Sales is undergoing a transformation. One could call it the acceleration or automation era.

This change is characterized by an explosion of data and technology. Data can be the high-octane fuel that powers your sales machine or it can be the sand that grinds everything to a halt. If you know how to automate, it’s a good time to be in sales.

In this 50-minute webinar, CEO of Sales Hacker and author of Hacking Sales, Max Altschuler, and Anand Kulkarni, Chief Scientist at LeadGenius, discuss how technology demands that salespeople act more like data scientists, especially at the top of the funnel.

Max Altschuler & Anand Kulkarni cover:

  • How to find your ideal customers in a crowded marketplace
  • Targeting high-potential buyers
  • Automating lead research
  • Examples of unique trigger events used for targeting buyers
  • The tools to execute these techniques
  • And more

TOOLS

Sales Intelligence & Prospecting

Task Outsourcing

Web Scraping

Email Outreach

Data Sources

Data Cleaning & Validation

WHERE DOES LEADGENIUS FIT INTO ALL THIS?

LeadGenius is a fully managed B2B lead generation and data enrichment service. We combine many of the best aspects of these tools to make existing sales and marketing teams more efficient. In other words, LeadGenius is a full service lead generation solution. By combining human intelligence, custom data, and machine learning, LeadGenius delivers a reliable stream of accurate B2B leads tailored to a company’s unique ICP.

For a live LeadGenius demo and free lead calibration, click here.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

[Anand Kulkarni, Chief Scientist at LeadGenius]: Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining me. This is Anand Kulkarni. I’m the Chief Scientist and Co-founder at LeadGenius. I’m here with Max Altschuler, CEO of Sales Hacker, speaking on one of the topics that is closest and dearest to my heart, sales hacking business to business lead generation. I know it’s a topic that all of you are interested in learning quite a bit about as well. If you have questions for us, feel free to type them into the chat area at the lower left. If you’d prefer, you can also tweet at us using the #salesiq. At the end of this session we’ll go ahead and answer some of the questions that were asked in the live chat as well as some of the questions that were asked during the Twitter session. Without further ado let’s just right into it. Today we’re going to talk about three things.

First, how big data is changing the way that we sell, the way that we look at sales, and the way that we can improve our sales processes. We’ll teach you how to take advantage of large scale data in order to improve your own process of generating leads, the process of targeting leads, and the process of closing leads. As well as a practice what we call hacking your sales process to try and reach and close more kinds of deals than ever before. Many of us are familiar with the old model of sales, which is sometimes called “spray and pray.” It Basially works like this: You would buy a large list of leads, you would hire a very large sales staff and you have that sales staff work their way down that list of leads with cold calls. It was painful, you’d annoy a lot of people, and you wouldn’t get very many results.

This methodology works but it works best for the folks who had the most time, the most money, and the most patience to try and find people who worked in a world of people who didn’t. Of course, the secret weapon of this world would be having a very highly paid or highly connected salesperson. This was the view of sales as art that could be practiced only by a few people, where the best and best connected salespeople would end up doing the best and the rest of the sales people wouldn’t do so well. The reality is that sales is changing. This model that might have worked 10 or 20 or 30 years ago, it’s falling by the wayside in the face of technology. It’s being replaced by a model that we like to think about as salespeople as data scientists. This is one thing that, to some extent, has always been true.

The best salespeople have always been numbers driven, have always been people who are thinking quantitatively and they’re trying to find insight into how to perform. This is a phenomenon that a lot of people like to call sales 2.0. Sales as data science. This is the notion that sales, rather than being a black art that only a few people can excel at, is a hyper-targeted, data driven, and really repeatable scientific process. We think about it in two parts here at LeadGenius. The first is in the sense of identifying a market segment that is really meaningful and has a meaningful pattern that we can grab on to and a process of targeting compelling events and facts in that segment and looking at pain in that segment. Under this model, the secret weapon doesn’t have to be a better salesperson. It can be better data and better data leads to better sales.

The thing that’s really enabled this process more than anything else has been the fact that salespeople, for the first time, have access to tools that give them this kind of data at scale. They haven’t had the data they need to be great but today there’s a plethora of tools that are available. Salespeople have access to truly unprecedented amounts of data that are accessible at very large scale. Individual salespeople can go and collect it using tools like LinkedIn, Hoover’s, or data.com. They can look at curated sources of data. For example, tools like Datanyze or LeadGenius or Eloqua or they could outsource parts of their lead generation process using systems like Elance, TaskUs or oDesk.

