World’s leading expert in sales technology and the co-founder of Vendor Neutral. Having created the widely recognized “Nancy Nardin’s SalesTech Landscape,” a graphic of the entire sales technology market, Nancy has been recognized in Forbes as one of the Top 30 Social Sales Influencers in the World and has won numerous top industry sales thought leadership awards.
Nancy was featured on our Limitless webinar on January 28, 2020 at 11 AM EST. Nancy had poured in some insightful views on prospecting and how one can engage prospects 10x.
Key takeaways from this webinar:
- Cold-calling hacks for getting prospects to hear you out
- Email hacks for getting prospects to respond
- Productivity hacks for getting more done
Click here to watch the complete webinar:
Speaker: Nancy Nardin
Vivek: Hello everyone, welcome to another edition of limitless webinar series. We'll be bringing the top sales thought leaders in the industry to share their best practices, their vast experiences, and most importantly, actionable inputs that you can really input in your jobs. To kick-start 2020, we have an amazing guest with us, the founder of Smart Selling Tools, Nancy Nardin. Welcome Nancy, thanks for joining us.
Nancy: Thank you.
Vivek: So we have a lot of attendees coming in and…
Nancy: Sounds good. From all over, it looks like, it’s great.
Vivek: Guys, if you can hear us, just give us a shout out. There's a comment section below, you can add your comments there. If you have any questions for Nancy, there's a Q&A tab underneath, please feel good add your questions there. She'll be answering either during the webinar or at the end of the webinar, there's a dedicated ten minutes section for Q&A. So just let us give us a one moment for the participants to join and settle in. Great then, let's get started.
My name is Vivek and I'm the product marketing manager at Hippo video. So here's the agenda for the today's webinar. First, I will give you a short description of Hippo video. Who we are and what we do, follow it with a quick video. It shouldn't take more than three minutes, I promise, then it's all about Nancy and prospecting.
So Hippo video is a video personalization and distribution platform. So just give me a moment, I'll share my screen. So yeah, Hippo video is a video personalization and a distribution platform. It's all about leveraging videos for business, for sales professional especially. Whether you want to shoot a quick video and send it to your prospect or take one video asset and send it to all your contacts but by personalizing all the elements, such as name, company name or any other aspect of personalization. You can do everything using Hippo video. Another aspect of Hippo video is distribution. Whether you want to send a video email or you want to embed your video in a blog post or a website or in social channels like LinkedIn and Facebook, you can absolutely do that. The latest addition of Hippo video is LinkedIn sales navigator. I presume a lot of you are avid uses of sales navigator. So if you want to send a video message on LinkedIn sales navigator, you can use Hippo video. So here is a quick two minutes video of Hippo video.
Send hundreds of mundane text, emails, hoping to get a response or a meeting. If you are one of them, we know your struggle. However, to prospect all these texts emails look the same. How can inside sales breakthrough this noise to stand out? Simple, by humanizing your selling with personalized videos. Start by including videos in your sales outreach. Record a quick intro video, edit it online, personalize the thumbnail and send it via email. Video email humanizes your conversations, makes you look real and get you those coveted responses. Add interactive calls to action in your videos to encourage your viewers to book more meetings. Account Executives can also make the best use of Hippo video. Include personalized sales pages in your emails to move your prospects quickly through the sales funnel. Hippo video lets you personalize your entire sales page with the curated content that instantly connects with your prospects. You can pin quick video intros, product demos, customer testimonials and contract PDFs on the same page and share it. Hippo video provides a real-time viewer analytics to help you see how your potential customers engage. Based on the analytics, you can easily plan your follow-ups and close deals effectively. Hippo video is integrated with popular sales platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot, Outreach, Vorketo, Outlook, Gmail and MailChimp. You don't have to juggle between tabs to set your video sales funnels in action. Using Hippo video, sales teams can seamlessly convert leads into customers by incorporating videos throughout their buyers’ journey. Isn't that well? Use videos to speed up your sales and sell your brand better.
Nancy: That was great. People have to be impressed with that. I mean, we're gonna be talking about that and how it helps you actually get someone to engage. But that was a great video to show what it does.
Vivek: Oh, thank you. So that's all about Hippo video. Next, we welcome our guest Nancy. This is a bit about Nancy Nardin. She's the founder of smart selling tools incorporated. She's a world leading expert in sales technology. She's widely recognized for sales tech landscape, it's beautiful infographic. You can see it right behind her and I also have it on next slide. If you are into sales and if you are looking for the right sales tools, this is a culmination with detailed analytics of each and every sales tool for every component of your sales journey. It's brilliant. There are over 600 tools. Please do check it out. Don't worry we'll also be sharing the link to the infographic, you can go check it out after the webinar. She's one of the most recognized by force as the top 30 social sales influences in the world. In LinkedIn, as the top 15 sales influences to follow for the year 2020. So follow her on LinkedIn.
Nancy: Thank you.
Vivek: So as you mentioned, Nancy, there are over 600 tools and as you mentioned in your sales tech landscape. Shouldn't that be easier selling be easier with all these tools in place?
