Updated: Apr 19, 2022
By: Joey Sciarra, Director of Marketing Operations at PAYS
Leaving the stone age
It wasn’t too long ago that we left the age of slow clunky machines barely aiding us in our daily tasks. Today, the average business uses 110 different SaaS applications1 and the number will only rise in the coming years. With venture-backed tech startups popping up in every corner of the world, we are entering a new age of overwhelming noise in every industry. However, there are incredible things around the corner, and we can’t pretend it’s all going to be bad. Technology is ushering in an age of complexity mixed with simplicity in every industry, but we are going to dive into the sales technologies of the future.
Sales Tech for the Future
Gone are the days of the CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) being the only tool that people use daily. A sales CRM is still vital to the organization and tracking of contacts, but now there is a full ecosystem of technologies that plug-in and have native bidirectional integrations with the top sales CRMs. If you break down effective outreach into three categories, it would be finding the right people, creating the right messaging, and connecting with them in the right channel.
There is no silver bullet.
There, I said it. Anyone who tells you that they have found it is going to disappoint you. In the age of sophistication, you must create the perfect storm to prospect effectively. Tracking data is necessary but let's get into what the sales tech for the future really could look like using the infrastructure I laid out in the previous paragraph. At the end of this, I will give you a few lists to build your perfect storm of a tech stack that works for your unique business.
How Do You Find the Right People?
Trade shows, events, mailing lists, etc. used to be the ways you got “lists” for prospecting. While many of these are still completely viable, you need to utilize other data sources to increase top-of-funnel lead generation and appointment setting activity. There are plenty of ways to do this and we use a variety of lead list generation software, but here I want to talk about LinkedIn. LinkedIn has a software add-on called Sales Navigator that is massively effective in locating the right person at the right company. With more filter options than you can figure out how to use, this must be the first place you check when trying to find the right person. We have licenses for every single sales rep on our team because we have found a way to make this information actionable – more to come on this point in the right channel section. Think about your own LinkedIn presence for a second. What do you have on there? Whether you are a power user or created a profile and never looked at it again, you probably have your name, title, and company on there. If you do, so does your prospect. Utilizing a tool like LinkedIn Sales Navigator will be vital for your prospecting needs. But what do you say to them and how do you get in touch with them? Keep reading...
What Do You Say?
Blah blah blah. Too many cold, boring, pushy sales messages in our emails, in our LinkedIn and in our voicemails. When was the last time you read a 4-paragraph email and thought, “This was by far the best use of my time,”? I got a LinkedIn message recently that I had to scroll 4 times to get to the bottom of the message. The depersonalized approach to mass contacting people creates poor brand recognition, horrible personal connection and is not what anyone wants to receive. Instead, using the process detailed above for finding the right people, locate a list of 100-500 people. There should be a discernible characteristic that you can bring up in outreach and then automate it.
An example of a LinkedIn message I created recently for the first message to a list of about 430 people is, “Boiler up! My dad graduated from Purdue in 88 and I noticed you were in the coaching space, so I had to connect... Looking forward to it!” The only thing I put in that narrowed my search was that their school was Purdue. If you are trying to email people, I always recommend an attempt on the phone first. If you do not get them on the phone on the first try, your email subject line should be “following up” with a message that sounds human and like you really want to talk to them and hear more about them. No one cares what you are selling until they know you care about them.
What Channel is the Best Channel?
The simple answer – wherever they are. I know it sounds ridiculous and that can’t be all I have to say about it, but yes that is it. If they are avid LinkedIn users, connect there. If they have a zero-inbox policy, email is the spot. If they pick up phone calls, give them a ring. How do you know what they will do? DO THEM ALL.
Omnichannel outreach is a unique and personal way to get your messaging to the prospects in a way they would receive it best. There are plenty of tools out in the market that have this functionality, and it’s where our reps live. You simply just do not know what type of people you are reaching out to, so get in front of them on every channel and let them self-select. This is where the ecosystem of technology because vital for outreach, because whether it’s LinkedIn, Email, or Phone, you will find most of your prospects will engage in some way.
Also, being able to reference a history of attempted touches makes it feel like you were reaching out only to them. This is the difference between you and the noise in your industry. It is always going to be human connection that drives the door open, not how amazing your product or service might perform, your 99.99% SLA, or whatever else anyone can say about their product or service. People will buy the worst product on the market if they trust the connection they have created with the rep.
Now that the framework for effective outreach has been laid, we get into the actual software that makes it all possible. Last time I checked, there are over 10,000 unique mar-tech and sales tech tools in the market. These fall into any number of categories and have varying levels of automation, industry specificity and range from $10-$10,000. All of them claim to solve your specific pain point and there is something shiny and new in most of them.
This sounds like a dream world until the reality of having to make a choice between them all sets in.
Uhm...... our sales guys don’t even use the shiny, expensive CRM, we can’t invest in any other tools. We also have to get trained on it and have someone admin the software and fix it too, plus there are so many options, I can’t demo them all. Even if I do, what happens if we make the wrong choice? All these questions are brought forth by the new technology so too many times we just let someone else tell us what to buy. The truth is, there are technologies that align with your goals. If you are worried about spending money on something that you won’t, try to find what you will use.
For example, if you have a VoIP System and an emailer, but don’t have a way for your salespeople to send out emails to prospects, maybe consider transitioning to a sales engagement platform to get them running their own sequences. If you find yourself struggling to align your team around a common goal, getting a project planning tool like Trello could be effective in keeping people aligned around a single goal with a timeline. The tools follow the goal, the tools don’t define the goal. This is the main way we’ve curated our tech stack, and this leads to more effective adoption.
Making Sense of Madness
Instead of traditional ways of grouping software by what they are, I’m going to group them by what they solve.
High Priority Contacts – Zoominfo
Mass Contact Exports – Seamless.ai, Apollo.io paired with LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Contacting leads on LinkedIn:
Email, Dialer, and LinkedIn (Omnichannel) tool:
Outreach.io (Advanced Functionality)
Salesloft (Advanced Functionality)
Mailshake (Basic Functionality)
Building brand voice through Social:
Alignment on Goals and Initiatives:
Need more insight on customers:
More inbound leads need to convert to meetings:
Getting Better in selling situations:
Salespeople need to be learning how to be better continuously: