period.  I met lots of new people, and noticed a trend that interestingly reflected a concept Craig Rosenberg, The Funnelholic, and I presented at our case study session at SiriusDecisions Summit -- Social Surround. 

It's not new, and wasn't coined by us, but Social Surround is the technique of using every social platform available to connect to your colleagues and prospects.  Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, you name it.  The more you connect, and the more you share with them or about them, the more you build that relationship.  Let's face it, a retweet by any means is flattering.

Here's a surround scenario for you:

  • I met the director of Demand Gen for a software company a few months back, brief handshake, intro and card exchange.  There wasn't an immediate need for Green Leads work at the time...nurturable
  • That night I sent an email with the contact info of a mutual colleageue we both knew from years ago that he had fallen out of touch with
  • I then linked to him on LinkedIn
  • From LinkedIn, I found his twitter handle, and followed him. Hopefully he monitors his new followers. 
  • I also followed his company account, learned a bit there
  • Found him on Facebook, and instead of offering to connect, I simply shared Green Leads' facebook page with him.  He liked it
  • I notice his company tweets something retweetable, and give it a retweet.  Maybe he'll notice
  • He's an avid LinkedIn Update poster.  So I liked a post
  • Saw he was on the attendee list of #SDsummit, so sent a "Look forward to seeing you at the event" email

Fast forward to the SiriusDecisions Summit.  Craig and I are in the case study presenting the Social Surround concept, and who's sitting in the middle row smiling?  Yep.  He comes up to me afterwards and told me how he personally experienced Social Surround by me and had come to the conference with the intent of talking with me about a b2b appointment setting project.  Now that he knew the concept had a term and it worked, he was sold--surrounded and sold.

Benefits of Social Surround:

  • Passive branding
  • Ongoing networking
  • Rapport building the social way
  • Non-intrusive to the prospect
  • Multiple touch points
  • Warms up outbound activies
  • Can trigger inbound responses

ps.  What I like the most with Social Surround is that I'm seeing the prospects surrounding me.  That is the ultimate Inbound Lead!

Photo: Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Surrounded Islands

Tags: b2b, demand gen, outbound marketing, siriusdecisions, twitter, lead gen, tips, linkedin, facebook

Lead Gen Tip: Think Role Based Lists, Not A List Of Titles

Posted by Michael Damphousse

role based list developmentIf you've used an outsourced lead gen company before, you have most likely been asked "What titles within the target companies do you want us to target?" What they are most likely asking, and should ask more clearly, is "What ROLE within the target companies do you want us to identify and target?"

Not all titles explicitly tell you what a job function is. So tasks such as building lists from data services aren't as easy as searching for titles and then exporting the names. If you are looking for prospects with a specific function, or role, then that is where you should begin.

For example, the most common mistakes occur when targeting IT departments. There are 86,087 results when "director of IT" is searched for in Jigsaw. I just randomly sampled 5 of them in LinkedIn. These were their roles:

  1. IT Security
  2. Networking
  3. Data Warehousing
  4. IT Security
  5. Desktop Helpdesk

So if you're selling a network security package, who do you target? Obviously, the first, second, and fourth. But you wouldn't have known that by the title alone.

Tips:

  • Use LinkedIn to identify roles. Some LinkedIn lead gen tips here.
  • If you can't get specific roles up front, power dial the list with the goal of identification and research.
  • Consider a role based list development project done internallly or by a third party vendor.
Ask yourself, "do we want to target by machine gun or sniper rifle?"

Tags: b2b, demand gen, tips, linkedin, lead lists