The combination of these tools has meant that salespeople, for the first time, can operate as data scientists looking for trends in their data, looking for leads that they want to create and contact, and targeting the people in their market at scales that they couldn’t before. I’ll give you just one anecdote about how this works in practice, that we’ve seen. At one point we worked with a very large company that was trying to target directors of HR at scale. They made a key insight using data that LeadGenius obtained for them about recent hires being more likely to make a purchase. If somebody were hired into their role in the last three months, they were much, much more likely to buy a system from this particular company than from anyone else. They developed a market segment consisting of every small and mid sized business in the United States that was formed in the last five years.

They used some of the techniques that we’re going to talk about today to collect every single person who was a director of HR at each one of these business and then they sent them a very targeting drip email campaign about the HR software they were using, referencing that person’s individual job history, as well as multiple follow-ups over the course of that person’s employment, waiting for the moment of a trigger event. Over 12 months, they charted 12,000 new businesses every week. They ended up identifying every SMB HR buyer in the country and they sold a very large number of new accounts over the course of 12 months, making them one of the fastest growing software to service companies in history. This kind of technique is just a single anecdote, a little taste of some of the results from applying techniques that are data oriented in sales.

We’d like to jump into some more details now and so I’ll turn it over to our speaker for today, Max Altschuler. A little bit about Max: Max’s big claim to fame is that he built out the entire supply side of Udemy‘s marketplace as their eighth employee, took them to a very large level. After that he was the Business Development Vice President at Attorneyfee and he scaled them up from a bootstrap level all the way to the point when he sold the company to LegalZoom in 2013. Shortly after that he started the company called Sales Hacker, which upgrades and excellent website and an excellent series of sessions. If you haven’t explored their site, saleshacker.com, I encourage you to do so. He’s also written a book very recently called “Hacking Sales“, which will contain a much more in-depth look at some of the techniques he’s going to share with you today.

I also encourage you to read that book. We use many of the techniques Max describes here at LeadGenius and I think you’ll find the contents beneficial well. With that, I’ll turn it over to Max. Max, take it away.

[Max, CEO at Sales Hacker]: Yeah, thanks a lot, Anand. Happy to be here today talking about something that I’ve been dealing with for quite a few years now and, really, the game is kind of changed with the accessibility and almost inexpensiveness of data these days plus the amount of focus that is being directed towards salespeople from developers, from VC, from the general tech community. You’re able to do a lot more with the top of the funnel and in sales in general than you might have been able to do in the past. Today we’re going to deep dive into the top of the funnel, finding out how to identify your ideal customer profile. Once you’ve identified that kind of customer, that company, how do you get into that account? Obviously, there’s a couple different ways to do that. You can go directly to the person that might be making that decision or you can go top down so to the boss, kind of intro down or bottom up.

A couple different ways but, obviously, the more granular you can get about figuring out who that ideal customer is and who you’re trying to target at that company, the better chances you have of finding success right off the bat. We’ll get into some trigger events and how to create that messaging and context, the people that you’re trying to get in touch with depending on the various different levels you want to access at the company. Again, that goes into personalization at scale so making use of these emails, this messaging, the phone calls, the voice mails, more personalized as you scale this out. How to do this with virtual assistants, what areas you can fill in with virtual assistants.

Again, if there is anything that you find yourself doing that’s low value or monotonous or something that you, yourself, don’t need to be doing, there are people on oDesk out there that will do it for you for $3.50 an hour and obviously your hourly, your time is worth a lot more than that so definitely delegate those tasks and we’ll talk a little bit about that today. Getting right into it, finding your ideal customer profile is the most important thing you can do when building out a lead gen process. The more granular, the deeper you can get with finding this ideal customer profile, the more it allows you to not have to qualify people so much to down the line. If you have a really great targeting list then your leads are almost pre-qualified.

You know that they fit in your wheelhouse, that they’re your low-hanging fruit or they’re somebody that can easily buy your product or be interested in our product because of the research you did on front end. It actually saves you a lot of time on the back end when you’re asking those questions to try and qualify. Understand who they are. Be very specific. The more focus that you have, again, you’ll be able to lessen that qualification later on in the process. The things you can be specific on, obviously, company, job title, target user. There are services out there right now like Data Match and BuiltWith and MixRank that allow you to figure out who your target should be and what companies fall into that category.