Nancy: Well that's a good question. Yes, it should be but I have a kind of a Yogi Berra kind of saying which is that the easier things get the harder they are. I'll go into that in more detail but there's a lot of things that are happening right now on the buyers’ side that are, as soon as we make an advance in tools because of what's happening on the buyer side, it almost evens out. So let me explain a little in a little more detail I'm going to start out by going back in time briefly here. My first job in sales was in Silicon Valley and I was selling for grid systems, the world's first laptop, computer and that's a picture of it right there. Now this is encased in magnesium and you can see the screen size. It was a big clunker. I mean it was heavy but this was a time when not everyone even had a desktop PC on their desks. So what we had as tools were basically CRM and that came out shortly after the laptop and then this whole concept of a digital slideshow was brand-new. Imagine not having to bring a carousel of real slides along with you and hoping you didn't spill them or need to rearrange or anything like. So that's what we were dealing with now. Now, I mean then, now you think about all the tools that we have available to us and you think gosh it should be a whole lot easier, right. Well here's what we're up against on the buyer’s side and the seller side too, for that matter.
So three minutes is the amount of time spent working before an employee switches tasks. Can you imagine? I'm sure everyone on the line can probably relate. 56 times, that's the number of times an average employee is interrupted in their work everyday. It's a wonder anyone can get anything done, right.
Vivek: Or a chat or something pops up.
Nancy: Exactly, right, we're constantly being interrupted. By the way, guess what, a cold email or a cold call is? It's an interruption and that's what you're up against. Some more stats here, two hours that's the time per day an average employee spends recovering from the interruption. So it's not just that they're being interrupted but you lose time cognitively each time that you're interrupted because you have to try to refocus back on what you were doing. So if your buyer on the other end of a cold call sounds annoyed, that's probably one of the reasons. 31 hours, that's the time per month that an employee spends in unproductive meeting. So when we're not trying to get our work done and being interrupted, we're spending time in meetings. This is what your buyer is going through, so this is what you face.
Now, and on top of that, you're busy, you've got a gazillion things that you have to do. You're reviewing your list, figuring out who you should contact next, what did you do with that last prospect, what's the next step, maybe you get an email so you're interrupted. Then you've realized oh I forgot to respond to someone, maybe you're looking for a sales asset because you need to send out another email. So it's not like you can just you know make one phone call then make another one then make another one or send one email after another. There's lots of things that interrupt your time and that you need in order to do those things effectively. The bottom line is that selling has gotten harder. Right, I'm sure some of you have experienced that and for those of you I noticed that there were a number of company, CEO is that it signed up for, the webinar. That's what your salespeople are facing. So you might you know be a little sensitive to that fact. Not that, oh you feel badly for them but what can we do to make their job easier and help them be more effective.
So what we tend to do is just say well, what we need to do is just do as much volume as we can. Send out as many emails as we can and make as many phone calls as we can. But here's the problem with this there are six times the number of SDRs now and we've all seen the growth in inside sales and the SDR is the importance of that role. Now there are six times as many of you. And with tools like connect and sell, you're able to make 10 times the number of calls without those types of tools. Add to that, you're able to make a 100 more emails, sorry send a 100 more emails. So what does that mean that means? Six times more STRs, 10 times the number of calls, 100 times the number of emails. Can you imagine what that means for the prospect? You're not the only one that's trying to contact them. So your prospect doesn't want to talk, and don't take it personally, but they're bombarded. You're not, again, the only one calling them. They also don't have time necessarily to talk. Now through it all, this is why I appreciate sellers so much is that you've got to keep a positive attitude not take things personally. It maybe this will help you to understand why that they are so busy and how they might react but it also tells you that the way you approach it has to be different, it has to get their attention, somehow you have to break through and that's really what we're going to be talking about today.
I just wanted to, if I haven't depressed you enough yet, there are a couple more stats here. 98% of cold calls don't lead to an appointment. So there might be a lot of reasons for that; maybe you never breakthrough, maybe it was the wrong person, you know you're leaving voicemails. So there's a lot of reason but that's again it's volume and it takes 18 or more dials to connect with a prospect over the phone and that could be someone even that filled out your webform. So someone who's presumably interested in what you do, it can still take that many dials. Remember, I mentioned the numbers game.
Vivek: 18 or more, that is like very huge number. Most people, including me, I would rather give up before if I cold call.
Nancy: Well that's right, yeah that's right and again that's to connect with the prospect. So think about all the time that is wasted. I'll just throw out the concept of the lean manufacturing where we finally learned how to move products and raw materials more efficiently. Well we could think about it from a seller's perspective as well. How can we move or make connections and engage with our prospects more effectively, and that's what we're going to be talking about. But with all of that sheer volume and all in the number of reps that have all cranked up the volume. Right, back when I was selling, we didn't even have email so it was a little bit easier to break through but right now we're kind of approaching sales like the Dust Bowl. And Howard Dover, one of the university professors of sales at University of Dallas, Texas, talks about this concept that the increased outreach has led to diminishing returns and that's very much like what happened in the Dust Bowl. We don't want our industry to turn into or you're prospecting efforts to turn into one big Dust Bowl.
All right, so what do we do? Well, you can think about new tools that can help you or new processes. Those are the things that we have available. How can we do things differently and what tools can we use? And when you think about that, ask yourself two questions. Not just how can I or how can our salespeople get more done, that's the trap we fall into. What you want to ask is what will be the outcome of that increased activity because you don't want to hit that diminishing return phenomenon.
All right, the end result is that you have as a sales person you have to be smarter. You can't be the same as everyone else. You've got to be smarter about your market, smarter about your prospects, smarter about the way you reach out to people that means you have to be more relevant than ever before and use your time in the wisest way possible. Right now, you're thinking about things like well who should I call all, right? Who meets my ideal customer profile? What should I know before I call them? How should I contact them? What's the best time to contact them? What should I say? How often should I reach out? Then you have to reach out right then with multiple times for each prospect and then you have to figure out who do I contact next and when I when did I try last. So you're constantly thinking about all of these questions and those are the things that tools can really help you with. Now, I'm thinking that this would be a good time to go into some tips and tricks starting with cold email.
Vivek: Yeah, almost every organization uses it and that’s what the bread and butter of sales people.
Nancy: That's right, it is bread and butter. I just want to remind people too that at this point, you know, I really like it to be interactive. Cold emailing, cold calling, is a hot subject, there's lots of varying opinions which I'm going to share with you in a second about what works and what doesn't work. So if you have ideas, you have questions about what I'm saying, you agree or disagree, feel free to put something in the Q&A because it's more fun when it's interactive and I think you’ll learn more as well.
Vivek: Yeah, guys, if you have any questions at all, there's a Q&A tab below, just pop in your questions or any suggestions at all.
Nancy: All right, so let's jump into called email and we'll go into some tips and tricks. One of the things that I think is useful exercise is to look at what doesn't work. What's an example of a bad email? By the way, I get bad emails every day. So I have an email folder for bad emails that I just move them all into and I have a folder for good emails as well, and you might want to do the same thing if you're getting emails, especially those of you that are executives on the line and use that as a teaching tool for your sales organization. Now you can see here it says four showing a connection. Now, I got this off of a site that was recommending the use of this type of email. Right, this they were recommending this as a template. Subject line, company name, in other words, the prospects company name, the plus sign and then your company name. So smart selling tools plus Hippo video, that would be the subject line.
Now, in my view, that's not very exciting. It's also lazy. It doesn't say anything, it doesn't offer value, it doesn't drive curiosity. Then, hi first name. That's fine, nothing wrong with that. My name is Nancy. I'm with smart selling tools. So I'm leading with my company which, again, you only have about seven seconds on a phone call is all you have in order to really make a connection. You have even less time with an email. So right now if I even opened it with that boring subject line and then I read my name is so-and-so with X company. We help your type of company with and then a one-liner. Now there's nothing… A couple points here; one is there's nothing wrong with templatizing, okay. So that's not the message here. But the message is that this is not the right outline even though someone is recommending this on their cold email tips. So another lesson to learn is that there's a lot of conflicting information out there about what works and what doesn't work. So what you should keep in mind is that you want to try different things so that you know what works for you with what you sell to whatever market you sell into. This might actually be a good email. Most likely it won't, but the point is that you don't know until you have some way to test, okay. So take that one with you. I'm gonna continue though on to why I don't think this is a very good email.
All right, that's great, good for you. You help companies like mine with XYZ. This next line, throw it in the trash as far as I'm concerned. I, I, so I'm making it about me, the seller. I wanted to learn how you handle a particular thing at your company and show you what we're working on. Well first of all, as a recipient you want me to tell you to teach you how I handle things? Get lost, go away. I'm busy. Well I don't understand, you want to learn. No, that's terrible. Do your research, and in my view this is just you're really pure laziness and I think if someone opened it they’d throw it right into the trash. All right, that was probably pretty harsh, and if you're sending emails out like this, don't feel bad because of what I just said, learn from it, know that the you know there's a lot of people recommending this. So you're not at fault if you've been sending something like this but learn from it and try some different things. Okay, here's another example and I've hidden the name of someone but it starts out with hi. There's no personalization at all, so there's no first name, and then it says good day. Now, I just wanted to point out something here about international differences, like good day exclamation mark. Good day is really not something that said in North America a lot. So if you're in a different country, think about the country that you're emailing and what their norms are and try to stick with those.
I have gone through your company website site and found that your company provides sales forecasting software services. Okay, now the fact that this is bolded tells me that this is a tag of some sort, you plug this in. So it right away it looks like it's a marketing email and that's another lesson to take away; as a salesperson you don't want to sound like a marketer, you want to sound like a human being. You're reaching out one person to another. So another thing about this, your company website, I've been through your company website and I found that your company provides this. Okay, you know, good for you, you went through my website and you found something. What value are you offering me? You're not grabbing my attention. Let me know if you are interested in the recently compiled database of sales forecasting software users. I mean that's not bad. The thing that this has going for it is that it's very short and sweet. Okay, so if this is indeed what I do, which it's not, and remember this was sent to me, I don't even do sales forecasting software services. But if I did, okay, you've gotten to the point. Do I need these users? You haven't told me what the value of this database would be. Please let me know you your interest. That part is not so bad.
