In this episode of the Sales Hacker Podcast, we have Jason Bay, Chief Prospecting Officer at Blissful Prospecting, a company he built to coach B2B reps in outbound sales. Join us for a high-energy, people-focused conversation about doing a complete 180 with your outbound sales framework.
If you missed episode #192, check it out here: The Holiday Mailbag: Your Community Questions Answered
What You’ll Learn
- What to use instead of the brute force approach
- The 3-part framework of identify, engage, create
- You’re trying to get a meeting, not a closing
- Jason’s take on omnichannel outreach, especially calling
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Show Agenda and Timestamps
- About Jason Bay & Blissful Prospecting [1:52]
- What teams need to be doing for successful outbound [9:12]
- The 3-part outbound framework [10:58]
- KISS: Keep It Simple Sequencing [16:39]
- Ideal tools for great prospecting [24:18]
- Paying it forward [28:43]
- Sam’s Corner [33:24]
About Jason Bay & Blissful Prospecting [1:52]
Sam Jacobs: Today on the show we’ve got Jason Bay. Jason runs a company called Blissful Prospecting. He’s on a mission to help sales teams turn complete strangers into paying customers. His clients have included teams from companies like Zoom, CBRE, Medallia, Xfinity, Commvault, and more.
Before we get there, we’ve got three sponsors for the show.
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Today on the show, we’re excited to have Jason Bay. Sales is the only adult job he’s ever had, from selling door to door, running outbound call centers, to helping thousands of reps master cold outreach. Jason, welcome to the show.
As a long-time listener, you know we start with your baseball card. Tell us about Blissful Prospecting?
Jason Bay: Every year it gets harder to get the attention of our prospects.
I started the company with my wife five years ago. B2B and B2C companies I consulted with didn’t have good inside sales teams. They weren’t doing basic things that seem fundamental, like personalizing email, not sounding like a robot when you call, prioritizing their needs, challenges, and priorities first.
We’re training and coaching. We started working with small businesses, now we’re working with SaaS and professional services companies. It’s all centered around how do we fix this problem, how do we break through the clutter?
When I went to college, a large company hired students and taught them how to run a house painting franchise. I didn’t know when I started that I would be going door to door.
The first thing I did, I bought Little Red Book of Selling and a House Painting for Dummy’s book, I made like $30,000, and spent three years as a sales manager, teaching fresh college students with little experience.
I found out that I’m pretty good at talking to people. I started asking how do I help other companies do this over the phone? There’s so much reluctance to call people. Most companies have a discovery framework, they know how to do demos. With outbound, the advice is always here’s a script and some email templates.
Let’s step back outside of the tactics and let’s teach our team, what are the strategies here, and the why components behind outbound. How do we teach this and give it the same level of seriousness that we do when we’re selling to people?
What teams need to be doing for successful outbound [9:12]
Sam Jacobs: What are the best teams doing in order to really be good at outbound that you see the lesser teams doing or not doing?
Jason Bay: There are three key shifts that you want to make at a high level that center around one theme. What we need to do is called a support response. When you share something, lean in and think about, what could I learn about him as a person by digging in?
We can help you with training. We have a solution that can do this. The conversation immediately flips to how you can help.
The 3-part outbound framework [10:58]
Jason Bay: The three things that we need to think about are the three-part framework. The first part is identify. Think about how we segment the people that we’re reaching out to. It needs to be deeper than we help companies that sell software. That’s not specific enough. Figure out what makes talking about your product or service relevant for them.
Better identification and more segmentation so that you can do volume at scale based on situations that you see your target market in. That’s number one.
Number two is engage. This is how we decide to start conversations with our prospects. The big shift to make here is to move from me-centric messaging to you-centric messaging. Don’t do your elevator pitch there. Start the cold call or that email or whatever it might be with their world first.
If you don’t fundamentally understand when you’re talking to a VP or C-level what they’re working on, it doesn’t matter how many times you reach out to someone or how cool the video is that you send them. You need to demonstrate business acumen. So that’s number two.
Number three is create. We have identify, engage, and create. Take a conversation and create an opportunity out of that. Those are the three big areas where when companies make those shifts, we get good results in a short amount of time.
KISS: Keep It Simple Sequencing [16:39]
Jason Bay: I use a simple framework, called KISS, keep it simple sequencing.
The KISS framework is you’re going to reach out to someone for three weeks. On week one, it’s going to look like this. On day one of that sequence, I call the person, I email and I hit them up on a social channel like LinkedIn. I’m going to point the voicemail to the email. It’s about a webinar we’re doing with X, Y, Z competitors on how they can accomplish this.
