Do you enjoy your morning commute? Do you use that time to figure out what you want to accomplish? Goals you want to crush? It can be a peaceful time to think about various projects and who to work with to make things happen.
Today, we’re talking to Steli Efti, co-founder and CEO of Close.io, about the intersection of inbound marketing and outbound sales. We discuss where to start, how to work collaboratively, how to grow and scale practices, and HUCA.
Actionable Content Marketing powered by CoSchedule
AMP114: Accelerating Growth At The Intersection Of Inbound Marketing And Outbound Sales With Steli Efti From Close.io
Some of the highlights of the show include:
- Starts with customers – if you’ve had success with inbound marketing and data to identify ideal/non-ideal customers, that’s the foundation of outbound sales
- Outbound Strategy: Ask customers for advice on how to sell to them
- Be vulnerable when doing sales, ask for help, and create an MVP for insights
- Decision-maker milestones to reach through outbound efforts that can be improved, replicated, and scaled
- Not all sales reps are created equal; requires consistency and persistence
- Would I want to buy from this person? Would I want to buy something from this person that I don’t really want to buy?
- Salesperson Characteristics: Knowledgeable, influencing, trustful, confident, authentic, honest, competitive, and adaptive
- Depending on your buyers, send emails or make calls to reach them
- Hang Up and Call Again (HUCA): Philosophy that applies to trying again to get everything you want in life
- Get outbound sales and inside marketing to work together to understand what they’re trying to accomplish and what insights they’re gathering
Quotes by Steli Efti:
“My entrepreneurial superpower has always been sales and marketing. I’ve always been communicating to drive things forward and to make my businesses succeed.”
“Most of the advice that I give is super obvious stuff, but it’s stuff that people don’t want to do.”
“Just ask a bunch of your customers to give you advice on how to sell to them from an outbound perspective.”
“What separates a great from the good is real consistency and persistency.”
“If you sound confident and comfortable, it’s going to make me feel like I should stay on the phone and keep listening.”
You’re listening to the Actionable Marketing Podcast powered by CoSchedule, the number one marketing calendar for everything you need organized.
Eric: The morning commute. Now, I don’t know about you but I love my morning commute. It’s just time for me to pragmatically think about what it is I want accomplished for the week. Maybe devise a roadmap of all the goals that I want to crush. Now self-admittedly, this is far from what we could have been talking about, not a lot of bumper-to-bumper traffic, no road rage going on, so it’s pretty peaceful. It’s just a good time for me to about the projects I want accomplished, and more importantly, who I need to work with, what teams I need to collaborate with in order to make that happen.
Thinking of that, this episode of the Actionable Marketing Podcast takes place right at the intersection of inbound marketing and outbound sales. Now if you’ve noticed over the past month or two, there’s been a theme between the crossroads of these two teams, sales and marketing. This is the caps down episode of that topic.
We have a great guest. I cannot wait to introduce you to Steli Efti. He is the co-founder and CEO of Close.io and he is a well-known name in the industry of outbound sales. If you ever seen him give a keynote, he is fantastic. He actually has a count for a number of swear words he uses but he kept it really clean on today’s episode. He’s going to break down all types of things like where do we start with the outbound sales process? How do these two teams work collaboratively? How do you grow and scale an outbound sales practice? What is this acronym called HUCA? What does that mean?
I’ll leave it as a teaser there. He dives into all of this. It’s going to be a fantastic episode. My name is Eric Piela. I’m the Brand and Buzz Manager here at CoSchedule. Thanks so much for tuning in to this episode of the Actionable Marketing Podcast. Let’s jump right into it. All right, let’s get AMPed.
All right. Welcome, Steli, to the Actionable Marketing Podcast. Great to have you on.
Steli: Thank you so much for having me.
Eric: Yeah, absolutely. This is fun. As I mentioned, we love to bring on marketers but I love to flip the script and change the pace. I’m excited to have you on to talk a little bit about this kind of outbound sales, just really kind of get into the mind of a salesman, and really understand, I think, a lot of the bridge that takes place between marketing and sales. I love it if you could, Steli, maybe just kind of introduce yourself and maybe provide our listeners some background and a little bit about your company.
Steli: Yeah, absolutely. I’m originally from Greece but born and raised in Germany. Dropped out of school when I was 17-18 to start my first business and have never had a real job in my life ever since then. Another way of saying it is I’ve been a zero entrepreneur, started a number of businesses, a few back in Europe, but then 13 years ago I decided to sell everything I had and bought a one-way ticket to the Bay Area because I wanted to start a technology company in Silicon Valley.
That first company—I don’t want to ruin the suspense—didn’t quite work out the way I wanted it to. It was kind of a five-year glorious failure and soul-crushing defeat. The second company I started, with a few twist and turns, turned out to be pretty all right is the business I’m running today. I always say my entrepreneurial super power, if I had any, has always been sales and marketing. I’ve always been communicating to drive things forward in the world and to hopefully make my businesses succeed.