All right, but down here I've got an unsubscribe. Now there are a lot of GDPR and compliance things that you have to be aware of. I'm not an expert on that. I will tell you, in my view, I think it's okay for a salesperson to send out a one-on-one email but the fact that it's sent out as a bulk email, there has to be an unsubscribe button and again it just leads to hey isn't this just a marketing email. I'm not going to really spend time on it, you're not emailing me one-on-one. Now, the next bad thing that happens is, this one was sent on November 6th, October-November… Yeah, this is the same person so I'm not sure the dates. Again, hi hope all is well. I'm following up on my previous email, any chance you can review and let me know if this is still of interest to you.
Not inherently bad, except for the fact that I get these it's the formula, right. You send a first email and then you send a second one. Don't know if you saw my email or if you had a chance, can you go ahead and respond. It's not offering any value, it's the same subject line. You have to send multiple emails but mix it up and don't just be lazy and send the same thing. Again, they sent the same exact email. They didn't even try to mix it up at all, same exact email and yet again… Okay, so now I've given you some examples of bad emails. I just want to see is there any questions or does any one kind of want to debate any of those things?
Okay, so let's go into some good email examples. This is one that I got and I'm just showing you this is what showed up in my inbox preview. Okay, 18 seconds. Hi Nancy, I'll keep this short to make the 18 seconds it takes to read this worth your time, and then it says yes, that was the preview. So that looks kind of interesting. All right, this person is aware that they're an interruption to me. They have said it's gonna take 18 seconds, they say they want it to be worth my time, that's a really good email opener. And this is the actual email, you can see the rest of it the preview. Yes, I timed it. Okay, that's clever. I get to speak with three CTOs, VPS and c-level tech executives every month. All right, that brings credibility. She's still talking about herself but if I'm one of those types of people then that makes me interested in the fact that she does talk to people like me all the time. One of the common pain points that I hear is about the lack of hireable software engineers. Okay, so she's introducing the problem that people like me feel. This is very personalized. It's not saying you know CEOs like you often have this problem. You see the slight difference there. Finding a single developer takes up to three to six months besides many companies report a lack of technical depth within their current on-site teams. Again, she's showing that she probably understands my pain you know. Does this sound relatable? I know how it feels and I can fix it. Interesting. She even says why I'm on her radar.
Now this goes a little astray because she says I help VC back startups well I'm not a VC back startup and product companies complement their dev teams want to have a broader conversation. Now, I even like the CTA because it allows me to say yes or no. There's some practices out there right now where the CTA is. Can I have ten minutes of your time on either Thursday or Friday of next week? Well a couple things about that. One is, it's not credible that you only want ten minutes of my time and the second thing is that now you're wanting me to go and look at my calendar. I've got to do some work, Thursday or Friday. Let me just respond with a yes or no and then we can go from there, okay.
Vivek: One of the questions posted by one of the participants is, it's mentioned, that in the form, they would like to add a catenary link as a CTA.
Nancy: Yeah, good question.
Nancy: It's often confusing because we want to have a broader conversation. It's such an open-ended question, it's a straight yes or no answer. The other school of thought says drive them to action, add a CTA to calendar so that you can try. So how should I go about it?
Nancy: Yeah, so there's a couple schools of thought on that. First of all, if you're going to be sending multiple emails, so you're going to want to mix up the CTA's and the messages. So I would say don't put two CTAs in one, we want to have a broader conversation. That's a fair question, so I'll respond yes or no or I won't respond. And if I don't respond then maybe on the next email you can have a different CTA. And it's okay to put your calendar link in there but that does require them to do the work. So I always suggest that if you put your calendar link in say for your convenience or if it's more convenient for you. I have included a link to my calendar where you can find a time that is best for you or you know give them an option, right. Does Thursday or Friday work for you or for your convenience I've included a link to my calendar and you can find a time that's best. So give them two options so they're not having to go to your calendar software in order to you know schedule an appointment with you.
All right, so I want to give you some good rules of thumbs. These are the takeaways for the subject line. One is you want to spark curiosity. So sparking curiosity that is can I make your life 20% easier. Okay, that's interesting. Not sparking curiosity is who is in charge of accounting at your company? You're asking me a favor I'm not going to open that email. By the way, again, this is an example of someone who said this is a good subject line. So there's a lot of contradictory advice out there and I'd say a lot of bad advice and a lot of good advice. I try to use what is backed up by research. The best research is your own. So to track like one of the things that you mentioned the Hippo video does is allow you to see what works and what doesn't work, those kinds of things are very important. But this is an example of what would and what would not spark curiosity. You also want your email subject lines to be concise, so typically under 40 characters. Again, can I make your life 20% easier, that's a good subject leg. Not concise, our solution can make your life 20% easier by freeing you from the time it takes blah blah blah. So be very concise with your subject lines.