For example, if you’re a, I think everybody knows what MailChimp is, but if you’re a MailChimp competitor or your product is complementary to MailChimp, wouldn’t it be helpful for you to know what companies are using MailChimp? That would be an ideal customer profile. These are the companies using MailChimp. We should either be working with all those companies instead of MailChimp or they’re working with MailChimp so they should also be working with us. You can look through past deals that you’ve done if you’re not a startup to find out what companies are consistently coming up at what entry points. Again, you want to get a little bit more granular so segments based on the size of the company is one way to do it. If you have, you found a way to get into Coca-Cola and then you want to get into some mom and pop shop soda brand, it’s obviously going to be very different.

Even though it’s the same vertical, it’s going to be very different to get into that company, to access the right person at that company. With Coca-Cola it’s a super bureaucratic system. You might have to go through a couple different layers, find somebody with a really obscure title. With a mom and pop shop, you’re probably talking to the CEO. You go through some of your past deals and figure out if you’re talking to Coca-Cola and you did a deal with them and now you want to go do a deal with Pepsi, maybe talking to the guy with the same obscure title is the right way to access them. What I mean by obscure title is it’s not just Director of Marketing, it’s maybe in the… In this game, an obscure title for me would be Field Marketing Manager, something that’s very specific and does a certain smaller role, not just an overarching marketing type.

A good example of this is something that AdRoll did early on. AdRoll knew that they were dealing with online retailers. They were selling, they were selling to companies that ran an eCommerce or online retailers and were also running ads so there were your two things right there. They should be an eCommerce store and they should be spending money on ads already. It’s pretty easy to take a lot at both those things using tools that are available on the internet, especially services like BuiltWith. If you’re a eCommerce store, there’s a popular back end called Magento that you would use to build our your eCommerce store. AdRoll would look for people who were using Magento and were also spending money on, for example, Google Ads or Facebook Ads. Now, that’s a very good target for AdRoll because that’s their low-hanging fruit.

They know that those people are already spending money on ads and they’re an eCommerce shop so they figured out their ideal customer by the old customer profile and found a way to figure out which companies fell in that category. Now, to build massive lists you can services like Datanyze or BuiltWith or a mixture of both, I do a customer profile. Once you want to build really big lists, you can use tools, import.io and Kimono, to go out and scrape sites for lists of your ideal customer profile. If you’re looking for a startup company in Los Angeles with less than a B round in funding, you can go in and use these tools to scrape that list off AngelList and CrunchBase. If you’re looking for restaurants in Soho, New York, you can go use these tools to go in and scrape Yelp.

These tools are non-technical so you don’t need to any programming whatsoever. If you do have a technical background then you’re just a step ahead of the game but, for a lot of salespeople, they don’t and these are some tools that you should use. There’s also another one called Helium that I recently found out about but there’s plenty of these tools popping up and it’s just another example of how developers and even VC money is really starting to go in the direction of helping salespeople, which is really exciting for the space that we’re in right now. Followerwonk is another site on here you can see. Really great way to go in and search people’s Twitter bios so if you’re looking for something that would get at Udemy but if you’re looking for maybe experts on PHP or experts on or something a certain location that’s in, that discusses GRMs.

You can go in on Followerwonk and go and build lists and actually export a .csv of all those. It’s called Follwerwonk. That’s the Twitter bio tool. There’s also Little Bird as well that I didn’t put on here. Kickstarter and Reddit are other great sites to scrape. You can do it for any site that builds a list for you. Then you just want to take the names of that. A lot of your work is already done once you have a deep list of company names that are in your wheelhouse. Then you can go in and get a VA to fill out the rest of the information or use some of these tools that we’ll get into later on that will give you email addresses and the rest of the contact info. When you’re scraping, we went into this just now but again, Datanyze is a great place, Builtwith another great place to find the scrape sits for Magento. Maybe you want to find, again going back to the MailChimp example, companies that use Mailchimp. Maybe all of your customers use Salesforce, you want to find out who’s on Salesforce or who’s on Google Apps, for example. Kissmetrics might be a company that wants to go find every company that’s running on Google Aps or Google Analytics and then go out and target those customers.

Other great tools to build these lists out, once you have these companies you’ll want to go out and find the contact at each one. These are great tools, [Toofer] and Salesloft, for going out and finding the contact information for people that you’re trying to target at these companies. Datanyze also just put out a prospecting tool. There’s probably a company popping up every day that can build you a needs list right now but finding one to give you really fresh and accurate data is probably the number one thing.

