The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

How to Turn Automation Into Your Competitive Advantage


We’re digging into the myth that AEs (or other revenue roles) don’t need automation.

Spoiler alert: They really do.

In this episode, I interview Justin Michael , Co-Founder at HYPCCCYCL , about his automation tools lightbulb moment and how he sparks that recognition in others.

In this episode we discuss:

How the scalability of automation validates your process

Why automation gives you the gift of time

What to do to stay organized on the automated touches

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

Tech-Powered Sales by Justin Michael 

Combo Prospecting by Tony J. Hughe s

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts , on Spotify , or on our website .

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Sales Engagement

in your favorite podcast player.

Welcome to the sales engagement a podcast. This podcast is brought you by outreach, the leading sales engagement platform, and they just launched outreach on outreach, the place to learn how outreach well does outreach learn how the team follows up with every lead in record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can also see how outreach runs account based plays, manages reps and so much more using their own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by data pulled from outreach processes and customer base. When you're done, you'll be able to do it as good as they do. Had to outreach. Do Io on outreach to see what they have going on. Now let's get into today's episode. Hello and welcome back everyone to the sales engagement podcast. Thank you, as always, for hanging out with us. Don't take it lightly that you decided to lend us your ear drums for the next thirty minutes, but this should be a fun one. Very excited for this. I am joined by Justin, Michael. We could go ahead and say Mr Sales engagement himself Justin. Welcome with yeah, thanks for having me on the show. I do have a love for stales engagement platforms. Some call them sequencers, but yeah, I would call myself a power user of outreach and I'm excited to kind of get more people using these platforms in a humane way. You know, that's that's the key to do it. Start away and I want to quickly go into your background a little bit. But those listeners who are joining us, I just want to kind of set the stage. So Jackson and I have decided to do a little mini series within the podcast to probably be about three, three, maybe four episodes together, and what we're going to do is we're going to try and tackle a few sales engagement myths, or sales technology MIPS really, and we're going to look at them through a few different lenses and and from a few different ways. So going to be fun. But before we get there, Justin, I always like to ask this question provide some contacts for those who maybe don't know you. What is that Superhero origin story, Mr Justin, Michael? Yeah, so I think the best thing I could reveal is that I started out as an average rep, you know, before str even existed. I was just like inside sales. I was on a phone, a voice phone. I thought was pretty cool is like a you know, voice over Ip phone. When I was two thousand five hundred and twenty six and you know, I used to take the the phone home with me on days off and I used to call it like four am so that I could do the seven east coast shift. And so for me, I think that love of the phone and just having no tech in the beginning except my little void phone. I mean now when I get to use these, you know, parallel is just too dialers like connecting cell and I get to use these really advanced automation tools or in ten I just I think I have a certain gratitude for having it because I had to make a miracle. Happened with just the phone. Like I don't think Gmail was even a thing. I think it was like way back in the day. So I'm forty one, I've been selling for twenty years and still this day I still pick up the phone. So, you know, I love the text tax. I came out of graphic design and music recording. There's just actually talking to a team today about that. Some of these platforms, even ten twenty years ago, like pro tools and photoshop, final cut pro, they were really hard to use and so when you sit in a system like an outreach or a connected cell. This stuff is, you know, it's intuitive. You know, back in the day, like early Photoshop, there was like, you know, twenty two steps to make a filter and then you'd have to wait for fifteen minutes on your tower computer for it to process and then you'd have to wait and do it again and so like hours just to get the thing to look right. So it's all that gratitude for what the tech can actually do. It's all pretty sophisticated if we just roll back the clock ten years. I love it. Man. I often talked about that...

