If you missed episode 155, check it out here: How to Improve Your Sales Process with Pouyan Salehi
Show Agenda and Timestamps
- Key principles to empower SDRs for success [4:55]
- Tips and tactics for using video in outbound [7:14]
- How long should sequences be? How many channels? [8:49]
- Should sales development fall under sales or marketing? [14:25]
- The sales pro’s internal battle to sell without ego [15:24]
- How to change your mindset on rejection [19:33]
- Sam’s Corner [25:00]
Show Introduction [00:42]
Sam Jacobs: Today on the show we’ve got Michael Hanson, the founder and CEO of Growth Genie, a company that’s helping salespeople to get more meetings. Michael shares a great framework for how to sell without ego along with outstanding tips and tactics for how to get meetings. One of his most important insights is about how to use video appropriately.
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Now, let’s listen to my conversation with Michael Hanson.
Key principles to empower SDRs for success [4:55]
Sam Jacobs: What are the key principles you’re teaching SDRs and salespeople in outbound? And what are some of the tactics you’re finding successful and effective?
Michael Hanson: Everyone’s thinking about their own needs, not the person they’re reaching out to. So that very first line should show that you understand who I am, my business, and my industry.
Despite the bad press on the subject, you could still do that in automation. Of course, it’s going to be more impactful if you do it on a one-on-one basis.
And the other thing is, when you’re asking for a meeting, think about what’s in it for them. Don’t just say, “Do you have time for a 30-minute call?” Instead, say something like, “Would you be interested in learning more about…?” Tell them what’s going to happen on the call.
Now regarding email, the average person in a business gets 100 emails; c-suite decision-makers get 200-300 emails. Breakthrough is getting harder. Some things we’re seeing work very well — sending people thoughtful e-gifts (not physical gifts) and voice notes on LinkedIn. They’re much more human.
Tips and tactics for using video in outbound [7:14]
Sam Jacobs: We’re hearing a lot about video. Are you advising clients to use it?
Michael Hanson: Video is great. One of the things you have to watch out for in video is putting links in your first email. It can get spammy. I recommend putting video in your second or third email. If someone opens your email, then essentially their email service is saying it trusts that email address.
Some people find videos a bit cringy, but there’s various video tools out there that you can use and you can share your screen. So screenshot the website of the person you’re reaching out to and mention something about their website or their LinkedIn post. Share your screen, and that’s going to get their attention.
I think a lot of people are sending videos just for the sake of doing something cool, though. Don’t do that.
Sam Jacobs: That’s a fantastic tip, worth the price of the podcast right there.
How long should sequences be? How many channels? [8:49]
Sam Jacobs: Have sequences become more complicated and longer in duration?
Michael Hanson: Great question. Some of the touches have changed in the sequence. The length hasn’t really changed. We’ve been using the same sequence for a while, which has actually 30 touches over around the course of three weeks.
Thirty touches? That’s harassment, right? But actually, there’s a lot of logic behind it. The average connection rate for a cold call now is 5%.
So it can take you 20 calls just to get hold of someone once. Emails? The average open rate has gone down to below 20% in the last year. And then LinkedIn is becoming more and more crowded. So often people don’t even see your message.
A lot of sales reps think, “Oh, someone hasn’t replied, they don’t like my message.” Often they just haven’t seen it.
I’m not saying to spam people. Your messaging still needs to be thoughtful. One great tip is asking for feedback at the end of your sequence.
Should sales development fall under sales or marketing? [14:25]
Sam Jacobs: Do you have a point of view on whether sales development should be in sales or marketing?
Michael Hanson: Wherever it works.
Sometimes if you have SDRs in the sales team but sales and marketing aren’t aligned, then they’re not getting the content that marketing is great at. On the flip side, if you’ve got marketing only in the SDR team, they’ll send marketing emails, not sales emails. But as long as sales and marketing are aligned and you have a good leader, it can work either way.
The sales pro’s internal battle to sell without ego [15:24]
Sam Jacobs: Effective outbound messages are important to being a great salesperson. But the biggest driver is actually the internal battle that many salespeople face. Talk a little bit about your thoughts there.
Michael Hanson: We have a modular growth genie called selling without ego. We’ve identified these negative driven emotions that are associated with your ego. You can never get rid of them, but you can recognize them.
Sometimes if you detach from that outcome and stop thinking about yourself, then you can have a much more fruitful conversation.
In other circumstances, our ego can get in the way. Maybe we got a nasty email. The salesperson who doesn’t have a big ego may reply in a couple of days with something really personalized. And I’ve seen them turn that into a meeting and a deal.
How to change your mindset on rejection [19:33]
Sam Jacobs: How did your thinking on the internal battle evolve?
Michael Hanson: In your head, you can think someone has rejected you, but you have to get into the mindset that they may be having a bad time. Maybe they have problems at home, maybe their dog died, or their marriage isn’t working. Change your mindset to realize these things are temporary.
Sam Jacobs: How do you change your mindset? How do you flip the script? How do you develop that empathy? Is it just a matter of being aware of it?
Michael Hanson: I breathe for five minutes, but breathing is just one thing. You can go for a walk or do exercise.
Essentially If something’s getting you down, just get your head away from that situation, and then when you come back to it, you feel refreshed.
I’m also big into people taking like a week off work where they get away from their screens.
Sam’s Corner [25:00]
Sam Jacobs: Hey, everybody, Sam Jacobs. Really enjoyed that conversation with Michael Hanson. Some fun and interesting takeaways. First of all, their most popular sequence is 30 touches over 21 days. That will unnerve certain people, but it’s effective.
When you’re using video, don’t just make it a video of yourself, screenshot their LinkedIn profile, their posts, or their company website. I thought that was really interesting and effective use of video. Are you using LinkedIn voice messages? Not many people are, but they’re incredibly effective, too.
And then we moved over to removing ego from your sales process. So much of it comes down to removing yourself, focusing on the other, removing moving desire from the equation, and focusing on curiosity.
Don’t miss episode #157!
Thanks again to Outreach. Remember that if you want to check out how Outreach does Outreach, go to outreach.io/onoutreach.
Of course, do not forget about Unleash 2021. Go to unleash.outreach.io to register for that event.
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I will see you next time.