The Cold Call and Cold Email: Part 1 of Predictable Revenue’s Outbound Sales Learnings from 2018
Collin Stewart, CEO
20 May 2019
When we first dipped our toe into podcasting a couple years back, we weren’t professional podcasters, looking to discuss our passing interest in sales via a new medium. We were sales professionals looking to share (and grow!) our love of the industry with as many listeners as we could.
We knew there was so much sales expertise out there, and so many enlightening discussions to have. We just needed a platform to bring it all together.
And, just like that, The Predictable Revenue Podcast was born.
As we assumed, we learned a lot speaking with brilliant sales leaders from a host of industries: how they do what they do, how they get through the inevitable challenging periods, and how they motivate their team to go to battle each day are just three of the critical topics we’ve covered thus far.
“Because we’ve been so blown away by the content shared by our guests on the pod, we decided to package our favourite interviews into a series of e-books, so anyone interested can easily re-read any of content they find most useful, at any time.”
For the topic of our first e-book, we decided to, well, start at the beginning: the cold and the cold email. It doesn’t get much more foundational than this, we promise.
The featured podcast guests include:
- Cole Fox, Portfolio Operations at private equity firm Bregal Sagemount
- Jon Selig, veteran sales consultant and standup comic
- Steve Ross, Director of Sales at Outreach
- Sujan Patel, Co-Founder of email outreach platform Mailshake
- Justin Hiatt, Vice President of Digital Sales at Workfront
And here’s just a taste of what you can expect to get from these killer interviews:
LinkedIn Prospecting Like a Pro With Bregal Sagemount’s Cole Fox
Most people, in most industries, have come to view LinkedIn as the most effective professional social networking platform. And they’re right in that assessment – LinkedIn is a great place to display your professional experience and connect with colleagues and other professionals in your field.
But for salespeople, LinkedIn is an absolute treasure trove of sales intelligence: who works where, who is in charge of what, and who is a go-to contact for thought leadership pieces on their respective industry.
“It’s a place where people are constantly updating their information – their current company is up to date and you can extrapolate a lot of good useful information to target them,” says Cole Fox, Portfolio Operations at private equity firm Bregal Sagemount, on a recent edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.
“And, you can see how you are connected to people as well. You can ask for a referral where possible, and that is huge in sales.”
So, what tips and tricks does Fox share? How to build your personal brand on LinkedIn, how to publish content to stay top-of-mind with your followers, and how to do a boolean search to find prospects interested in your vertical…to name just three.
What happens when you let a standup comedian write your cold call script? In conversation with Jon Selig
You read that right…a standup comedian. Why not have a little fun while you work,?
“Comedy cuts through the noise. If you can make your prospect laugh really quickly, you’re going to be a ray of sunlight in their day,” says Jon Selig, a veteran sales professional and consultant that teaches sales teams how to inject humour into their prospecting.
“With all of the stress and data that is coming at us, all the notifications and alerts – everyone is distracted and not too thrilled. People aren’t connected to their jobs. So, if we can deliver a customer pain point in the form a joke, our prospects will know what we’re saying is true, but it breaks the ice and cuts the tension.”
If you’re not a natural jokester, don’t worry. Jon will run you through how to inject comedy into your cadence by making sure you’re surprising, you’re authentic, and you’re relatable.
“Try something new that you never would have attempted – make a game of it,” says Selig.
“Being in a bad mood when you’re cold calling isn’t serving anybody.”
Might as well be funny, right?
Professional Ice Breakers: How Outreach SDRs Execute 75 Cold Calls Per Day With Steve Ross
Find me an SDR leader and you’ll find me a person that has, on numerous occasions at least, wished their team could do more volume. Hey, it’s natural – quarters come to a close faster than you thought, quotes are tough, and even the most dedicated teams lose interest from time to time.
Making sure the team is firing on all cylinders and working as many leads as possible can be a pretty good defense against such scenarios.
But having a great call is a very different thing than just getting a prospect on the phone, of course. You have to be ready to have that great chat.
And that takes preparation.
“Here, we make a lot of calls – 75 per day. So, you have to be prepared to go right into a conversation. How do you open? And, how do you handle objections?,” asks Steve Ross, Director of Sales at Outreach.
“For me, it boils down to two things: gathering detailed account information, and deciding how to use it.”
Throughout this interview, Steve takes us through an absolute masterclass in preparation and research, through how to execute a perfect call every time you pick up the phone (even when you’re met with those pesky objections).
Predictable Revenue cold email Q&A featuring Mailshake’s Sujan Patel
In this Q&A session with Sujan Patel, co-founder of email outreach platform Mailshake, we turn the microphone around a little bit. In this wide-ranging chat, originally recorded for a webinar, Collin and Sujan answer probing questions from webinar registrants…and each other.
This was super in-depth chat, covering fundamental topics such as:
- What’s the right strategy for cold outreach? What outputs are you expecting to see from a campaign that one SDR is running?
- What’s your take on personalization in your outreach? How much is too much? And, of course, how much is just right?
- What’s your strategy for A/B testing?
- What are your best practices for building a target list? And, where do you get the contact information from?
- How do you craft a good subject line?
This is Prospecting 101 – whether you’re a novice or a veteran sales development practitioner, you don’t want to miss this one.
The importance of being personal: How Workfront’s prospectors heavily tailor their initial email outreach
It’s the classic sales development dilemma: do you take the time to personalize your outreach to a handful of prospects? Or, do you use a more generic set of messages in the hopes of reaching out to more people?
According to Justin Hiatt, Vice President of Digital Sales at Workfront, the answer is scalable personalization used upfront, and more automated prospecting used towards the end of a cadence.
“Obviously, people get hit up a lot. I feel it every day, I get them a ton of emails. But, email still works, if you do it right,” says Justin.
“We have all seen different approaches to email, as the spray and pray approach, for example. We feel that is what has contributed to the noise. So, we have made a decision to hyper-personalize at least the first touch. That is your foot in the door, and what people see first. We feel it is the right way to get Workfront’s messaging through, and how to share our value because we believe we have something that can help.”
So…what does scalable personalization mean? At Workfront it’s a lot of things: research, leveraging trigger events, and using an air-tight template to craft their emails.
And in his interview, Justin shares, in detail, how Workfront’s SDRs accomplish all three of those things.
“There is a balance between personalizing, and getting enough touchpoints down and complete the motion. So, that’s why we moved to hyper-personalizing the first touch and then having more automated sequences happen, as our people are making calls,” says Justin.
“It’s just a balance that works for us. We are committed to personalizing the first email to every person we want to talk to.”