The world is changing fast. It used to be that Marketers marketed and Sales sold. However, the role of sales development has changed dramatically in the last year or so. Now SDRs need to be experts in both roles. Emails, open rates, click-thru’s, conversion, etc., it’s all part of the SDRs performance metrics. But, are SDRs doing a good job as Marketers? Darryl Praill talks with the pre-eminent marketing expert, Matt Heinz, to learn what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong, and what they need to do to achieve marketing success.
Not in the mood to listen? No problem, you can read the transcriptions below.
Darryl Praill: Good day ladies and gentleman. Darryl Praill here, another episode of INSIDE Inside Sales, the only real show, the only real podcast out there in the cyber sphere that talks about real pragmatic tactical stuff that every single sales development rep can take, listen to, and action at the end of the pod. We’re glad you’re here. Today’s going to be fun. Of course, I fully admit it, I say it every time, today’s going to be fun. But today’s going to be especially fun, maybe not for you, but it’s going to be fun for me. And the reason it’s going to be fun is because, well, it’s like this:
Darryl Praill: My day job is I’m a chief marketing officer, even though this podcast, of course, is INSIDE inside, for the sales reps. But I’m a marketer. I’ve carried the bag, I’ve had all the responsibility, but I like marketing. Normally I interview other people who are brilliant at certain areas of the sales process, and they bring it, and I love talking to them and I know you guys love hearing from them. I get that feedback all the time, thank you, keep doing that, keep spreading the love. But today I’m mixing it up, I’m bringing on another marketer.
Darryl Praill: So get that. Two marketers are going to sit and talk to you about selling. I know, you’re thinking “why the heck am I listening?” Stay tuned, it actually all makes sense. So, up on the other end of this wonderful recording is the talented, the wonderful, the very esteemed, the massively followed, Matt Heinz, of Heinz Marketing. Matt, welcome to the show.
Matt Heinz: Thank you Darryl, thanks for having me.
Darryl Praill: I am pleased to have you. Full disclosure, as a marketer, there’s not many marketers that I say “I want to talk to him,” and you’re one of the few, so maybe afterwards you can send me a photo and maybe sign, I would be loving that.
Matt Heinz: No one needs to see that. I have a face for podcasts, this format works really well for me.
Darryl Praill: I understand that. And yes, you do have a face for podcasts, but we’ll move on. With that said, here’s the scoop, Matt, let me set it up for you. We’ve had a couple conversations recently, which are kind of fun conversations. One of the conversations I had not too long ago was actually an online livestream, it was a debate, and it was me and my VP of sales, Scott Emerson, and the moderator, so I was outnumbered. But the debate was around where does the sales development rep role, the team? Should it reside with the sales department or should it reside with the marketing department?
Darryl Praill: Now, I’m going somewhere with this, but before I get to where I’m going, I just want to ask your opinion. Where do you think the SDR team should reside? Under which umbrella?
Matt Heinz: I don’t really care. Less important to me than where they are is what they’re doing. I’ve seen sales development teams thrive and flourish and be crazy successful sitting under both marketing and sales. I think if they’re treated like a sweatshop, if they’re treated like a numbers engine, if they’re doing some version of “thanks for downloading the [inaudible 00:03:27], would you like to see a demo?” It’s going to fail no matter where they are in the organization. So I think more important is to culturally figure out where does it make most sense and to set them up for success by ensuring that they’re having better qualified conversations with better qualified prospects.
Matt Heinz: And what I mean by that is ensure that you’re putting people on the phone with prospects that actually want and need a conversation at that stage in their buying journey. And then as an organization and as a sales development rep, have a conversation with that prospect that is something that they would be willing to pay for. At that stage, if you’re qualifying on prospect … if you’re not qualifying them to get a demo, you’re qualifying them based on the need. And that prospect may not even understand the need, they may not have quantified the cost of a problem that they didn’t even know that they have.
Matt Heinz: So your job as an SDR is to help qualify on need, to loosen the status quo. So I guess, you can have that rep sitting on your sales, as long as you’re taking that kind of approach in a consistent repeatable way to be successful.
Darryl Praill: If you want to hear how I fared in that debate, boys and girls, just go onto the [inaudible 00:04:40] website to the resources page, check out the webinars and you’ll see it. It was fantastic, there was a poll at the end, I like to think I moved the needle dramatically, I’ll let you figure out how dramatically. But I love exactly what Matt’s saying. One of the things I did glean on, you did there as well, you used the word qualification. The qualification process is interesting, right, because that does span marketing and sales. Marketing qualifying leads become sales qualified leads.
Darryl Praill: In that debate, that came up which kind of led to a discussion around the role of today’s modern sales development rep. Which is, and I contended, that today’s modern sales development rep is as much of a marketer as they are a sales rep. They are doing as much marketing, if not often more, than the actual marketing organization. They’re tasked with sending emails in a regular basis, having their own cadence, making sure they’re touching across multiple channels. Often they’re tasked with creating their own content, for example for social sharing and social selling.
Darryl Praill: I have observed something recently, and I’ve shared this with many people, I was blown away by this. And Matt, I would love to see if you’ve experienced the same thing. In the function of my job as a marketer, I often send bulk emails, shall we say corporate emails to my various segments. Maybe I’m inviting you to a webinar or what it might be. In the last six months, it appears, I now start to get responses back. Historically it’d be like “take me off your damn list,” or “die in hell you spammer,” whatever it might be. Whereas now I’m getting responses like “your subject line sucks,” or “it took you way too long to get to the call to action.”
Darryl Praill: I’m getting sales reps offering to coach and help me with my email marketing, because their open rates and their sales engagement platform are really high. Sales development reps are quoting to me open rates and email best practices. That has never happened to me in my whole marketing career. Which I think is fantastic, but I think it’s a sign of the times. I would love to know what is your experience? Are you seeing this happen at all?
Matt Heinz: Well, in some cases. I still think there’s an awful lot of bad email practices out there. I don’t know about you, I am regularly bombarded with emails from sales reps simply asking for 15 minutes of my time without context, without anything, their follow up a couple days later with nothing other than “just want to make sure you saw my email.” So I think there’s still a lot of very bad practices happening out there. But what you said at the beginning of that I think I 100% agree with. I think that a good SDR sounds more like a marketer than they do a sales person.
Matt Heinz: When we work with inside sales teams, one of the first rules we try to employ as a guideline is in that first call you have with a prospect, in a first qualifying call, either you’re cold calling or you’re following up on a lead, you’re not allowed to talk about your product or service in that call. If the prospect asks a direct question or they want to get into that specifically on their end, then they have proactively asked, then fine. But if you as a sales rep in that first call, as an SDR in that first prospect call, if you were not allowed to talk about your product or service, what kind of conversation would you have? What kind of questions would you ask? What kind of insights would you share with that prospect that helps them think differently about their business, their problems, their objectives, their status quo?When we work with #InsideSales teams, one of the first rules we try to employ as a guideline is in that first call you have with a prospect, you're not allowed to talk about your product or service. ~ @HeinzMarketing #InsideInsideSales Click To Tweet
Matt Heinz: That’s a much more interesting conversation to have. That’s a valuable conversation for a prospect to have. It’s the kind of conversation that earns you the second call. It earns you more time with that prospect, it earns you a prospect leaning back in their chair and saying “that’s very interesting, I would’ve paid for that, I’d like to hear more from this sales rep as well as from this company.” So yeah, that does sound more like an educational call, it sounds more like a marketing call, but I guarantee you that it will lead to more sales opportunities and a more qualified, committed, prospect of the process.
Darryl Praill: It’s funny to hear you say that because I often have conversations with people who are early in their career, I’m dealing with one right now, it’s an individual based out of the UK, he’s found me on LinkedIn, he’s following me, he’s reached out to me, “Hey Darryl, I want to have a career in this area, can you help me? Give me some coaching?” And the other day I was going through his CV. And I always teach them, the purpose of the CV is just to get that first interview, the first call. Just like on a sales call, the purpose of the first sales call, is to get the second sales call. It’s to have a successful next step.
Darryl Praill: That’s all it is. Stop thinking about the home run, think about the next step. In other words, don’t boil the ocean, just hook them enough, connect with them. And that’s what messaging is all about. So let’s bring it back. The sales development reps are doing this messaging so they can have that first call, as you talked about, they had to connect with them first. So the common ways they’re doing this, right, are phone, which seems to be the least popular anymore although there are many phone advocates out there who would disagree with you. There’s social, which seems to be the most popular although to your point, Matt, they’re doing it really bad.
Darryl Praill: And there’s email. So let’s start with email. From your experience, what are some of the mistakes they’re making on email, whether it be how it’s formatted, the construct, whatever you want to go in, and then what should they be doing to better increase their likelihood to connect? So to me, I guess I’m looking at there’s systematic ways and then there’s messaging considerations. So open floor, you can talk about whatever you want.
Matt Heinz: Well, a couple ways to approach this. One, I think the earlier you are in your relationship with your prospect, the less you are allowed to say. And that goes across all channels. It’s voicemail, it’s email, it’s social. Your prospect doesn’t know you, they don’t trust you, they’ve got a million other things they’re doing, they’re crazy busy. They’re not going to read your 500 word email, they’re not going to listen to your two minute voicemail. You think about your crazy busy prospect on Tuesday at 10 o’clock, 10 in the morning, right? They’re not sitting at their desk reading your long email.
Matt Heinz: What they’re doing is running from meeting to meeting and they’re stopping on the way in the modern phone booth, which is otherwise known as the bathroom stall, and they’re sitting there checking their email. And what that means is they’re not checking their email, your job in between meetings on Tuesday at 10 o’clock is actually to delete email. So that first email that you send to a prospect, the job, just to your point that your job on the first meeting is to get to the second meeting. The job of that first email is to not get deleted. To sit around long enough that once they actually sit at their desk they might read the sentence or two you put in there.
Matt Heinz: The other thing that we see a lot of reps do is the emails they send, even if they’re short, it’s an ask not a give. I know ultimately you want to demo, I know ultimately you want to show someone your product, I know ultimately you want to close a deal. You’re not going to get anywhere close to that unless you give the prospect something first. What can you do in one or two sentences that is a give? That is a gift? That is generous to that prospect that not only gets them to not delete that email while they’re taking a restroom break in between meetings, but gets a response for their own good, for their own purpose, without any bait and switch about anything expected in return.
Matt Heinz: Your job at the beginning of this process is not to get a demo. It’s to earn the prospect’s trust and a reciprocation of interest. It doesn’t take a lot, but it takes a special, more intentional approach to that email to make it work.
Darryl Praill: So it’s interesting you say that. The last episode, we just recorded, was with actually my CEO, David Hood. And the reason we did the recording was because, and you can probably relate, both he and I get pinged non-stop because we have budget with all of the email pitches and the asks, not the gives. So we finally sat down on the podcast and we said “we’re just going to share with you all the emails and the styles and the formats you’re sending us, and we’re going to tell you why we delete them.” Or sometimes we delete them, sometimes even if you come back to us six months later, you ticked us off so much the first time or you were disrespectful, that even if your proposition now six months later is good, we’re moving on without you.
Darryl Praill: And one of the first things he said was “when you send me an email, just get to the point. Please don’t spend,” you said 500 words, “please don’t spend 500 words. Don’t talk about the weather, don’t ask me how I’m doing, don’t tell me about Vanilla Soft in this case, and how we seem to be doing great and you saw our press release recently. I don’t care. I know about the press release, I was part of it. Just get to the point.” Next thing he said was “please tell me what’s in it for me, give me something.” Don’t do the ask. If you’re treating me as a transaction I’m out of here, because I don’t know who you are and you’ve given me no reason to act.
Darryl Praill: So, to hear you say the same thing one episode later is really powerful.
Matt Heinz: Well, I think this is coming not only from us doing a very similar thing and looking at all those bad emails. There’s a small group of friends in the industry, we share bad emails with each other on a regular basis. What’s interesting to think about with these emails is it’s not like people are trying to send bad emails. Every one of those is sent with the best of intentions. They may very well be sent by people that don’t know that it’s falling on deaf ears, don’t think about the fact that it’s not working.
Matt Heinz: When we go back to our default state in nature, and I’m taking this all the way back. It wasn’t that long ago that those of us sitting in front of microphones doing podcasts, typing emails that go to space before they go to the destination, it wasn’t that long ago that all we were doing was we were cavemen trying not to get eaten by tigers. And when you’re a caveman trying to not get eaten by tigers, you get very selfish very quickly, you think about yourself first and foremost.
Matt Heinz: So when we write emails, we go back to that … if we’re not thinking about it. If we’re going back to our natural state. So you look at your sales email and you see how many times did I start a sentence with “I” or “we?” How often did I really prioritize my story versus yours, simply because that’s my default selfish caveman trying not to get eaten by lions state? So, even those people that understand that have to be conscious of that when they’re writing email. When they’re sending voicemail.
Matt Heinz: The same thing applies with voicemails. What are you doing in the first four to five seconds of a voicemail that gets your prospect to stop typing? That gets them to stop multitasking? They may not listen to the entire voicemail, but how do you get them to pay attention to enough that it might materially improve their trust in you and your credibility in their eyes, so the next time they see something from you, they’re that much more likely to respond?What are you doing in the first 4 to 5 seconds of a #voicemail that gets your prospect to stop typing ⌨ & multitasking? @HeinzMarketing shares his #SalesTips. #SalesEngagement Click To Tweet
Darryl Praill: It’s funny you mention the phone, the voicemail. One of the things that David said was “when I get a call, a cold call, and I answer it, and the first thing they say is ‘Hi it’s Matt Heinz with Heinz Marketing, do you have a couple minutes?'” His response is “well, I was doing something, the phone rang, I did the mental gymnastics in my mind saying do I have time to answer this phone, it could be a sales call, I don’t know the number, I can have a choice. I chose to answer it. Because I chose to answer it, yes, I have time for the next 30 to 60 seconds. But you just wasted most of that asking if I have time. Please get to the point.
Darryl Praill: And it’s brilliant, right? It’s all about, I love your saying, it’s the ask versus the give. I want to take a quick little break and we’re going to come right back and we’re going to now flip over to the social side. So stay there, don’t go anywhere, we’ll be right back.
Darryl Praill: All right we’re back. So, I love the whole point is your task is to delete email. When I was thinking on the commercial break, that’s what was resonating in my mind, because that is 100% behavior. Every morning I get up, the first thing I do is how many emails did I get overnight, for example, and I just go delete, delete, delete, delete, delete. Most I don’t even open. If they don’t have it in that kind of little preview window on my smartphone, I don’t even bother. Just food for thought folks, ask versus give, that is really brilliant advice.
Darryl Praill: If you’re not sure what that means, what is ask versus give mean? Ask your colleagues, because candidly, you said it best with the caveman thing. We revert to what’s in it for me, and the reality is, something’s in it for your prospect. You’re going to make their life better with whatever it is you’re representing or selling. So you’ve got to convey that right away, you’ve got to connect with them on what’s in it for them. Which is a good segue for the social selling side.
Darryl Praill: And you mentioned it as well. We all get those emails, but equally the same way, we get these unsolicited pitches where it’s from a stranger, can be a connection request, or it’s immediately seconds after you accept the connection request where they’re immediately pitching you. I’ve had many conversations with sales reps, I find many reps get indignant, because their opinion is, for example, LinkedIn, it’s a business network, I’m quoting them, therefore you should just know that you’re going to get pitched. It is a business network.
Darryl Praill: And I point out well it’s a social media. And the first word is social, which starts off not with a pitch, because you wouldn’t go and try to sell your best friend or your mom right away, would you? They’re looking for permission to make it about them. So, I guess, with that, for all those who are using social selling as part of their actual sales development activities, what mistakes are you seeing and how can you advise them to improve it from a marketer’s point of view?
Matt Heinz: I don’t think our prospects are differentiating their experience between email and social and direct mail, events. Our preference is, as buyers, your preference as someone looking for what’s in it for me, as a buyer is the same across all channels. So I don’t think just because social is faster and easier means that the people are necessarily compelled or obligated to respond. I think social media in particular, but prospecting in general is kind of like driving by someone’s house at 30 miles an hour and trying to get something in the mailbox. You’re going to miss a lot, you’re going to miss most of the time.
Matt Heinz: So when they do stop and see you, when they do check the mailbox, when they’re walking back to their house with that stack of mail, what do you have in there that’s of value enough that they will actually bring it in versus drop it in the recycle bin on the way to the house? What is interesting enough about that content that makes them take notice? It’s probably not going to compel them to buy something from you right away, but it’s part of the building block, building trust credibility differentiation so the next time they see something in the mailbox, they’re likely to open it.
Matt Heinz: The next time they see your car drive by, they’re going to associate that with something usually of value in their inbox. And I don’t mean that in a creepy way, I just mean that you are building credibility for yourself not by a single email, not by a single tweet, but through a body of work. And I think that social channels give you a far more frequent, more passive opportunity to drive by the house more often. And ideally put something of such value in the inbox that … you just take your marketing and your sales efforts from being interruptive to being irresistible.
Darryl Praill: So what do you say to the sales development rep that is … they’re hungry, they’re working it. They’re doing their activities, and they say “I don’t buy it. You know that you’re going to get pitched, so I’m not going to pretend to go through the multiple drive bys of the house, that’s just disingenuous. I’m just going to get it out there right away [crosstalk 00:20:46].”
Matt Heinz: Well, if you’re pretending then you’re already losing. If you’re not authentically interested in trying to make your prospect smarter, if you’re not authentically willing to invest in building a relationship and building trust and value, if you really want to shortcut right to the demo, you may get a couple. But the collateral damage you’re going to do with the rest of the prospects that just think of you as a “He’s only in it for himself, he only wants his 15 minutes for a demo.” I’ve heard many buyers tell me that they will not work with a rep, not work with a company, even if they need what they’re selling if they have that kind of approach.
Matt Heinz: We all want to close deals. I’m doing this as well. Everything we’re talking about today, I’m not an SDR but I am the sales arm for our small consulting firm, so I want deals to close faster, I want to get to a capabilities discussion faster. But I also know that sometimes three steps is faster than one. Sometimes three steps is more efficient than one to get to where I want to go. That’s not my rule, that’s the prospect rule, and the prospect win.
Darryl Praill: It’s interesting because I remember having a conversation not too long ago with another individual who actually … and I called him out on it, and I was professional … which is great, I find on LinkedIn you can do that. You can have these conversations that are very professional. Say “dude, I’m shooting straight with you.” And his response to me was … it actually blew me away how candid he was with me. He was like “Darryl, I get it, I hear you, it’s a numbers game. I’m sorry I offend you, but if I do this enough, it’s like dating, eventually I’m going to get someone who’s a buyer, and that’s what I’m playing for.”
Darryl Praill: I’m not worried about those who I offend or those who’s etiquette I upset, it’s a numbers game.” I found it so interesting when you talked about the consequences of that. Because that’s what I go through, I go “you may have some short term gains, but long term you’re going to completely fail.”
Matt Heinz: Well, I don’t disagree with the premise. It is a numbers game. But you’ve got to use the right numbers. There are companies in our industry, in the sales or marketing industry, that you’ve probably seen the same way that I have. Where on one hand they brag about how many appointments they generated, about how fast they’re growing and how many customers they’re signing up, and then as a prospect I’ve been exposed to just how selfish their sales development efforts are.
Matt Heinz: I’ll get an email every other day with nothing more than “can I have 15 minutes of your time?” “When can I have 15 minutes of your time?” “When can I get my 15 minutes?” That’s all it is. So yeah, you do that with enough prospects, some are going to say yes. And those that say yes, some might actually want to buy from you. So if you do enough activity, you could probably close some deals that way. But the collateral damage that you’re doing with everybody else, the reputation you’re building, especially if you are marketers selling to marketers that are even more sensitive to that kind of behavior, it is not a long term path to success.I'll get a #SalesEmail every other day with nothing more than 'can I have 15 minutes of your time?' 'When can I have 15 minutes of your time?' 'When can I get my 15 minutes?' That's all it is. 😤 ~ @HeinzMarketing #SalesEngagement Click To Tweet
Matt Heinz: Here’s the other challenge you have. If you are a sales rep and you are doing this for your company and all of a sudden your company says “we don’t want to do that anymore,” and you replace that sales rep, those prospects don’t think about it as the sales reps problem. It’s your company’s problem. So even if you have a rogue sales rep doing this, even if you as a sales rep are doing this, the brand impact on your business is going to last far longer than the day you’re fired.
Darryl Praill: That is a powerful point, and something I hadn’t even thought about bringing up on this episode, but you’re right. And if you’re in sales listening to Matt right now, look at your colleagues. Are they creating a little bit of roadkill that’s going to cause you grief? Maybe they’re here for the short term you’re here for the long term, and you’re going to have to clean up after them. You need to have that conversation with them or your leadership.
Darryl Praill: And if you find that they’re not open to the conversation then maybe it’s not the right place for you. So if I bring this back full circle, kind of lessons learned, because we always like to learn something on the Inside, Inside Sales Show, which is I heard you say a few things. I heard you say every single one of your prospects, first thing they’re looking to do is to delete email. So you better make that email short, sweet, to the point, which leads to the second point is whether it’s email or social, it’s not about the ask, what you’re asking of them, it’s about the give. What can you give them, how can you make their life better? How can you intrigue them enough because they want to know more?
Darryl Praill: It’s not about that first call, that first email, it’s about using that as a stepping stone to the next call or the next email. And the last thing I heard you say was be patient. Play the long games. Sometimes three steps are physically faster than one. So, if you are a sales development rep, guess what? Your marketing, you just heard it from the master himself, Matt Heinz, giving you brilliant advice, everything he said there applies as much to marketing as it does to sales. There you have it, welcome to the marketing team, guys.
Darryl Praill: I’m glad to have you here. Matt, with that said, if they want to learn more about you and your kick ass operation, where do they go? How do they follow you?
Matt Heinz: Our kick-ass operation, Darryl, sits mostly at heinzmarketing.com, just H-E-I-N-Z, like the ketchup, marketing.com. You can find our blog posts there, a lot of our best practice guide, we do a ton of research on sales and marketing, you’ll find it all up there. Our podcast, which I’m very much looking forward to having you on is Sales Pipeline Radio. You can find that at salespipelineradio.com and I’m just Matt, M-A-T-T, at heinzmarketing.com. Would love to hear from anyone listening, any feedback, good, bad, indifferent, feel free to disagree, that’s part of the fun.
Darryl Praill: That is part of the fun. Bring the discussion folks. Bring it on LinkedIn, give us your comments, we do want that feedback. You can go to Inside, insidesales.com to see all of the episodes including, of course, this one. If you haven’t already, we kindly ask that you like, share, comment, subscribe, review, do whatever you want to, go spread the word about the show. In the meantime, we are out of here. Thank you so much today, Matt, for your time, and I will see you on the other side. Take care guys, bye bye.