Also, I want to just mention is do not be deceptive, right. So don't use a subject line because you know it's going to create curiosity and then when they open it there's really nothing about that in there. But the other thing is keep it fresh, because what works today, people are going to start to use a lot and so it won't be fresh anymore. So be thinking about you know once the email subject line isn't working as well, what else can we try. So that leads me to the test, you always want to be able to test. And even as I see you can test. Use the same exact body but just switch up the subject line a little bit. If you're sending out a lot of emails then you know you can get some good quantitative data. But the other thing is that you want the subject line to be about what's in it for them, okay. So this is an example of what's in it for the sender, I already use this example. Who's in charge of accounting at your company versus what's in it for the receiver, can I make your life 20% easier. So what you want to do is as you're creating emails, think about this, is it catchy? Does it create curiosity? Is it concise? Is it about the recipient and not about me?
All right, and for the body what you want to do basically is stand out from the crowd. One of the ways that you can do that is what Victoria did, right, with this 18 seconds. I love that. It's unique. It doesn't stand out from the crowd is the bad example I use. The reason is because it's so much easier to send out the same exact email to everyone with perhaps just changing one of the tags and so you end up looking like everyone else. If you want to stand out, you have to be different. The other thing is to have one focus. Now, this is an interesting advice from research, there's a site called sales folks and she's an email expert. One of the things she learned from her research was that bullet points are not good. Now, we think that bullet points would be good because we're taught that it helps people read and quickly grab the point, but bullet points are more than one focus. So now, as a reader, I've got to take in a lot of information. I've got to take in what this bullet point is and what this one is and what this one is. So you're asking a lot of the recipient. So the net-net of that is that bullet points are actually to be avoided. If you think about it, bullet points probably indicate that your email is too long anyway.
The next one is, and I mentioned this already, be a human, don't be like a marketer. Marketers are good at what they do, they know how to market, how to get people's attention, but that's different from selling. And then personalize. I already pointed this out that that doesn't mean custom tags. I'm going to look for something, you're in this industry. So for companies that are in manufacturing in fact I think I've got some examples, personalize doesn't mean I see you work in manufacturing, doesn't mean as a CEO you blah blah blah. It doesn't mean we work with companies like yours, that doesn't personalize. What it does mean is, I'd like to share a quick idea that has helped manufacturers gamify their sales team and exceed the revenue goal, something like that. It means you know hey that was a fantastic presentation you gave at you know XYZ event. I will use the part about you know and go into it personalize it, again, humanize it. So it's not about just tags, it's about finding some way to connect as a human.
And then last, templatizing is okay, just don't use the same email with everyone. You can use the same format, no sense in recreating the wheel. In fact, you want to look for a template that works as long as you personalize and customize it.
Any questions, are we getting any questions from the audience?
Vivek: Yeah, so one of the question is when you try to personalize, especially, when you happen to reach out to a large number of people, how do you balance that because you had mentioned?
Nancy: Yeah, that's a really good question. So there are a lot of tools out there that let you send out bulk emails on a one-on-one basis. So I've got a list of 200 people and I'm going to send them out and it's going to look like I'm sending it to just them. I would say group those people into three or four buckets that are based on commonality among them. So let's say that they are in manufacturing. So if I go back to here you can see I can still be kind of generic but yet specific. So if one group has one characteristic, play on that, but add some specifics that really personalize that rather than just mention that characteristic. So that's one way you can do it and you're still kind of saving time, you're still not personalizing it at a real deep level like this example is. So that's one way to do it.
Okay, so now we're going to talk about CTAs. Would you be specific, I mentioned that already, what is it that you want them to do? Think through that. What do you want them to do? What is the purpose of the email? By the way, it can be hey you're just wanting to get some information. So for instance on one of those where you're mixing up emails and you're sending one that looks where you're asking for a meeting, the next one can be where you're asking for information. You know, do you use what vendor are you using now to do XYZ, for instance. So think about what that CTA is, what you're trying to get out of it, if you're trying to get them to do something or you're trying to get information. And don't have more than one CTA. So would you be available for a 10-minute phone call next week or would you be able to chat on the phone for 10 minutes next week on Monday or Thursday morning? Again, I've already told you how I feel about the 10 minute thing. Some people really like it because well the one good thing about it is you're telling the prospect what to expect. I'm not going to take up a lot of your time. But for me, personally, I think 10 minutes is not credible. I've never gone no phone with a salesperson where they've only taken 10 minutes. So there are some you know you could say 20 minutes. Don't say brief, because I don't know what that means. So again, this is something you want to experiment with. And you could say… Oh, I think I duplicated the slide there, okay. So that's how cold emailing, hopefully you got some good tips that you can take away from that.
