The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

How to Use Tech to Streamline Your SDR Role w/ Dan Gottlieb


Dan Gottlieb, Sales Development Analyst at TOPO, is our guest on today’s episode of The Sales Engagement Podcast. Dan walks us through the evolution of sales tech and how you can use it to scale your sales team at twice the pace of your competition. Tune in!

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast. This podcast is brought to you by outreach dot I oh, the leading sales engagement platform helping companies, sellers and customer success engage with buyers and customers in the modern sales era. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon. Now let's get into today's episode. Welcome back, everybody to the sales engagement podcast. We got another exciting show for you today. My name is Joe Big Nolo. I am senior content managing editor over an outreach and today I'm joined by Dan got laid from Topo. He's an analyst focusing on sales development and we're going to be talking a little bit about what Dan is seeing, what I'm seeing highly successful sales organizations doing day to day. So we're going to get into some of that nitty gritty, but before we do that I'm going to toss it on over to day and who can tell us a little bit about himself and his background and Dan. Welcome. Nice to talk to you, Joe. Thanks Lot for having me on the show. I'm really excited to be here. As you mentioned, I'm an analyst at Topo and I've been here for about a year and change and my job here is to support our clients and sales development and help conducts trend research around the patterns and plays of high performing, high growth teams, how package them and then support a lot of our clients and adopting those patterns in place. It's a really exciting place to be in this industry. Before this I was doing some consulting work on my own and when sales development, and before that I was running sales enablement and supporting sales development teams at a number of SASS companies in Brooklyn, New York, Brooklyn, but and now and based in the bay area. And before that I carried a bag for several years on my own, running a region and being responsible for all the revenue coming in from that region. And what I love about this job is that I when I love about sales development in general is that it's this exciting and dynamic place to be. Every day you've got these young, hungry reps that are excited about their possibilities for their job and their career and you've got this really challenging daytoday grind, and so it's this sort of interesting cocktail where really effective leaders and what I love about the role is energizing, motivating and providing some structure and how you can develop skills that you could take anywhere in your career, and not just in sales but in marketing customer success. You want to be an entrepreneur, sales development's a great place to start, right, and so that's a little bit about me and I'm really grateful that I we can be on the show. Thanks for having me well, thanks for being here and we really appreciate you being the let's jump right into the topic of the podcast. The name of the PODCAST sales and engagement. Right, it's it's a lot of people are talking about that. I'm sure day to day you have companies coming to... saying, is this something that we should be investing in? What does it mean to you? What a sales engagement mean to you, because everyone kind of has a different, different opinion, different definition. What does it mean to you? And then maybe we can go into some of the technologies that support a successful sales engagement approach? Sure, yeah, so, I mean sales engagement, it consists of a number of different interactions, right, but sales engagement is the various ways that a seller is going to interact with a prospect. That could be digitally right. That can be over a web meeting like this. It can be in person, right. It can be over the phone, can be over chat, it could be every email. It's really just any kind of engagement in between a seller and a buyer. And so when we talk about sales engagement technology, it's just any kind of tool that helps sales reps deliver a efficient and high quality interactions with prospects at scale and ways that they can repeat. And so that's that's what it means to me, specifically right, and I think that there's a lot of different things that that fall under that umbrella. We have plug for we just published some research about this. You can go to Topo. I'm just putting the Google on topos. Sales engagement the definitive guide and some of our research will show up around this. And when it comes to sale engagement technology, what excites us about it is the potential for intelligent automation and for managing all of these sort of different touch points across different channels from one place. That's what really excites us about sales engagement technology. Is the way that it can really just simplify the way the specifically a sales development rep as well as an inside sales rep, conducts their job, including a field sales rep when they're working from home, when they're not out in the field that day. Right, there's a lot of potential for the way that this technology can just simplify that role and simplify the way that we're engaging with prospects. So take us back a little bit. When you were carrying a bag and you were actually doing the setting out there. Do you wish you had some of these sales engagement tools that are out there right now to help you complete your mission every day? Yeah, absolutely. In fact, when I sales engagement was just getting started. When I write these kinds of tools, this way of thinking, automating the touch patterns as well as tracking the effectiveness of touch patterns over a sustained period to figure out which one's work I actually remember using one of the early vendors that has since been acquired by Marquetto way back in the day. Right, and way back might be relative to me, depending on WHO's listening here, but basically it was instrumental in helping me organize the way that I would attack my day and it was also instrumental in reminding me what I need to do right before. I was using that