...when my you know, talking to younger, you know, Bedr people that want to get into TAC of like hey, what are some some tips? And often my tip is go deep and wide. So deep into an industry and wide in terms of skill set. And when I say Whye, in terms of skill set and like. It's actually pretty easy these days to go and learn a canva and I movie and then all of a sudden you can create all this beautiful looking collateral yourself. You can create a little movie and and two people like outsiders who haven't taken the Sunday afternoon to learn this one tool and literally will take you one afternoon or less. They think it's like amazing and they're sitting at I wow, like that person can create these these movies and this stuff and it's it's unbelievably simple and just getting easier. So you can leverage this pieces of technology to get far ahead quickly. I also love what you said around part of your love of technology comes from a place of not having it right, and I've also wrestled with this thought, which I would love your opinion on. Of It would be an interesting experiment to have your new bedrs A, e's whatever not get to use sales technology for like the first two months and then give it to them. You maybe will take an efficiency hit, but then they're going to learn the process correctly, they're going to learn, you know, how difficult it can be, and then when you give it to them they'll fully embrace it, because we kind of an adoption problem sometimes within sales sec and I think that would take your way. What do you think about that Botox from? Yeah, so it's interesting. So, oh my gosh, I'm a published author now and I almost feel like it's like a foregone conclusion, like a cliche right, because there's like six thousand sales books, which is cool. I got there because I was part of a book called Combo prospecting with Tony j Hughes, and the whole thesis of that book is like the mcguiver. It's like you are at a company where they won't buy you the text act, and I love MC guiver because like us, a toothpick and a grappling, you know, umbrella, and he like hot wires and nuclear sub or something insane, like he breaks into a helicopter with a bobby pan or something, you know. And so I feel like reps are like, well, the text acts great, but you know, I can't afford that or we don't have the enable and budget. And then that's the excuse, like I'm not hitting my number because, well, our competitor gets to use fill in the blank of Gong or course or something, whatever the excuse is. Yeah, so to me I actually believe in that scalability of automation is a proof point of the manual process. What board your process? Define your ICP, your personas, your emails, and then test them one at a time. Sending a Gmail now, if you're going to send fifty personalized relevant gmails and you can't get one to convert, maybe that's not an email you want to send. You know, thousands of or if you're doing a certain voice mail or a certain linkedin approach and and nothing's working, you know maybe the targeting is off, the messages off. If you can prove it out in the microcose, I'm in a small scale, then it's really exciting to take in a sequencer. So even on really complicated campaigns I hold a lot of the prospects back senior people sea levels and do it manually, hyper personalize and then I look for manual Ab tests to then take to automation. This phone scripts working great. I mean I'm could dialing lead IQ and I'm getting cell phones and it's keeping people on the phone, it's converting into meetings. Good. Now let's call six phone numbers at a time. Let's do two hundred dollars and two hours. But if you're going to just start dialing and having live conversations and you don't know your sales story, you don't have your button rebuttals down, you don't write, you can be caught flat foot and what's the point? So yeah, yeah, I like it. So kind of prove it out manually before you add rock of fuel to the to the situation, which seems like an obvious concept, but many don't do that. You know, they'll buy the... Don't get quote Unquote, tool drunk and just go for it. So I like that, that line of thinking. All right, let's side into it. Yeah, I know we have a limited amount of time. We want to talk about myths, Desin, and what myth do you want to talk about first? Well, I think one of the things to kick the series off is the myth that a EA's don't need automation. And I think you know, obviously with where you are, part of that automation is email automation. And I'm just talking about like feel a he's prior to the pandemic. It's like it was. It was great. I mean it was a gravy train. We had so many events. Like I was a VPS sales I'd fur vents a year. I got to flood in New York, to Chicago, to Vegas and the take these events, and I've just met all my prospects in person. So that's already a flood. Then at my rollodecks on Linkedin. Then I have inbound so like I just didn't really need the volume to go sequence email, like the strs could take care of this. I'm really just profiling the myth. It's even I saw it right, or I didn't have to enough time because I was in midfunnel. than closing motions and creating decks and proposals. Like a he's are doing great work. It's very customized. It's not easy and once they've been into company for six months to two years, they have dozens of warm opportunities, are progressing and it's a lot of hours. So they have to make time to process quick and way do that they can be strategic one at a time, network focus, event focus, and they often think that these automation technologies are not necessary. That's the myth I want to poke into today. What are your thoughts? Where to begin? And I love this I've met because I think it's been it's one that's been around since, I think, sales engagements in section even even, I would say, before that. I feel like you know, there was always a class, even when we're talking like crm, there was a class between a he's and whatever technology, because there's this underline thinking of I know what I'm doing, I got this, I've been doing this, you know, a long time. I bring in revenue. Leave me alone. I don't need this technology thing. So I think it's a great one to start with, and I guess I my first question is, why do you think this myth exists in the first place? Is it just that? Is it what we've are? Always done it this way and it's worked for me so far. It's interesting because the bridge group study finds that forty percent of STRs roll up to marketing in sixty percent of sales. And I met with this company recently in La I'm in Santa Barbara, little north, and he is running this enterprise team tens of million and run rate and everyone is teams twenty years experience. He's like, don't talk to me about blasting email. That's the man Jen. I have a headed to man Jin. I've got to see ours. Go Talk to that team. And that really showed it to me. These there's this fear of like, the more senior people they've got it, they're just going to make calls. But the problem is you just have to look at the stats and the analysis. A hundred calls in the enterprise, you might get three humans to pick up. They're probably executive assistance. So it can take, you know, to do a hundred like call a dials like that could take an eight hour day. It could take at least a few hours and maybe they don't have the time. So yeah, so that's how I've seen the myth and I challenge them because if you can start to have a scalable, predictable sequence of touches, it actually gives you time. So, you know, I was working with a company and we first went manually just to set up a sequence and test these touches and then, once it was working, skilled it. And now this guy suddenly has all this pipeline, no pipeline coming out of of covid now he's got, you know, fourteen opportunities. He's working and what is he doing? He's working his opportunities and taking more meetings and he's got the sequencer, the sales engagement platform, running in the background and he trusts it because he knows it's going to set. And that's the beauty is he's now automated this piece. So instead of having to do two or three hours of prospecting a day. It's just running in the background generating meetings. It sounds too...

