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Welcome back to the marketing automation discussion where we showcase what is working with marketing and sales automation with today’s tools and channels today. We’re going to focus on sales automation connecting sales and marketing flows with tools and processes to increase Revenue with less human bandwidth.

My guest today is Dan Smith now Dan is a sass. Sales specialist. He’s a coach. He’s a trainer and the partner, um of winning a by Design which he and his team are focused on helping SAS teens through the implementation of sales process.

Dan are you there happy to be here super excited to get started. Thanks, Alex. All right, so what we’ve suggested and what we proposed back and forth a little bit before the call. We have a scenario that we want to run through. This is a scenario that I’ve been involved in a few times and it helps us kind of paint the picture and give everyone some real context to what we’re about to talk about.

So the hypothetical we’re going to introduce this scenario is an is a new VP of sales for XYZ SAS company. I will play the. Marketing at the same company. We have a virtual SDRs sales development reps and inside sales team company has been using a very old CRM build and has been doing a combination of cold emailing.

And paid search engine marketing and social media marketing to generate leads the way the flow work prior to Dan and I coming on board is a hypothetical scenario where marketing would create a new campaign marketing would go ahead and procure data from a third party. Like Zoom info marketing was start combination of cold emails and advertising respondents to these emails would be filling out either demo requests or actually replying to the cold emails from there.

It would pass over to sales by way. General sales at inbox meaning all of the demo requests would go into the sales at inbox and all of the replies to cold email campaigns would go into the sales at the inbox the sdrs from there would actually log into the same inbox and go through qualifications.

So replying to the demo request. Via email and once they are qualified the demo request prospects, then the strs would put those prospects into the account executive schedule to receive a demo of the song After the demo of those who did not buy the AES would set alerts in their CRM to go ahead and follow up.

Now these prospects have an average contract value of six thousand dollars annual. It’s 500 bucks a month. Hopefully you can apply this to your business. Dan what about that scenario would have the way this flow is working kind of makes you cringe. So I think the key thing that I’m unpacking with the scenario is that when customers come to us requesting a demo they are ready to talk.

They want us to reach out to them have a conversation and this flow right now seems It’s like a little bit bulky and it also can cause some bad behaviors from the salesperson for they will pick and choose. Who they want to respond with? So there’s a couple of things in here that I would like to change.

The biggest one is when salespeople reach out to the customer. Our role is to not pitch or do a demo our role is to help them solve a problem. So that would be the mindset that I want to go into and I’m talking about this hypothetical situation God. Okay, that’s perfect. So now we have a hypothetical that we’re going to discuss stands mentioned the mindset and how he likes to approach this.

So this helps us back into the question of today, which is what are the keys you. Tails and marketing alignment. This is a huge problem and it gets bigger and bigger as your average sale value goes up. Now. We have a hypothetical but Dan why don’t you just talk about what sales and marketing alignment means I think historically the issue of not being aligned came down to marketing was responsible for getting quantity of lead.

And sales was responsible for revenue and I think most companies today are realizing to drive alignment. The goals need to be aligned. And in this case, it’s what is right for the business. Now from all cases. We know as a sales profession that we don’t want to work leads that aren’t going to be a good fit.

But from the marketing’s perspective, they say I’m passing over all these leads and salespeople don’t follow up. So now that is the fundamental mindset that those two teams have is that they don’t quite trust each other. So the way to fix that is to make sure that everybody is aligned exactly on the methodology.

Process and handoff between certain stages so that we don’t start fumbling those handles make the customer feel uncomfortable and we’re have a really bad conversion rate because it takes too long to go through our bulky process. On it. I like that. So a line on methodology align of processes aligned on the handoff to make sure the customer experience is fluid and synergistic and they don’t feel like they’re getting pushed and pulled and healed at disorganized process whether going through.

Yeah, that’s fun. Like when I worked in the ER Alex, I was responsible for being one of the first people a patient would see it come into the ER and I would have to triage them figure out how big of a priority it is to get them a bet now, er’s chronically or full this has to do with a lot of different laws that are going on, but I would always work and through the night shift we would get all of our hallways filled with beds and the problem with this flow is that we need to make sure that our customers.

Do not feel like patients showing up to the ER the patient flow would be talk to me is the triage tag, I would ask what brings you in today. They explain what’s going on. I take them back to the triage nurse. She would ask the same thing. Now. We’re going up the hierarchy in education in experience.

And so then once the triage is talks to them and realize this is this chest pain due to a heart attack or is this chest pain due to some trauma that they had can this person live in the waiting room for a couple extra hours or is there life dependent on getting them back and started treatment right away.