Honestly, I would pay more for a service that I knew was a lot more accurate. You don’t want to fry your domain. You also, at some point, might need to start paying for a list cleaner, which we’ll get into later but that’s another cost that you’ll have to pay for later on so you might as well use the best service you can up front, build your own lists. The problem with buying lists is that they’re usually not as fresh and that person that you just bought that email on, think of how many other people bought that list. That person is getting contacted, he’s got filters set up for something like that. A lot of big companies are starting to get more like layers of security on their spam filters so buy fresh lists, build them yourself, and again, get really granular with your ideal customer profile so you always have the most targeted lists right from the get go and you have to do a lot less qualifying later on.

Now we’ll get into the exact person that you want to get in to, that you want to access the company on. You have your company, you have your list of companies, and now you’re trying to figure out which way do I want to access this account. Your options are really top down, bottom up for your ideal customer profile. There’s a couple different ways to go about doing this. For top down approach you want to go to their boss and you want to go as high as you can in that vertical so you should be able to know whether or not, what product or function inside that company you’re going after. If you don’t know that, then you’re just truly lost from the very beginning or maybe you’re deciding between two things. Maybe you don’t know if it’s HR or Marketing or if it’s a product or a marketing function.

That’s fine and you’ll have to feel that out after a while and figure out which one it’s really resonating with. Whether you’re dealing with the Chief Product Officer of the CMO. I can think of a couple examples where that might come into play, with a company like Vero or Customer.io that’s selling an SMV version or responses. They might be going to Head of Product or Head of Marketing and it might vary but usually you should know. You want to reach out as high as you can and then ask for an intro to the appropriate person but I don’t think it should it be spray and pray. I think you should know exactly what companies are going to be interested in this and you should do a, I think top down is probably not the first thing you should do. Bottom up is another great way to get in with the lower level champion, the person that actually would be using the product many of the times.

For a tool like ToutApp or Yesware, they’re dealing with the sales development rep or the account executive. If they can get those individuals to almost champion the or campaign for the product, “Hey, if you don’t pay for this I’ll come out of pocket because I’m hitting quota and I can attribute it to this tool”, or, “I’m like crushing quota and I can attribute it to this tool.” That makes a great case for the executives to come in and say, “Okay. Well, let’s just buy this for the whole team.” You go in bottom up to the lower level person that’s actually using the product and then have them sell it to their direct supports and up the chain. Then there’s going in through your ideal customer profile, which is, I think, by far the best way to get in but it definitely takes the most up front effort.

I think if you do it and you do it right it will shorten the sales cycle for you considerably, especially if the rest of the things are lined up for you so you’re going after the right company at the right time with the right message and now you have the right person as well. You want to look through past deals if you can. Maybe there’s some, like what I said earlier, you did a deal with Coca-Cola and now you wanted to do a deal with Pepsi, there was an obscure title or a different title than normal that you go in through. Maybe go to that person again so line that up by vertical or company size, whatever you think is going to be best. Don’t be afraid to ask for internal introductions. That can go either way. That doesn’t have to be just top down. Even in that message, even if you think you have the right person, the appropriate person, you can still go in and ask for that introduction to the right person if you don’t have them.

Then there’s asking peers in the industry. If there are companies that are not competitive to you but fell into the same audience, maybe there are people that you can get to know that will tell you, “This is the person we did the deal with. This is the path we went through their structure, through their org structure,” and you can go the same way. I would befriend people at similar but non-competing companies and definitely talk it out. We did this with Social Chourus and Video Genie. They were completely non-competing but selling to the same space and sit down, talk it out. Maybe there are intros you can make for the other person and vice versa so sitting down saying, “Hey, who are the 10 accounts that we’re in that you would want to be in,” and vice versa and see if there’s a way that you can facilitate those deals. It’s almost taking it a step further.

Before reaching out you’re going to want to find a couple contacts for a company. Again, your ideal customer profile, what you think it is. Maybe be a higher level and then you should always be talking to the people that are going to be using the product. If you are going bottom up or even if you’re not planning on going bottom up there should be people that are using the product that the company is actually going to come out and pay for it. Make sure your lists are clean. Again, kickbox.io and Brightverify verify are really good ways to clean these lists. Leverage LinkedIn and Twitter to develop a rapport. Don’t be afraid to go on there, follow, favorite, tweet, connect on LinkedIn, share relevant content. Just be super helpful, as much as you can, and just stay on the radar. If you gather enough information early on, you’ll want to connect through the social channels. You want to understand their tone.