technology. You would log into sales force and, if you were effective at using tasks to set up your... steps for yourself, what you would have every day when you log in it's this big, giant list of tasks, largely if you were overdue right, most of them read yelling at you and it was hard to look through that list and figure out, how do I prioritize this? How do I make sense of it? And so you would find that reps would come up their own little system. They would either move it out to excel and they would use basic checks to see where they're at, to see who they should they follow up with, who deserves a follow up call, etc. Who deserves fault email? Should I nurture this person? Is this a nurture touch or is this someone I should actually be trying to schedule a meeting with? Right? All of that was sort of kind of disorganized, and so you would just be going through your tasks and trying to figure out what is the next best action, and that, a lot of the time was paralyzing and so it, which you would end up doing is just kind of creating your own little to do list of what you should do that day. It really wasn't as effective and helping me manage a prioritize the large volume of activity that I that I had to generate as a rep in order to get the meetings and send the follow ups that I needed to. Yeah, I find that if you're using just sales force tasks, eventually you have so many overdue tasks because you're just you get buried in them that they just becomes noise and you your own little process outside of it to try and manage the workflows. You do mention sales force and they are throwing their head into the sales engagement ring. What's up with that and what does it mean for the larger sales engagement category? Well, I want to answer that question in a couple ways. I think the first thing to talk about is what's going on in sales engagement right in general and around simplifying the way that the rep is executing their task, especially in sales development. And then I want to get back to sales for storing their hat in the ring with the high velocity sales cloud tools. Right. So I think what we're seeing really effective sales development teams do on a daily and a regular basis is they're simplifying what they're asking sales development reps to accomplish every day. How are they doing that? The first one is they're simplifying account selection by, instead of saying here, here's your territory, pick the account right, which can be very timeconsuming, they're using more sophisticated data tools and ideal customer profile activities to say here are the twenty five to a hundred to two hundred accounts I want you to work this month, this week, right. And so the prescribing the accounts that they want them to work and that's really important to understand, because now the reps job is to identify the appropriate contacts, both was in the CRM, their data solution, and using Linkedin, and then use touch patterns that are set up inside sales engagement technology to just map them to the appropriate touch pattern and then work them. So let me walk you through a day in the life. Right from SR I sit at my desk and I've been following this method. My morning is just set up to follow up on specific tasks that have been assigned to... based on the various touch patterns. I put them in right my high quality touches at my high quality accounts, my lower touch touch patterns at my lower priority accounts, etc. And then after lunch I'm going to spend, say, an hour and a half putting ten new contacts into specific touch patterns. And so, with the touch patterns are doing and with the technology allows us, for a rep, to be very focused, I'm only going to call people that are at this stage of my touch patterns for the next half hour, then the hour after that on us and the follow up emails for those individuals, and then after that I'm going to focus on the calls for these other touch patterns that are alive right now, and then I'm going to spend the next hour adding the ten new into my daily touch pattern activities. Right. And so the job is just the little bit simplified in terms of how much administrative decisionmaking coming required out of a sales development rat and all of these behaviors, all of these tasks are happening out of a single dashboard right one place for me to log in to navigate the account, pick the account, make the call, send the email, all in one spot. It's saving a lot, tremendous amount of cognitive energy. And so, coming back to your original question, right, what's happen opening in sales engagement that gets sales force back in the game? Well, it's the user experience and the user interface issue, right. WHY DID SALES ENGAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY EVEN EXIST? Because sales force decided that the reps experience wasn't as important for them in the development of their tools, right. And so there's just became this market for simplifying the way I actually log stuff in that tool all day and I think that that challenge became big enough that sales force invested in tools that allow the inside sales rep to execute some of those tasks from a single spot. Their investment in work use right does acknowledge that task que challenge, but I think it kind of misses the mark on executing everything from one place and making that process really simple and understanding that reps hone in for durations of time to focus on different touches and different workflows in order to be efficient with their time. I think what's really interesting is that in sales engagement right. Effective teams are tips saying here's an account, here's a persona we value in that account, and so here's the prescriptive touch pattern you should put them into. Oh, the disposition has to change. Will Guess what? That disposition automatically triggers some kind of new touch pattern to put them in, such as a follow up or the they didn' show up to the meeting. Right, we have different touch patterns for those kinds of in areas. I think that layering Einstein on top of the workflow ques is interesting to see that there's potential there and perhaps helping recommend the appropriate touch pattern to pull it a prospect in based on the disposition...