Vivek: Sure. So one more question you have. So when you say CTAs, recently we conducted a study as you might be aware, what do C suites expect or C-level executives expect when they receive an email or a phone call? So one of the things we found out was a common response was C suite wants inside or something very quickly given to them rather than always asking for demos or appointments or something. So would it be okay to send some kind of resources or some valuable insights or white paper or research findings before you actually ask them for a demo?
Nancy: Yes, that can be a great way to do it. I suggest starting with ask. I mean, why not? If you giving them value and you're showing that you understand some of the things they might be dealing with. I’m gonna give an example of that later and this cold calling. But if you're giving them value, then I think it's fair to ask for a call to show how you've done that with other companies. Now the next one maybe then you want to give and not ask. So there's a lot of talk about a formula which is give give give and then ask and then give and give and ask, or something like that, some combination of that. What you're really doing is building rapport there. You're showing that you are interested, you're trying to offer up some value and you are committed to they’re worth the time. They're worth the time for you to build up they're not just a name and a number and just part of an email list. No one wants to feel like that. If I can see you're making a real concerted effort to connect with me, then you've earned some points.
Vivek: Okay. Let's move to cold calling.
Nancy: Let’s move to cold calling. Let me do just a little bit of a time check. What are we looking at now?
Vivek: We have another 17-18 minutes.
Nancy: Okay, all right, so cold call openers, here's some examples. This is Nancy from smart selling tools, is this a bad time? This is Nancy from smart selling tools, I didn't catch you at a bad time did I? This is Nancy from smart selling tools, how are you today? This is Nancy from start selling tools, have you been? So probably all of these sound very familiar and probably everyone on the line has listened to or has usually used.
Vivek: I had two today.
Nancy: Okay, well first I'm gonna say no no no no, these are not good cold call openers. But then I'm gonna qualify it and say well actually maybe. The point here again is research so did I catch you at a bad time? Research shows that you're 40% less likely to book a meeting if you start with that line okay so that is not a good one. I didn't catch you at a bad time, did I? And that's slightly different. I didn't catch you at a bad time, did I? That shows empathy and that could work and actually research shows that that does work. The person is likely to say yes it is a bad time what can I help you with? So if they say something like that the next magic words are well thank you for taking my call. Acknowledge that by stem saying yes it is a bad time but you what can I help you with? They just took your call so say thank you for taking my call. The reason I'm calling is and then you can go from there.
How are you today? Now I've never cared for that. Because when I someone calls me and says and I don't know them and I just hear them say how are you today it's like who are you. That's my first response is who are you. Now apparently, I'm not you know the norm because research shows that there's people are 3.4 times more likely to book a meeting with you when you start with how are you today. How have you been, which was the fourth one it didn't make it on this slide, it has even better results. So the lesson here? You know, there's a lot of great advice on the web; reports, things like that. Make sure it's based on research if you can't do your own because not everything is common sense. So you know the rule of thumb is do what works for you.
Now, there is one exception and this is a magic opening question. Can I have 27 seconds to tell you why I'm calling? Now, some of you on the line are going to have a visceral reaction to this and think I don't like that, some of you are gonna say oh that seems really interesting. Let me tell you why it works and how we know it works. Connect and sell is a sales tech solution and it's not autodialing but they basically will do you know 1,200 dials a day and then they automatically connect a salesperson when they get someone on the line. So they have millions of calls that they can figure out what works and what doesn't work. This is what they've come away with. Can I have 27 seconds. Now, notice it's not 20 seconds, because 27 seconds kind of throws you, right. Oh okay, this person has thought through exactly how much time it takes. Now, can I have you're asking them but you're also telling them it's not going to take long, I have empathy for the fact that I'm interrupting you and I'm only asking you for 27 seconds. So people are open to this. Sure, go ahead, sure, go ahead. So that is one of the things I think that everyone on the line should try for. I'm going to say well right well what do you say next because this is just an opener.
So there are three parts of a cold call; there's the opener, there's the pitch, and then there's the close. So here's an example of a pitch. Let's say that someone said sure go ahead. I might say something like Cisco's director of worldwide sales training. Now, because the prospect is director of worldwide sales training. Tells us that their sellers can now gain the financial insights they need within five minutes when it used to take the reps days, if not weeks. That means their salespeople can now have many more conversations with prospects and the conversations result in more deals in the pipeline. We can do the same for your company and I can tell you how we do it in a 15 minute phone call, and I'm calling to set that up. So now I know, ah, okay, I know why you're calling. I know that it should make sense for me, I should be interested in this. You've told me what you want from me and you've only taken 27 seconds. I think this is a good example of the format of what your pitch might look like.
Vivek: You also referred to a case study. What you've done for my competitor or some other client and what I can gain from giving a 15 minute phone call.