What I mean by that is if you’re on Twitter and you’re selling to someone and the New England Patriots just won the Super Bowl and they’re a huge Patriots fan and they’re checked in to a bar and ranting about how awesome the Patriots are, then their tone is significantly different than the guy who is quoting Shakespeare and has no, lived in Massachusetts but has no interest whatsoever of anything Patriots related within a week of the Super Bowl. Maybe you can gather that information. Not only use that information in your contact but also the kind of tone that you contacted them. Again, when you’re selling to people, their guard is going to be up in general and so if you can bring that into a more casual circumstance or almost a friend zone faster so you’re, it’s not like…

It’s almost like a virtual, their arms are virtually crossed and their guard is up. You want to get them to unfold their arms as fast as possible so understanding their tone and how they like to interact with other people can be a great way to loosen them up and really starting to build a rapport, something that’s going to get into them. Once you do this research, once you’re using your social channels and figuring out how you want to get in there, you’ll find some more triggers that you can use to call up the first time or even consistently follow up after that. Trigger events can be anything that’s company related or individual employee related. You can use some tools for this: InsideView, Gagein, FunnelFire. There’s ways that you can use virtual assistants to do this kind of stuff. There’s little dossiers that you can get created for accounts in Charlie App and refresh.io.

There’s, again, new tools popping up for this what seems like every day. It’s a really exciting time. We go over about 150 of them in the “Hacking Sales” book but this is a very important piece because you can do this at scale and make it look like your emails are very highly personalized. Get really good with your ideal customer profile, segment your list well, and basically send out emails in a mass email, it’s not really spray and pray but you’re sending mass, you’re basically sending a mass email but they’re so targeted and they have this valuable information in it, that you’re really doing almost a personalized email at scale. Company trigger examples can be funding or an acquisition, press releases, new headquarters, anything you can find on a company that might be a reason to congratulate them or reach out in general.

I even like using holidays as an example to reach out. Not a lot of people do that and it’s super basic. I’ll use Columbus Day as a holiday. It’s just another reason to send a happy email that isn’t, just wanted to follow up or just checking in. It’s a great way to stay in touch. Not for the first email but as you go and want to keep the lead engaged. Individual trigger examples are similar things so any reason to congratulate them. Job change is one of the best ones because they’re going to a new organization. A lot of times people want to bring in things that they’re familiar with so that’s a great time to get in and if you can set up alerts within your LinkedIn advanced settings and there are other programs that are out there to help you do that. If you can set that up, even using a virtual system to do that, it’s just a great way to continue building that rapport but also the timing for that. Likely they’re going to be buying stuff at their new company.

Also, social media profiles, again, using the New England Patriots example. If you see from Twitter that they’re a Patriots fan, they’re going crazy about the win, great time to follow up. They’re going to love you also. That’s flattering, they’re excited, you recognize that. That’s taking it a step further. That’s another good way to get involved. After that, we won’t go too much into this today, there’s a lot out there on it but setting up a cadence for reaching out to these companies so email, phone, voice mail, even throw LinkedIn and Twitter in there. Stack and optimize everything so the best thing about some of these programs that are out there right now between ToutApp, Yesware, Outreach.io, Cadence (salesloft), there’s Sidekick from Hubspot. There’s, again, a new one popping up every day but they allow you to get visibility into your outreach process.

Understand this subject line sucks. We’re getting a terrible open rate. This call to action is terrible. We’re getting a bad conversion rate. We need to change this. You can optimize your cadence. You can optimize your outreach. By doing that, you can continue to be tweaking it and be getting better results as you go. Establish a process at the top of the funnel. Hold everyone accountable for that process. Get really religious with your ICP and your ideal customer profiles. Build these lists. Make them targeted. Go as big as possible while they’re still targeted though. Then segment them before you send out emails so when you segment your list you can tailor your email to that segment and you can get a lot more personalized with it while still sending out multiple emails. Identify your ideal access point.

On this, your ideal customer profile is your actual title that you’re going after. Use these triggers to help you personalize your messaging. Create a great cadence. Again, test that, optimize that, and build test measure optimize. That’s the process. You can continue tweaking. A lot of these tools that are out there and available to you are really just helping you optimize. There’s a lot of different words for the sales era that we’re in right now, sales acceleration, etc., but everything that’s sales optimization, because everything you can do that you were able to do in the past, which we now do better. You started out selling face to face. The phone was invented. We were selling on the phone. Email was invented. We were selling through email. Now we’re in a place where all those three things are just being enhanced, greatly enhanced. It’s a really exciting time.