...of a call or where they're at or they just didn't engage at all and any of your activities. I think it's just there's a lot of exciting ways that that kind of technology could help. In general. I think what it does them putting their hat in the ring is it sends a signal that we we need to invest and that there is a significant opportunity to help reps execute this multi channel, complex array of touches across multiple channels from one spot right, and that's really important. To understand, because the reps user experience is is very valuable, and I come from the biased standpoint and unfortunately for them they are multiple years behind the ball here. I mean right there. They are starting in last place with this type of product. So it's great to validate the category and I'm looking forward to see and kind of what they put together, but it's an uphill battle, I think, for sales forts of this point, but it at least they're doing something. I'd say that the challenge here, right, is what to sales leaders value the most? Right now, that's the question, right. What do you value the most? Our research says that consistent execution, that consistent messes Jing right, that conversion rates are what sales development leaders really care about and optimizing the tools around those problems is going to be whoever does that the best, the fastest and can package it in a way that they can sell. Those are going to be the leaders here. And you know, I think that sales force, with their customer three hundred and sixty there, their focus is really in a different direction when it comes to sales engagement. So it's a little bit bigger than just apples to apples, and that scenario. But it's really important to understand why is sales engagement even being why is money being spent on it? Right, you're not going to go to sales force and say, you know what I really need dialing automation. I'm going to go buy sales force now. Instead, sales force is already got they've already got this huge market, right. They've they've got the CRM. Most people use those terms, crm and sales force relatively interchangeably in certain and certain circles, and I think that it's an easy switch for them to turn on. But what it comes to, where is sales engagement technology going? I think that obviously there are companies that are much more invested in solving those problems. Makes Sense. Yeah, I want to go back a little bit to the radical simplification of the sales process. Right. You really with sales engagement, you really put up the guard rails so that the job of a sales development rep becomes very simple? How does that fit into kind of their day to day outbound prospecting and and all of their activities? Like what are the benefits for the Individual Rep, like? What can they see every day when you radically simplify their process. I want to just a course correct. I definitely I'm going to get into that. I think that this job is is not simple. What is happening is...

...that the gaps in why it's been so hard to execute or being addressed and that technology makes it easier for a rep to focus. And so when I say, and I can, when I say radically simplify, what I'm saying is remove the noise and allow the reps to focus on the tasks that of the highest return on investment for the business, that is making phone calls, engaging with more prospects and having better timing and relevant messaging when reaching out to them. Right. That is the high level benefit. Now, how is it being simplified? Well, let's first identify where does the time go? Right, where does the time go and sales development? When it's not being spent on those activities, it's typically a couple of areas. Area Number One, picking the accounts to work in the first place. Right, we're seeing investments outside of sales engagement that are allowing for those accounts to be selected a little bit easier and that's being supported by revenue operations teams, by sales operations teams by marketing in some circumstances, and they're saying these are the accounts we should be working right, and that's really important understand, because if you're spending a certain percentage of time trying to figure out which accounts to work, that's time that you're not spending reaching out. So that's step. Are An area number one, arey number two or the contacts right. So who do I pick once I know what counts I want to reach out to? which are the people that I want to pick to reach out to? And that's being simplified by the use of multi threaded stakeholder planning. And basically what I mean is investing in contact coverage data, making it very clear who the individuals that we should go after at those accounts. So your time spent researching and account is it not spent figuring out which account? I've already got the account and now I've got this list that says these are the kinds of people that I should be going after and these are the touch patterns I should move them into. So my job is just to figure out of the titles that I'm looking at right now on sales navigator or in our data solution right, which are those people who I think best match my list here, and then you can move them onto a touch pattern right, a sequence or a caidence or whatever you want to call it. And once I've done that, now I want to do some research to tailor maybe the first touch, and only a certain part of that first touch, to those individuals. And so that sort of process of accounts to contacts, to loading them into the system, to researching them before you pressend or make the first call, that that's being condensed into less clicks, less steps and much clearer focus on how to have one and to be related to number three and four right in terms