...easy, but remember the non easy part, which was the five hours to chop down a tree. Spend the first four hour sharpening. Actually, Gabraham Lincoln Right, measure twice, cut once. So like it's not you just, you know, buy something like outreach, plug in and boom it gets meetings. That's the other myth, that's the other problematic like they get it for the whole team. Nobody uses it. It didn't happen because you have to invest in it, just like any tool. So that's how I would kind of poke into the myth is it's the opposite way and the amount of training, like you do like a university, like outreach university. It's like you said, you take one Sunday to learn it. I have this experience recently and where I brought one of these platforms into a Tech Company and the veteran seller who had been selling for twenty years, would never done automation, took to it like a duck to water. And you know, he went through like the training and he set up some sequences and he did it. But what was cool is like two, three weeks later he was building more and he was asking what crush it's like, you know, he was digging it in on his own doing it now, like he had a sort of avoiding it had to be prodded. The Light Bulb had gone off. So I just think if you love prospecting and you're in any revenue roll, why wouldn't you take your best prospecting and start automating it? Get Time back in your day step on tartly. Totally. Yeah, I think that's number the number one kind of argument. I'm here and there. It's like and it's almost like I'm another points to another broadom I but it's kind of like, actually, the more you automate, the more time you have to be human, right, the more time you have to personalize, the more time you have to be white glove, right. That's what a lot of these s pride themselves on. It's like, oh, like white gloves, super you know, high touch, everything's very customized, very personal, and when you automate the things that don't need that level, you can spend even more time making those extra improvements to the other parts of the process. Just huge, and I don't know if you're hearing this in the market but certainly from where I'm sitting in the companies I'm talking to is I don't really know what happened during covid. I guess everyone's pipeline took a massive hit. But since since covid hit, I'm finding way more AE teams are now mandated to prospect. We were kind of like living in this fairytale Golden Times where pipeline was good. At our BEDR teams were feeding our a's and a lot of a's weren't prospecting. And now that I don't think I can find a team anymore where the a's aren't supposed to be prospecting. Are you seeing the same thing? Definitely seeing that trend. I mean one of the best companies I worked in, the CEO mandated that the a's could only receive forty percent of their pipeline from in bound in strs and wild qbrs and like what I would call abm or ABS ABSD, the company sales development, like another acronym, but basically eachae presented here the two hundred counts I'm going after this quarter and then, like dovetailed with the str and has shared spreadsheets. And so I saw this in the best most aggressive companies prior to this all happening in more are adopting that best practice. I want to double click on some of you said earlier. Is I always look at it as a back burner and a front burner. There are types of emails that you can write to the probably you can't automate and there's certain prospects, like if I'm going to reach out to to manny, the head of outreach right I'm not going to put them in a blast sequence. Like, even if it's the best sequence ever, I'll probably just write the CEO of a massive company myself, if I'm brave enough to do that. That's nothing. A lot of reps won't reach high. Now you if it was really meaningful, you probably could get a bunch of sea levels, but you might want to slow down and make that a really special sequence. That is not as frequent because I'm probably not going to hit up the sea level as as much was maybe midlevel or the user level. So yeah, this trend is big. It's like everybody needs to prospect, and... I do think there's like a revolution going on where people have text acts, they haven't learned how to use them. They're dusting them off. They're getting out there now. The warning is if everyone starts using a sequence technology or touch pattern Omni channel cadences, what's going to happen is noise. But just like the telephone, your opportunity now, if you're an a you listening to this, is make your message better, pick better targets. Do it like use the tool and use it in a better way and you'll stand out. I always talk about like Tiger Woods, and you know, I go golfing with Tiger Woods and I've got the onezerollar big birth of driver. It's like space age man uberillium. I don't know. I think that's like a radioactive element, titani and whatever it's. You know, I got the best club in the world. He's got like a rusty five iron from the S. he'll slaughter me. There's no way I'll be like. I'll just slice worse into the trees and I'll just be all the next I'm not a golfer. So it's you know, you can't trust the tool. You've got to trust what the tool is automating and get better at the process you're automating. That's that's my biggest takeaway. I about that, but that's story sounds way too much like what I was literally during last night about with I am not a good Golfer and I borrowed my buddies Dad's actually, set of golf clubs that were beautiful and didn't go so well. So, like that is a hard game, I'm telling you. I'm more into the whole idea of like Golf Cart Polo, you know, where you just drive the cards and you know, get the follow some other hybrid and all right. So I like it. I hear. I hear everything you're saying. I think that's a fantastic analogy in a great way to look at it. I guess the last thing I want to poke at in this myth is that we're not just talking about pipeline, sales technology, sales engagement platforms and not just for getting meetings. Right. There is so much more now that these things can do. When you look at that, you know you're an AE and you need to create a mutual action plan, while a lot of engaging platforms have that ability now where you could like tag a prospect that you're working with and keep them accountable and keep them on a timeline, which is really cool. For me if I was like managing, you know, your managing thirty open opportunities. That's a lot of things to stay on top of. And you can start to use this guided selling motion to not fully just automatically send something, but keep you on the right track. And every week and a half there's a temple that POPs up that has some sort of value added touch that is going to keep that that deal going forward. How are you seeing in the market people using, you know, sales engagement to kind of run a guided selling motion and not not just create meetings? This is one of the biggest challenges is staying organized. It's staying organized on the touches. It's like you need your platform to remind you that you've only sent one linkedin touch. What a huge miss. You know, it's really hard when you're processing dozens or hundreds of prospects to remember to follow up. And then the cadence, the sequence technology. Now it's gotta tell you the different Omnichannel touches to organize you and even recommend which one you should do. In the future of this stuff is it starts to get really wild because they can be crunching you know, benchmarks across the industry, benchmarks across the system and the systems can get smart and predictive and recommend a touch on a certain time. You know it alert you in different ways, and that's like, that's the power of the technology being smarter. You think the Dune bar principle, right, like the human brain, the NEO CORTEX, can only hold a hundred and fifty nodes. And so now we have a linked in and we have five thousand connection. You and I like tens of thousand connections. We can't remember mall, but the...