I called out Followerwonk earlier. SellerCrowd is another great one for finding the right target and brand in agencies so if you’re in ad sales. Really cool group there. Somebody should take the reins on that for SAS but I’m not sure if it would work the same way. Then Raportive, Boomerang, mostly a refresh.io but check out Google Apps. There’s some good ones in there like undo send and some other ones. If you want to hear more about this we’re actually doing a webinar with two of the best in the game that do this really well with their companies: Daniel Barbara at Optimizely. That’s on April 16th through BrightTALK and it’s on scaling sales development and operations. Again, we go deep into this in the book “Hacking Sales” that we just put out. We showcase about 150 tools in there.

You can see more at saleshacker.com. We’ve got about, I don’t know, a ton of content from some of the best in the game and then our conference, our next conference, is April 30th in New York City so check that out as well. If you want to reach me, max@saleshacker.com and I’m on Twitter @MaxAlts and then we’re also on Twitter @SalesHackerConf, C-O-N-F. Right now, let’s get into questions. Anand, you want to take charge on the questions?

Anand: Certainly. Thanks so much, Max, for that excellent content. There was a lot of information there that the audience will find very useful. I’ll also add that a lot of what you talked about there is stuff that we’ve seen work in practice here at LeadGenius a number of times. We had a few questions from the audience. Maybe we’ll start out with a comment from Drew Spitzer, which was commenting on the different tools that are available for outreach and he mentioned called outreach.io, which I know has some pretty good automation. Maybe, Max, you can tell us a little bit about the outreach tools that are available that go beyond Gmail when you’re trying to do this at scale.

Max: Yeah. There’s ToutApp and Yesware, which are kind of like platform, kind of more platforms for salespeople. Then there’s Outreach and Cadence and PersistIQ. There’s Sendbloom [SP]. Those are all great for the FTR role in general and really focused on actually developing the cadence for the sales development role. There are a lot out there. I would recommend taking a look at all the options. There’s SideKick by Hubspot which more like an SMB, one-off  tool. Again, I would take a look at each of them and find what’s right for your company. There’s a lot out there. Honestly, they’re all pretty good and it does seem like there’s another popping up every day. It’s great for the industry when [inaudible 00:57:36] just announced their $15 million B round from Andreessen, one of the most prestigious VC firms out there.

Then ToutApp with $10 million from Emergence in their first round of funding. I think you’re just going to see a lot more education going into this area and some really cool products coming out. We’ll see what happens but, again, I’d say those are the leaders but find what’s right for you business and take a look at them all.

Anand: Great answer. I’ve seen this phenomenon happen where if you ask your sales guys to try out one of these tools and give you an opinion, everyone will give you a different opinion on which one they like the best.

Max: Yeah.

Anand: It is great for the industry. There are a lot of great tools out there. Terrific. We have one more question from Fernando Alvez who is based in Latin America. One point that he makes is that LinkedIn doesn’t work so well in certain geographies in terms of lack of coverage of potential leads. If you’ve looked at some international sources, what are you seeing works well in terms of a source of raw lead data looking outside the U.S.?

Max: Yeah. Usually, in most of these countries there’s kind of a version of LinkedIn in some of these geos that some of the locals like to use more. I think it’s different for every country and I’m not too polished up on, say, Brazil, in specifics. I’m probably not the best guy to ask about that but I would check out the local ones if there is a local version. That might be the best one. Do you have any insight into that because you guys are very heavy in the data game internationally?

Anand: Sure. I can give you some suggestions. We’ve done a number of data collection campaigns for entities that are looking at DRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China. Generally, there are two sources that we like to look at, maybe three, depending on how versatile you are. The first big one is looking at directories of companies in these areas. We look for a local analog of Yelp in these countries. The second that we found is fairly effective is looking at company domains inside those countries and then following the links on those company registrations to find the company pages. Then we can usually identify from those websites where the relevant companies are and who needs to work there so looking at companies that have a .in domain or a .ru domain and so on. All this information is out on the web.

You can look it up through whois records or other tools. The last thing, of course, and this is tricky in international settings, is looking at government filings. In some countries you can do a reasonable job of it, especially in Europe. In other countries it becomes trickier. I think a lot of the basic techniques are still the same. You have to find a good, meaningful, reproducible source of leads and once you’ve found that then you can start applying the tricks that we talked about in today’s session. I think that we can work reasonably well whether it’s international sales or local sales.