of crafting that messaging. And so the sooner you speed up that gap, the more context you're... to generate into these touch patterns and then the more you're able to just focus on working the existing live touch patterns that you have at a time. And so if I'm a sales development manager or leader, I'm looking at how many people do you have engaged live in a touch pattern? Right now, that's sort of becoming the new area of audit for those leaders. It's not how many calls did you make, how many activities, how many. You're actively engaged. I trust you're going to make the calls and send the emails because I've made it a lot easier for you to do the heavy lifting, to figure out what to say and figure out who you should be doing sending the calls and emails out to. Right. Does that help? I guess clarify. That's sort of area number one is of simplification. Area Number two of simplification is the actual messaging in the touch patterns themselves. So reach for shows that it is eighty percent of the touch pattern. You can have eighty percent of your messages be templated and have double your probability of a reply, and that's really important to know because the question is, now, what twenty percent of my messaging do I need to customize? And and so companies that are doing this really well are creating these touch patterns aligned to different personas and so allowing some of that messaging that matters to that persona to be templated. But of the REP is focusing on creating more relevance to that person right. So to summarize, why is my job being simplified? or where is a simplification happening? It's in the selection to getting them live in a touch pattern and then the simplicity with which I'm picking a touch pattern and then executing the touches because I can do it all in the sales engagement platform. I don't think I've heard that statistic about eighty percent of your messaging or of the touch points can be templatized messaging, and that's really interesting it I do want to ask whose responsibility is it to create that prescriptive messaging? Is it the sales manager? You pulling in marketing, because they probably had some part of creating the ICP? Who Does that fall upon? Yeah, who does it? I mean who does WHO's the responsible party? Right, million dollar question. It's not about who's responsible, it's you got to be practically and you got to be human about this one. Right. There is no check box that says that person should own it, to that person should own it, or what. I think there needs to be a team effort and it needs to be a data driven approach at picking out an iterating over time. I think that you want the messaging to reflect what a person might actually type into an emailt right. And however, when it comes to making that message specific, based on the person that you're you're speaking to or the persona that you're reaching out to. I think that there's an opportunity for marting to support with content or with sound bites that makes sense for a certain persona. They may take sound bites from customer studies. So it's a team effort to develop them. They've got to be supported by the sales engagement team, the sales development team... that they're excited about using those touch patterns right and that they're they feel a confident in them. You can't just roll up as a marketing leader, drop it on their desk and say that's what you're going to send out today. It's got to be a little bit more collaborative than that in order for it to be successful, because that's the only way both parties are going to be excited about the outcome. Absolutely, one hundred percent agree. If you were to leave our listeners with one piece information after listening to this podcast today, what would that be? I would say two things. The first thing is to look at and examine how much time and effort your reps are putting into picking and identifying accounts to work, as well as then conducting contact research on those individuals. Look into that and look at areas for optimization there in terms of saving time. The second would be, if you've have in sales engagement technology today, really think about what is my touch pattern playbook look like? What are the situations? Am I over complicating it? Do I need that many touch patterns? Can I keep it a little bit simpler and does the messaging in those are is there opportunity for my reps to still personalize where it's appropriate? Those would be my takeaways from this discussion. Awesome. Thank you so much, Dann, for be on the show to day. People wanted to get ahold of you. How can they do that? Hit me up on Linkedin. Dan got lead Topo. Not that many of us, in fact, is only one. Could also email me if you want, first initial last name at Topo hqcom. Love to hear from the audience and always open to a good debate and discussion about this topic. It's fast and furious and rapidly changing, really exciting and it's just a fun thing to think about. Yeah, I mean fast, furious, fascinating, and you are one of the experts in the space, so have a feeling you may be inundated with emails, but looking forward to it. Yeah, Dan, thanks again for be on the show and thank you all to the listeners for tuning in once again, and we will see you next time on the sales engagement podcast. Thanks. They are my thanks a lot. See soon. This was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. Join US at sales engagementcom or new episodes, resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon. To get the most ED of your sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out outreach. Do I owe the leading sales and easement plant. See you on the next episode.

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