Nancy: That's right, yep. And then the close couldn't be as simple as something like listen I'm glad we had this conversation, let's set that call I mentioned, that call I mentioned early and we'll go into more details. How does next Tuesday or Wednesday morning work for you? Now, there's one thing missing from here and that is the conversation. Because you have an opener then you have the pitch. Now, presumably this person will say well sure I'm open to a phone call, can you tell me a little bit more about… You know, they're going to ask a question. Now you're off and running and you want to have a conversation because research shows that that is required. In fact, a seven minute conversation is really required to get meeting scheduled. So a company called Corus did a research project, they also research over a million cold calls. And they said the average cold call length is seven and a half minutes on a successful call. A successful call means that it went on to be a deal that went into the pipeline. So I want to ask people does a seven and a half minute call, cold call jibe with what your daily call quota is? This is something to think about. What if I can get through and I have a seven and a half minute call with everyone. Am I going to be able to hit my daily call quota? So perhaps we should be thinking about a quota as being how many calls did you have of a certain length. So you might want to turn your thinking around a little bit and have the objective be about the call length.
Of course, you want or the other objective to be what was the outcome, did you get a meeting scheduled? But you should see a correlation between the two. Also, successful cold calls include four to five engaging questions and that includes discovery and qualification questions that get the prospects to open up. So make sure that you have in your list of things to talk about four or five questions that you can ask that are going to get them to engage in a conversation. It can't be too discovery. Who do you use for this? How often do you buy, you know you certainly don't want to ask budget questions or things like that. You want to get them thinking. So ask value-added questions. And then also the talk time is important for the cold calls. So in a successful cold call, a prospect ask two to three questions. The reps talk 40%-49% of the time, that means you want to make sure the prospect gets talking and that there's a monologue as long as 35 seconds. So I'm getting my prospect to talk a fairly good amount of time at any one point.
All right, so think about how do you do those things. So how can I ask the prospect two to three questions? How can I make sure that my talk times not any more than about half? How can I get them to really monologue with me? Those are the things that you want to think about. And again, the way to do that is to know what works and what doesn't work. That's why Chorus is good because Chorus is a conversation, intelligence tool, in fact. I'm going to start to talk about tools right now for cold calling and cold emailing. So I'll wait and tell you more about them in a second. Okay, any questions or comments on the cold calling?
All right, so as you see behind me and you see here on this slide, there's a lot of tools available. I want to tell people if you do go to our site and you view in enlarged version of this, you can use a magnifying glass to look at this closer. The tools on the left are tools that have to do with who should I sell to and why. If you're gonna cold call people, you either have a list or you've got to look up a list, and these are the tools that help you with that. The other next important part is how do you get them to engage and win, and the tools under this section are the ones that will help you with that. These are tools that are more further down the pipeline. I just wanted to give you a way to look at this landscape.
So let's talk about some emailing tools. I really like Hippo video, and one of the reasons is because you need to stand out from the crowd and you need to make it about the person. If I see a video or just a template, a thumbnail, of a video in my email and it says hi Nancy on it, I'm gonna give you a lot of credit for that because I apparently am not just a name, you took some time to personalize this. I'm curious what it says. I want to know what you have to say to me. So it's a brilliant way to really get through. The other piece of it is obviously that you can know what works and what doesn't work and it's easy to mix it up. It also ties in nicely with marketing. So I would just encourage people on the line to get in touch with hippo video, get a demo, talk about it, get your marketing and sales people together and have a demo with them at one time. There's another solution called let's chat and that is something that you can look on LinkedIn for information where you're going to be able to grab what you need quickly to customize an email. Let's just see if I can go to LinkedIn here and grab something. Are you seeing my LinkedIn screen now?
Nancy: Okay, let me get my zoom out of the way. So it's just a plugin, it's a chrome plug-in. If I'm on my profile and I click let's chat, then what it's going to do, is it's going to look up… You're not on a user's profile page. Oh, okay, there we go, okay. So it's going to load up and it's going to see how relevant I am based on things that I put in. And then it's going to say I noticed your interest in sales enablement. Now, how did it know that? Because it could quickly analyze that I write a lot about sales enablement on LinkedIn. I came across an article on that topic that might be of interest to you. Look how quickly it did that? And then here's the article. Now what I do as a sales person is I copy this and then I put it into an email or I put it into an inmail. Once I put it into an email, I can for instance unbold this. I don't like the idea it's bolded because that makes it look like it's a tag. But again, it's a quick way to personalize. Let's see.
Vivek: This is great.
Nancy: Yep, okay. Then there are some other email tools that I think are really helpful. One is cirrus logic and then the other is Smart Cloud Connect. Now, both of these do similar things. They allow you to access your CRM like Salesforce while you're in your email, and that's helpful because you may have some templates in CRM that you can quickly get access to, that are going to allow you to personalize. Then it also allows you to do the sequencing. You want to mix up cold email with cold with a cold call. So first I'm going to send you an email then I'm gonna call you, then I'm gonna send you another email. So that kind of sequencing is all part of these solutions where it helps you set that up, what's the frequency, what do you want those templates to be and then it keeps track of where everyone is at in that process. So these are two other tools that I recommend. Now, if you don't have a CRM, you can use a tool that actually is just one-time cost. So that's you need, auto follow-up for email. It's a sequencing tool for Outlook. Basically when you type up an email, it asks do you want to create an auto follow-up? And when you say yes, then right away I'll just put in, what is that next email I'm going to send them. So while it's top of mind and I don't won't have to go back to say well what did I send them before I set up my next email. Then I can say send it automatically or send it five times if I don't hear back or send it on this particular day. So there's all kinds of things you can do. When I use it, I tell it to prompt me at a certain date if the person has not replied, and that frees me up from having to put it into CRM to say well I emailed them and now I have to schedule a task to email them again, if they don't reply, which now I have to go back and check to see if they replied. So all three of those are great tools for emailing.