Max: Yeah.

Anand: We have one more question that’s come in via Twitter. This one is about the process of setting up leads for segmentation, lists of leads for segmentation. Max, how many ICTs do you think it too many? If you’re setting this up for the first time, where do you want to draw the line in terms of how finely you want to segment this list into ICP leads?

Max: Yes. I think you’d have, I think it looks like a bulls-eye. I think you have a, your 100%, this is my low-hanging fruit. This is the best group of people that I can find. Then there’s outer circles to that, kind of like an onion. I think at a certain point you’re just forcing it. You’ve got to figure out what that point is. You know that you’ll have, for that one really central ICP and then maybe you’ll have one or two, maybe three, outside of that that are possible, especially when you’re just starting but you’ll be able to weed that out pretty quickly. You’ll be able to start to figure out, “Okay. I’m having to do way too much qualification for these as time goes on,” and you’ll realize that’s not really an ideal customer profile at all. It’s just somebody who was an outlier that fought and now you kind of went down that path.

In the beginning, it’s a lot about experimenting, figuring it out but there should be a fair amount that you can do before you even close any deals to figure out this is what we’re going to do, this is the area that we’re thinking is our ideal customer profile. Now, I’ve had, I’ve seen people selling into HR that should have been selling into learning and development and they learned that over time. Again, going back to a point earlier, you think you’re selling into marketing but it’s really a product decision. You figure that out. When you’re really young, you don’t have sales background. You have to go with an assumption, stick with it, and try maybe anywhere between two and four, depending on what the business looks like.

Anand: Great. I think that metaphor of a bulls-eye is really accurate and I think the idea that these ICPs evolve over time is also something that early companies should appreciate. Max, we have another question. This was asked by two people and it’s actually a terrific one. This is from Jack and Ankeresh. They’re asking how this process changes if you are selling high value enterprise contracts. Basically either partnerships or fewer, large scale deals or maybe places where you have a very large deal size and you require buy-in from multiple stakeholders. I have a take on this. I’d love to know your take on it first, Max.

Max: Yeah. I think you should find more contacts at that company, especially on the enterprise level, and go deeper into that company and let them do less companies. You’ll still set up a cadence and you’ll still want to be nurturing that lead as you go but you’ll be a little bit more personalized about the messaging and you’ll set up a list of more contacts within that company instead of two or three people in that company. You might want to find six or seven and surround your ideal customer profile. Get in there. I wouldn’t send them all the same email and I wouldn’t send it all at the same time. You’ll want to be nurturing that account using your cadence, using your triggers and your research, and using the list building the same way you were doing before except you’re finding more leads and less accounts.

Anand: That’s absolutely right. Yeah. I think that’s the right strategy. We’ll add to this here is that these other techniques we’re talking about, they’ve been brought into the prominence nowadays by the people who are selling to the mid-market but a lot of these techniques were applied in the earliest days when targeting, in particular, enterprise deals. I think Aaron Ross at Salesforce, he specialized in using this kind of model to go after high value deals and partnerships. The one thing I’ll add is that when you are dealing with situations where your market is very small, you have to sell into maybe 100 or 500 buyers, Fortune 500 for example, you will need to find lots more contacts at those companies. You’ll have to be much more participant in going after those stakeholders.

That’s actually a place where Max’s top down strategy may end up working better than a bottom up strategy but by all means, the strategy does work. You’re just going to end up with a slightly different approach. I have one more question coming.

Max: For those kinds of companies, I would do bottom up with one message, top down with a different message and then the, maybe, ideal customer profile that actually, that actual employee with a different message. This way you’re surrounding them withthe same message. It’s the same goal but it’s kind of different. Everybody, I guess when you’re selling to anyone in general, you’re selling to a human first, then an employee, and then a company. That’s why the messaging would be different all the way around and you want to sell that person on a human, emotional side first and then on the how they’re going to become a hero within their organization as an employee and then how their company is going to prosper.

Anand: Great. We’ve got a few more questions here in chat but let’s take one from Twitter before we jump on these. From Twitter we have one asking about some of the data techniques that we’ve applied to salespeople. Max, in this universe where salespeople are applying a lot of these tools to collect data at scale and look for triggers, when they’re acting more like data scientists, what do you see the role of SDR becoming in this process?