...system helps us, so we kind of can see the people. When you're a full scale a and you're deep in the weeds, I mean you're a year in, your sales force is just a mess, in a good way, right, if you're getting a lot of pipeline. Yeah, how do you stay organized and you've built these outbound prospecting campaigns? How do you remember who you've touched, who you haven't touched? which touch, which channel? Just pure organization is killers. So yeah, I love the future of Guid it selling because I want these systems to be aware, predictive, reminding me, coaching me and telling me, like what I should do next. And so that's a big piece of the promise. Now I do this a lot. And spreadsheets again, going way back. Yeah, yeah, Google sheets, and I'm like last touch and like who we are this and like I manually do this stuff. But the dream is when I when I can put my spreadsheet down and just write like in like in my car, I have a heads up display that, you know, tells me I don't have to look at the panels here. I have a floating orange speed so it tells me if I'm out going over the speed limit. It's floating always. In my view, that, to me, is is the futuristic element of this. Is, like I'm on the zoom call right with you right now and I'm getting signals of what I should do. So I'm a futurist. I go way, way down the rabbit hole this question. There's a lot more in these platforms now that you don't realize that you could be utilizing. That's all I'm saying. Yeah, power do way and it's going to be exciting few years to see this. I'll come together and I hear you with that. You know, real time next best action being served up, like this stuff is all coming. It's basically here right with AI and conversational intelligence, listening your phone calls, and I say, okay, awesome, Justin like, I'll put some time on the calendar for for next week at this time. I'm going to get a set of notes after prompting me. Hey, make sure that happens soon. I'm sure that will all be automatic. It's super exciting time to be a seller right now. I mean like kind of I think everyone should approach it with that attitude you have right. It's like this. This wasn't always the way and this is so cool. This is like people using Dune Buggies, which still a lot of sellers are still operating that way. A lot of account executives are, and now, you know, there's an opportunity to have what the Tesla were there and not every account executive is is embracing it, which is interesting. I have a card or seven hundred and sixty seven. You know, I think it's that question. It's like, well, okay, we have horse and Buggy. We need faster horses and the the collective of SASS. They're saying we need better sellers, we need better sellers. Well, it's it's sort of the same question because right, if if it's a horse and buggy versus a BMW, and then you go in the cockpit of the BMW, there's like eighty two buttons in the cockpit, and then you go to Tesla, it's just like one touch interface. Then you can upgrade the car through software, through the cloud. What you know it's like. It's always just the progression. You know, for this, this progression of technology and the problems, you need both. You need great sellers with great technology, but it's not mutually exclusive. It's table stakes. Now, right, you're going to have a competitor who nails this stuff and if you're not, you're going to be left behind. And it's because the output in efficiency. If you start getting the automation game, one person, instead of sending manually, you know, twenty five emails per day, they're sending a hundred and fifty personalized, targeted emails per day that look great, even maybe better than the other one. Okay, within a couple weeks they've done what that one person has done, what your team of five is done. So they're getting these exponential iron man like outputs and you're sitting there playing a quality game. But the technology is to advanced. I can go on and on with the metaphors. A lot of the iron man one. I feel like that. Yeah, the iron man students is very relevant. I always I'll double click there. I always say iron human, you know, to keep everybody I didn't name the Superhero, so it...