So the patient’s experience would be getting asked the same question over and over and over. And what I realize is happening in the sales and marketing handoff is this customer can start to feel like that patient. They can feel like hey I came in with the demo request. I gave you this information about what I’m interested in and now you’re asking me some very basic questions that I already answered and this is the fundamental struggle that a lot of sales companies have when they’re trying to get this process.

I love it. I love it. You mentioned a whole bunch of stuff and I’m going to publish this as a answer. I’ll publish it as an article as well. So we’ll have all of that written out if you’d like to read later. Um, so let’s go back to our hypothetical situation here and in the hypothetical, there were a number of things causing potential issues that could be processed out that could be optimized the first step is.

Getting on the same page this type of local company did not really have a lot of communication between sales and marketing because this was sort of a new team being new VP of marketing new VP of sales. So it’s up to us to come in and make sure that that process is outlined their strategy XYZ. So with regards to the overall setup, are there any specific points that you like to make four specific rather do with regards to how they can go about getting the handoffs the meetings the first step.

Making sure that the system is set up correctly. Yeah, so I think in the hypothetical you sent out before the first thing that happens is marketing creates a new campaign marketing buys data and then respondents to the emails of marketing extending out goes to the sales inbox. I think fundamentally there is an interesting, uh debate that we can have its who should be writing these email.

Now about 80% of my customers have sales development reps sdrs, btr’s all of them roll up into sales, but about 20% of my customers have them roll up into marketing. Now the logic here is that marketing is responsible for creating awareness. He responsible for educating the customer that there’s a problem out there and hopefully triggering them to have an aha moment that a solution can help them solve it now the Str flow, they’re responsible for helping the customer get educated and then hopefully want to talk to a sales professional now within this conversation.

We need to do some qualification make sure that we’re not passing through every lead. But a proper SDR and Hannah should results into a conversion of about 95% of the meetings. They hand over sales exception says this could be a great fit. So that is the fundamental issue of the hypothetical you brought up that I think we should unpack the marketing campaigns versus the SDR campaigns who should do what to try and get the buyer through the Journey.

So what would you think that we do first after you kind of get on the same page with who’s going to be responsible for what? You know, where’s the data going to come from? Who’s the data provider how you’re going to procure that data? Where’s where’s it going to go? Is it going to go into the CRM first is going to go into your pulled out first and who’s going to get access to that data when and where and then copywriting right?

So, um, I’ve been in situations where. Sometimes sales wants to be responsible for the copywriting because obviously it needs to align with what the sdrs and the AES are saying during the demo. That’s very important. But I think more than anything marketing and sales need to come together. And uh be sort of collaborative come up with the user Journey map together come up with the definitions and when sales and marketing the handoffs occur with regards to the software, so the CRM will have a definition for Prospect, uh definition for nurturing and definition for sold a definition for turning, etc.

Etc. But who is responsible for what during each one of those phases? So this could be a CSV that you create in. This could be a mind map that you. You need to have okay, here’s step one in our process. We’re going to procure some data. Here’s what marketing has to do during that process. Here’s what sales has now here’s step 6 in the process where someone has booked to demo they’ve gone through a demo, but they didn’t close on the demo.

What is marketing have to do with that point? What automations are occurring at that point what is sales have to do with that point making sure everybody’s on the same page. So that’s a good way to good reason to create the visual create the user Journey map and also create the repository of definitions of tasks for each person in the organization starting with the head of sales starting with the head of marketing and then just on an ongoing basis just to make sure you have General upkeep of that system meat on it.

Maybe once a month make sure everybody’s on the same page. In the SDR and make sure that the strs are letting sales and marketing heads know where the communications are breaking. So if an SDR is giving a lot of people coming through the funnel that say Oh, I thought your software was this turns out it’s not that’s marketing’s bad marketing has been putting out language that did not correlate to what the product actually did.

I love what you said about getting everybody around the table and a lined on the process. I think that is so critical. Is that marketing professionals like you, you know how to write emails at scale. But when you hire brand-new ser, and you say hey, here’s your territory and here are all the leads. I want you to go start working.

They’re gonna send out an email that can be complete garbage, but even worse than that. You can be marked as spam and the problem with that is even if you get a two percent response rate that you send out a thousand emails to percent response rate. The SDR is going to be so pumped about 20 meetings.

But the problem is that 98% of the people that you sent out probably got pissed off at your email. And so now you’re scaling failure people, especially in the B2B world. Will does not do business with you. If you burned them in the past in the business-to-consumer roles. I think we’re more forgiving as if I have a bad experience, you know, maybe in the future I’ll do business again, but if we burn a bridge, it’s very hard to win that customer back.

I love what you said there. I think that we should use that mindset when we talk about how should we follow up with demos? And I think that’s direct in competition with doing a free trial. So Alex has done a good place to take that conversation. And I want to talk about real quick the prioritization of demo requests coming through.

So this is a big issue especially as you start getting a lot of attention. There’s a lot of demo request coming through your piping. There’s a lot of ways that you can prioritize those. And there are a lot of steps that need to happen in that situation. Can you talk to everyone real quick about demo prioritization and Prospect prioritization issue that you’re bringing up?

There is Vanity metrics as well. We all get that little dopamine hit when we get a like on a picture we share or a response to an email that we send over. It’s not really about that. It’s the impact that we can actually provide to that business. So if you’re getting a response. But it ends up being a big waste of time.

I love your focus on looking at the data and making better decisions and following through on what you think the results you’re getting if it actually turns into business. Our Revenue that’s exactly how to drive better sales and marketing alignment. I love it. I mean I could talk for days about the issues that I’ve been involved in with regards to how the communication channels are set up the marketing’s running and it gets worse when marketing thinks they’re doing a great job.

I’m guilty of this too where I’ll spend up a campaign that is getting incredible conversion rates incredible open rates, but what I don’t realize is that a week later two weeks later my strs, my are jam-packed with demo requests that are either filled with. Prospects or confuse Prospect people that thought one thing when they came through the funnel and now they’re sitting in a demo for software that doesn’t do what they thought it did so.

Very important, you know what it all comes down. Unfortunately to how we’re motivated and most sales people are motivated or given measurement based on closed deals or meetings book. And so the behavior that that pushes them to is making decisions that might not be best for the customer but optimize their the revenue that they can.

So the problem that we see with a lot of these shared mailboxes is the ability for people to pick and choose but just like our customers’ salespeople want to be treated fairly. And so I think the biggest thing that we need to come up with as a company as Leaders is making sure that our sales professionals are held accountable to doing the work that we want to do and that everybody gets equal access to the same types of leads.

So a better way of dividing the leads would be looking at who the Persona is. So making sure if decision-makers are coming in versus initiators or influencers, we can prioritize those leads differently so that everybody gets equal access to a great potential V that comes in through the door, but also has to work the leads that may need a little bit more education before they convert over into a meeting or sales opportunity.

So the best flow to do this is to make sure that the lead scoring that we have aligns well to the target audience that we think we’re trying to. Because when you have a beautiful and great solution thereĀ is going to be more people knocking on your door than could be good fits. So just because they want to buy your solution does not mean it’s a good use of sales professionals time to get on the phone with them.

There’s some automation we need to do through lead scoring either on sales automation marketing automation LinkedIn lots of different sources don’t even mention before we could use clear now. I think there’s a lot of resources you have in your other podcasts and information that can really help Define that but it really comes back to how people are motivated and treating everybody.

Let’s say hypothetically everybody is on the same page marketing and SDRs. And the sales team have come together and everybody is in alignment with what’s going on on the marketing side and qualified demos are coming through now the system that’s in place in our hypothetical is not ideal. They’re all going into a general sales inbox.

Obviously. They have a CRM they may be going into the CRM, but for some reason, they are pulling leads out of the general sales and box and then maybe either the VP of marketing. Someone sales is controlling the communication with people through this general sales inbox obviously not ideal. Is there a better system that you’d recommend mention just a couple quick best practices to kind of get that system unraveled into a better process.

We have seen some amazing results of I love that you brought this up this conversational marketing is I think a real game-changer because at the very start of this podcast. We talked about how when a customer comes in with a demo request. They’re hot they’re ready to talk. They want to share what is going on and how to solve problems chat helps remove a lot of that friction on submitting a form waiting for a callback and not knowing when that customer actually come through.

So Chad has been revolutionary to a lot of the customers we work with because even when you’re off hours and you have a fun little AI Bots that you could talk to that might be able to point you in. Direction people still like engaging because that by will come back to you very quick now just yesterday.

I’m planning to go on a European trip and I had some struggles paying for train ticket. So they have a chat option and I went on their requested chat. I’m ready to talk ready to get my purchase through and there was a delay you were number 1 in Q no estimated time. So I’m waiting there five minutes and I keep that window up and she’s really frustrating to me.

So then you know I get. Did I do something else other Tab and then like, oh, I should go check on the tab. I realized that the chat person came up there and like hello and that’s all they said and then they just connected. So if I wanted to talk again, I had to wait in line and again another awkward 5 10 20 minutes waiting for me is a really bad experience.