Now for calling, Ring DNA is an excellent platform. If you've got STRs that are calling and making you know hundreds of calls a day, you likely want a complete sales engagement platform that tees up the next call that has some call scripts in it, that allows you to look on LinkedIn to quickly you know get some background information to personalize things. It also has, what I mentioned before, conversation AI which is what Chorus is, it's a conversation AI tool. It records your calls and then it automatically does some analysis. What was my talk time compared to my prospects? What were the key words that came up? How many times where my competitors mentioned at all? Did price come up? What are the action items that came as a result of the call? It'll pull all that information out for you and it allow you and your managers to see what's the right combination of talk time of things to say of you know any anything you could think of so that you know what to work. In that way you can iterate improve and not just be you know trying the same things over and over again and hoping and wishing that the numbers game works for you.
The last one I had mentioned Connect and Sell, they can do 1200 dials. It's humans that are doing the dialing, it's not an auto dialer. So they can literally deliver 40 to a 100 conversations. They move it right to your sales rep, who's ready to then just speak immediately to that prospect. So they're not wasting time actually making those dials. The thing here is that you have to have a big lead list. Because if they're making 21200 dials a day per rep, then you're going to need to fill that pipeline of leads for them to contact.
So those are just a few of the tools that I recommend and some tips and tricks that I hopefully you'll get some good you know ideas from that you can use today and immediately to improve your results.
Vivek: Brilliant. So, we've had a couple of questions come in, so I think [Okay]. So one of the questions is how do I follow up with the prospect while being persistent but without being annoying?
Nancy: Yes, so the answer to that is to mix it up. Don't send the same thing every time. Obviously if it didn't connect with them, it's not going to connect with them. By the way, sales folks, I mentioned that website, eight and a half times… Obviously a half doesn't work but eight to nine times is the number of times you want to send an email because their research shows that the response comes somewhere between the fifth and the eighth email. So the question is how do you do it and keep it exciting. It's hard, it's so tempting to say hey I'm just checking to see if you got my email. Anytime you start to write the words I'm just checking, stop yourself and say what can I you know erase it what can I say instead. Come up with a reason, and don't necessarily refer to the past email. Hey and in fact, you know use less chat. Hey, I saw this article, I thought might be of interest to you. Maybe, the call-to-action is just let me know if you like the article. So again, you don't have to ask for something every time. The important thing is get in front of them repeatedly so they start to know you, you're not asking constantly and you're coming up with something fresh. Also, change the subject line. Don't just have it be you know the re and then the same subject line that you used in the first one. In fact, I don't necessarily recommend tying it to the first email. You already sent them that one, send them another one, send them a new one with a new fresh subject line.
Vivek: Okay, the next question is, how many touch points should an ideal sales.
Nancy: Oh, that is a good question. The number has changed and I think it is 15 times, it might be even a little bit more. It’s how many times it takes nowadays to get a prospect to engage. Actually, I think I might have had that stat at the very beginning. So again, the trick to it is to mix it up. Ring DNA is an example, use something they call voicemail drop. So you could set up a couple different types of voicemails. So that as soon as you get a voicemail, maybe it's your eighth sequence between emails and calls, if you are calling, then you say hey I'm gonna drop. Press a button and it drops a completely new different type of voicemail. I don't have to stay on the line, I can move right onto my next call. That saves time, it also allows you to use the voicemail that you've perfected. Your voice isn’t tired because you haven't left that same one for the thirtieth time that day. It allows you to set up templates of good voicemails that are different and will peek your prospect’s interest.
Vivek: So we'll take the last question. Do you have any tools for finding out psychographic information about the prospects?
Nancy: Psychographic, well certainly there's a lot of tools for demographic types of information. I think the psychographic tools, let's chat, it probably comes close to that because it's letting you know things that they're interested in, people they follow on LinkedIn that might allow you to get an article that is of interest. I think there's another solution called Auto Bound, which is using AI for some of that so I would check them out as well.
Vivek: Okay, yep, that's it for today. So thank you very much for your time, Nancy. It was wonderful.
Nancy: My pleasure. I just said you’re welcome everyone to reach out to me through LinkedIn and to subscribe to our newsletter so that you learn about webinars and can watch some videos on tools and get educated on all these tools that are out there available to help you.
Vivek: Yeah, we'll be sharing the entire recording of the webinar after this and also the handle of Nancy's. Twitter handle and LinkedIn handle along with the Sales landscape. Thank you very much.
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