...was just like double click. I definitely believe everyone can have their Jarvis and just, you know, exponential. Absolutely all right. In the final minute or to everyone's busy. They're probably listening this episode. They could be working out that, could be on a meeting. They've got this in their ear and it's hard to remember everything. If people just remember you know three things from this myth that we kind of tried to look at from a few different ways. What would you like those three things to be to approach this myth? Yeah, how to solve it? Solve it. Yeah. One, if you're an ae do you need automation? It is your competitive advantage too. If your boss will not fund it, get a trial. There are automation tools that are nearly free. Prove it off for yourself. Bring that case, study backs, show the pipeline. Show them if you have to change companies because it's that important. Number three, I think about your Iq and your Equ and your tq and think about excel. You use five percent it, learned a little bit better? Kaisen one percent per day. So you don't have to be a coder or technical to use these platforms. These are intuitive, wizzy wig, what you see is what you get. Platforms made for non technicals. This is not made for a coder. You can learn this stuff. I've worked with Luttye people who's like I'm the worst with technology, that can barely use linkedin. They can't even send an email and I've put them in these automation platforms and they've taken like a duck to water. So That's a myth. It's not hard to use your resistive because you think it's going to be like coating or something the one time you try code. It's not like that. There's beautiful interfaces, it walks you through, there's tooltips, it's you know, I sound I sound like I'm featuring the choir, but you know, everyone can use I remember, remember when your mom couldn't get on facebook and now she's, you know, mastered it. Same Way. I love it. I love it. Use It. It is your competitive advantage. The second one you know, I bought a lot of sales technology myself at various organizations I've been at when I can't push something through and most organizations, if they are good organizations, will take your test, look at your results and that the results are there, they'll go and probably even back date whatever you spent on it. The EQ Iq. Jumping in, spend a Sunday afternoon sharpening the sharpening the axe. I love it. Justin this was a lot of fun. Man excited to jump on the next myth with you. Will get that going in the probably next week. And thank you all the listeners for hanging out with us. I always appreciate you and we'll see you next time. See you soon. Things again. This was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. To help this get in front of more eyes and ears, please leave us a shining five star review. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes. Resources in the book on sales engagement to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy. Make sure to check out outreach. That ioh, the leading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

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