Max: Yeah. Honestly, I think a lot of the historic or past SDR role the way it used to be can be done by technology and a team of virtual assistants in the Philippines. I think now it’s not as much where the SDR actually had to go out and do all the stuff and then qualify the leads. I think it’s, you know, it can be done earlier. The SDR can kind of manage that process and then set up the meeting with the account executive or even do the demo themselves. I don’t think it’s so much doing this process themselves and then doing the qualification call because if this is done right, a lot of it can be automated and just managed by them and the qualification call is almost unnecessary because you qualified so much already. It becomes, it just at that point becomes getting in touch with them and setting up the meeting.

Anand: Terrific. I think we have two more questions here that we can take from studio audience. First we have one from Arash [SP] about the time management as you’re applying this process. This is about the difference between inbound, outbound, and the point of actually closed deal. A lot of folks get the situation, Max, when looking at your techniques. They maybe have a good inbound lead flow but they’re working both as an SDR and an AE at their companies. They’re trying to source deals, close some of these deals, and also deal with inbound interests. How do you recommend balancing time between looking after inbound deals, looking after existing deals that are already in the pipeline, and looking after this kind of process to try and generate leads for you?

Max: Yeah. It’s almost like taking one step backwards to take two steps forwards. Build a really solid foundation with the process and a lot of that will, a lot of those problems will solve themselves. If you go backwards, take a second, and really build out a really streamlined and efficient process about the outreach for the bigger, you’re basically turning outbound into inbound. This entire cadence and all this stuff that you’re doing, you’re sending out this email. It’s just a person getting served an ad. When you’re targeting somebody on Facebook ads or Google Ads, you’re finding your ideal customer profile and then you’re serving them an ad. This way you’re just doing it to their inboxes, their phones, their voicemail, their LinkedIn, their email, their Twitter. You’re turning outbound into inbound.

If you can get this process set up and actually, at some point, you’re only dealing with inbound because you can think about it that way. You can think about, “I just have to service these leads that are coming in because they’re coming in through the outbound and I’m really not doing anything for it.” This way you’re still dealing with all the leads the same way across the board but you should always be doing the portion of, spending a portion of your time on outbound. I hear a lot of companies say, “Yeah, we’re purely inbound.” That’s kind of crazy because, well, awesome. People want your product so you know that so go out and you get the biggest bang for your buck. You’re not, if you’re purely inbound there’s not way that the entire Fortune 500 is reaching out to you so go get the rest or go get all of it.

If you’re getting inbound from mid-market, go higher. Go enterprise. You’ve got to out and hunt at some point. As far as the time split goes, the exact percent of time you should be spending on X, Y, and Z, I guess it depends on how high quality your inbound is, how much inbound you’re getting, and how much, I guess, resources you have. Can you go out and spend $3.50 an hour on a VA? Will you put in the time to go out and make that process more efficient? I don’t think there’s a number that you can say that’s definitely, “Yeah, split it up this way.” It’s just now that generic and general. I don’t believe that.

Anand: Thank you, Max. That was a great answer and quite comprehensive. The only thing I’ll add to that is that I’ll reiterate. When you’re doing these techniques, the process of generating outbound should be more or less automatic and you should be able to wake up every day with a fresh pile of inbound responses to your outbound inquiries. Really, this situation where you’re looking at trying to balance your time, it’s really going to be a one time situation while you’re setting this up, until you get things up and running and then you can reap the benefits.

Max: Exactly.

Anand: Well, terrific. Let me thank everyone for coming. We have a bunch of questions that we didn’t get to answer. What we’ll do is email a recording of the conversation to everyone who is registered as an attendee along with a list of the tools that were mentioned here, which is something that a number of folks as for, as well as answers to all the questions that were asked here in chat and on Twitter that we did not get a chance to get to. If you asked a question and we didn’t answer it, we’ll go ahead and include an answer to that in our follow-up email. Max and I will spend some time on those just after this. If you have more questions that you didn’t get to ask, please tweet your question to the #salesiq after the webinar closes and we will make sure that we answer them. In the meantime, thank you so much for coming to join us this morning.

We hope that you guys got a lot out of this. Thanks as well, Max, for everything you shared. I know this was useful content for many of the folks in the audience.

Max: Yeah. Definitely. Catch up with me on Twitter or email and thanks for having me. This was fun.

Anand: Great. Well, thanks a lot all and we look forward to seeing you at the next LeadGenius webinar. All right. Take care.