But if they had an AI Bots built in there, they could point me in the right direction or give me an estimate. Hey reach back out to you in two minutes, then I would know when to pay. So I think there is a right and wrong way of using chat, but when people start using it, they’re gonna start conversations much better with where their customers live showing on screen clear bits.

I’ll show on screen real quick, uh sales Wings app, which I have not used. I’ve just clear but these guys are making waves for just making sure that the right. Prospects are being contacted and scored directly emotions will have a prospect scoring if not certain price point especially. Um, so make sure that’s in place make sure that system is working so that account executives are all getting the distribution of round-robin Etc of quality leads in the right, you know in the right way.

So everybody’s happy keep your salespeople. Happy. Revenue will be going up into the right now lead attribution. That’s one of the major steps in this whole process. Hypothetical they didn’t have lead attribution people were coming in replies to campaigns people were coming in via the demo request form on site, but once it hits an SDRs desk, they are not going to have a lot of data around where that came from.

So I’ll just talk real quick and we don’t have to dive in deep but make sure your attribution system setup have your engineers create visible fields in the form on the site invisible Fields can pass data like UTM parameters the source. Where that came from the medium the URL for where that demo request was submitted and that’s in the certain circumstances.

You may have different pages on the site that have different ways for people to sign up for it demo. It’s important to know where those leads came from and you can then back scoring into that and say okay give people that come from Facebook a higher score than people that come from LinkedIn whatever or vice versa.

So make sure attributions in plays give your account Executives and strs more autumn. Around how to score those leads and prioritize them now alerting sales. This is important to there’s apps like zapier troops. You can do slack Integrations. You want to notify people in the right way at the right time to do the right actions.

So another use case for this is when someone browsing your site, let’s just say they’re in your funnel in some way meaning. They’re in an outreach campaign, whatever it is. You want to notify your SDRs when that person is browsing certain pages on your site. You can do that with a lot of CRM. So when I can show some that do it in particular for low-cost.

So you want to do those sort of actions those sort of automations to make sure that sales and marketing are doing best possible job and creating the best possible potential for closing those prospects. Do you have any experience Pros or Cons with chat? I think you have drift on your site or intercom to kind of facilitate the pre-qualification process.

And also help close people that are on the site. What is your experience? Which yeah Harold is amazing. He really helped architect. This and has created an amazing experience for our customers. And I think that we brought up before and probably a good conclusion to what we’ve been talkin about in general is there is a right and wrong way of doing things when you’re talkin about sending out email campaigns email is a great way to start conversation, but it’s not a silver bullet not all emails are created equal.

So if you start. People are gonna hate it. If you have a chat Bob at the bad experience, they’re going to hate. But when you nail it when you start thinking about what would the customer like to engage with? It’s amazing and I had some friends over this weekend and they were telling me about uh issue that they had with a pet supply store called chewy that they were expecting some food to come FedEx didn’t deliver it on time.

They went on chat and literally within 20 seconds that person responded in a very thoughtful way. So it looks like you got this I saw there was supposed to be delivered yesterday did not come. And then said well we sent that out priority. You’ll get it tomorrow. But may I ask do you have any food right now to feed your pet and I thought that’s an amazing question to follow up with that support rep is taking to the next level what is going on?

Not just not delivering services and it was in that support. Stop suggesting if you need food. Please go by to the store and we will reimburse you. Completely out of their system but focused fully on a great customer experience and her telling me that story now makes me want to be a customer haven’t bought anything from them yet.

But I know when I need to make my next purchase, I will go there. In creating that type of viral customer engagement where your customers want to talk to potential prospects. That is the dream now Marketing sales customers were all aligned on solving problems and getting impact. I think that’s a perfect place to conclude.

You’ve nailed everything. I’ve shown a good example of when chat can be successful on your website. So this is perfect. I love the Chui example chat allows you to really dive into the customers needs at that moment use some of the technology. Today use the drift spot if you have terrific check out intercom then thank you so much for the time winning by Design is a amazing resource.

If you are in the situation where you need sales coaching training all that good stuff. So check it out then anyting else to leave them with where can they find you what you uh suggest they do now. Love it. Thanks Alex. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. I love sharing some insight on LinkedIn.

Probably the easiest way to find in just look me up Dan Smith. Maybe it’s hard to find this on that name. So add in winning by Design. You’ll see a lot of content there. We love posting videos blog posts a lot of free resources to get started. So, thank you. Look forward to talking to you again.”