On day three of that sequence, I’m going to call, I’m going to bump that email with, any thoughts? I’m going to follow that same pattern three weeks in a row. Each week is going to focus on a different topic or priority or problem. From there, you can use that as a foundation and let your sales engagement platform tell you where you need to double down.
As far as I’m concerned, no one uses the phone enough. That’s the biggest thing that people need to double down on right now. If you’re selling to marketers and sales leaders, LinkedIn’s a good channel. But a company that sells into clinical operations roles at medical devices companies, LinkedIn’s not great for them. Phone and email all the way. Everything needs to be built around what you’re doing on the phone and with email.
Sam Jacobs: Is cold calling less or more effective than it used to be?
Jason Bay: People have personal preferences. As ironic as it might sound, I don’t pick up the phone and take cold calls either, even though I teach people to do it. People in their twenties might want to talk through whatever social channel. The data does support it.
There’s a book written by Annie Duke, it’s called Thinking in Bets. The whole philosophy is how do we treat things in our personal life like a bet. In poker, it’s all about increasing your odds of winning and making the best of the hand that you’re dealt.
The average success rate for cold calling is a 1% chance of a positive outcome. It’s around 1.2% to 1.5% chance of a positive response in an email, so between those two, there’s a one or two out of a hundred chance that you get a positive reply.
You’re cutting your chances in half if you don’t use the phone. Two, if you’re using a dialer with a three to five-second delay, people are going to hang up. That’s decreasing your odds. If I start with an elevator pitch, if I don’t use a permission-based opener, if I don’t do these things, I’m decreasing the odds of success in a cold call. The best cold callers I’ve seen get one out of three connects on the cold call, they secure a meeting. They’re calling people that they know are a good fit, they’ve done the research beforehand.
If one out of every three connects you convert into a qualified meeting, and get a sales process started, that’s pretty good. How do we get from that 1% to that 33%? If you’re not using the phone, you’re missing out on half of the opportunities. I think about it as a game of odds.
What are the things we can do to stack the odds in our favor? Research, talking about them first, knowing their problems, being able to bring that up in the cold call, being confident. Conviction. Experience. Sounding like a peer. All of those things are going to increase your chances.
Ideal tools for great prospecting [24:18]
Jason Bay: You need Sales Navigator. That’s a must. ZoomInfo’s great. It’s really expensive. But oftentimes you have to pair two or three tools together. This should be ops.
Then like LeadIQ, ZoomInfo, and Apollo. It’s industry contextual, depending on who you’re selling into. A sales engagement platform. Your Outreach is great. Then a tool to send videos with. Vidyard. A CRM that integrates with these tools. Salesforce or HubSpot. That’s all you need.
Seeking Alpha is a great tool for research because you can get transcripts of quarterly reports, earnings reports, and decks for those reports.
I’m big on investing in things that you spend a lot of time on. Get a decent chair. Have a good ergonomic setup with your desk. Get a second monitor. Your workspace needs to be comfortable for you to get work done.
Paying it forward [28:43]
Sam Jacobs: We want to pay it forward. Who are the people that have influenced you? What are some other important ideas, people, or concepts that we should be aware of?
Jason Bay: Michael Port wrote a book called Book Yourself Solid.
I like reading stuff that’s not sales-oriented. You’re Not Listening by Katie Murphy. The other person that’s had a really big impact on my life is Anthony Iannarino. He wrote several books, Eat Their Lunch, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, and The Lost Art of Closing.
Anthony had a big impact on my life. If I had to make one more, the 30 minutes to President’s Club Podcast with Nick and Armand, is a good tactical podcast to listen to for salespeople.
BlissfulProspecting.com. You’re going to find things there. Free stuff? We got plenty of that. Podcasts. Guides on video prospecting. Frameworks for emails. I post content every day on LinkedIn on outbound specifically.
Sam’s Corner [33:24]
Sam Jacobs: Hey everybody, Sam’s corner. Great conversation. He’s teaching things the world needs to learn, which is that a brute force approach to getting people’s attention is not working.
You need to be thoughtful, take the time to segment, identify triggers, understand the people that you’re selling to, and make it about them, not you. I think that’s true so much in the world, that you got to make it about other people. It’s not about you.
He has this framework: identify, engage, create. But the last piece of it is, teach, don’t take. Teach them something and make it interesting.