This company that I’m running today is called Close.io. It’s an insight sales CRM that a lot of companies around the world are using, especially kind of small and medium-sized teams that are very focused on sales productivity. We’re not talking to massive enterprise organizations. We help small businesses, a lot of startups and tech companies, but all kinds of size and shapes and industries with closing better and more deals who are using our CRM.
The main way that we’ve been marketing ourselves and the way that we’ve been able to build a very large business in terms of revenue and kind of impact around the world has been content marketing, which I know is kind of you guys’ bread and butter. The world of marketing and sales and having these two worlds play well together and understand each other better is a big, soft spot in my heart. I’d be super excited to be on the podcast.
Eric: Yeah, that’s great and what a really interesting and fantastic journey that you’ve had. I’d love to dive into there but I want to get to the meat. I’m sure there’s tons of stories. I’ve been able to catch a couple of your keynotes that have been recorded, follow your blog quite a bit, and there’s just so much we could cover today.
You’re right. I think most of the people that are listening potentially have been focused on that inbound marketing, that content marketing. I love to be able to kind of pause from that and that’s great to kind of hear how your company’s been grossing but I think everyone might hit that place.
We’ve certainly, at the beginning, we’ve kind of hit that spot at CoSchedule. We’re like, “Wow, we might have to look somewhere else besides our content and inbound strategies,” and we’re actually at the point we’re like, “Hey, outbound might be an opportunity for us.” Selfishly, I’m like, “Hey, let’s have Steli on and I can just pick his brain,” and while I learn and our team learns, everyone else can learn in the process.
With that kind of setting the stage, where the heck do we begin? If I’m saying, “Hey, someone’s coming to you, I want to start some of this out inside outbound sales,” where do we start? What is the first thing we start to do and consider?
Steli: I’ll preface this by saying, most of the advice that I give is super obvious stuff but it’s stuff that people don’t want to do. For all the listeners out there, if at any point you listen to me, you go, “This makes so much sense but I absolutely and positively don’t want to do this,” then that’s probably the area you should take a better look at because that’s the area of real growth opportunity.
It all starts with your customers. If you’ve had success with inbound so far and you had a good amount of data set in terms of who your ideal customers are and who your non-ideal customers are, which is something a lot of people don’t do, they just write the perfect persona of the person that should purchase the product, I would advise people to also write the non-ideal personal profile, like who is the person we should be pointing away from our solution and product and company.
Since you have a lot of that data and hopefully a good amount of insights of who your ideal customers, who’s a customer that really will benefit greatly and better from buying our solution than our competitor’s solution, that’s the starting point of the foundation for everything else we do. That hopefully informs us on who we should try to reach, how we should try to reach them, when we should try to reach them, and with what message and method should we try to reach them.
The one easy strategy I always give away that is, again, so obvious, nobody would ever dare to try it, is talk to some of your inbound customers, some of the customers that you won over recently. Maybe you can identify that it was not just pure inbound. Maybe they sign up for a blog or something but then they took a lot of outreach by email or social media or something else or some promotional offer to get them to sign-up for a trial. Maybe they took a little bit of a step towards you and identified themselves.
You have to do a number of outreach and promotion marketing to get them to actually give your product a trial. Reach out to those people and ask them. Just reach out and ask for advice and say, “Hey, you’ve been a great new customer of ours. Just 10 minutes as an expert in your field, we’ve seen so much success with customers like you. We’re thinking that it is time for us to become more proactive and reaching out to similar customers that might have never heard of us before, to give them the information needed for them to decide if they want to use our platform. If you were an adviser to our company or if you were my co-founder, or if you’re sitting on our sales team or if you were to be on the Board of Directors, as somebody that has been so to everyday, how would you do this? What are the chance that you think are effective and ineffective? What are the ways that you think are going to be successful and what are the ways that we should try to avoid doing this?”
Just ask a bunch of your customers to give you advice on how to sell to them from an outbound perspective. They’re being sold to outbound-wise everyday. You could even ask, “Hey, when was the last time your purchased a product that the company reached out to you practically? They called you, they emailed you out of the blue, and you found the offer, the communication’s so compelling that you started engaging with them. When was the last time that happened? What company was it and how did they do it and what was so good about it?” Learn from your customers and use the data you have about your customers to inform how you should start the process of building an outbound model, if that makes sense.
Eric: Yeah, I know it does. I love that angle, even position like, “Hey, if you’re an adviser, if you were a co-founder, if you’re…” like I think this, they probably feel, “Hey, yeah this is a really cool opportunity,” and they take the opportunity to really share some of that insight with you. I love that and that’s, here and there, been a theme in some of the interviews. It’s like, “Don’t forget all the wealth of information your existing customers have and are able to share with you. Whether it is marketing or sales, there’s tons of intel there. Don’t be afraid to ask those questions.” Good stuff.
Again, primarily, if you’re a marketer, you think, “Is this something that I could just start myself or should I hire someone right away?” What do you recommend is the best, once you maybe gathered your intel and you want to actually start to pick up the phone or start doing some emails, what’s your best bet there? Do I find somebody who’s experienced in this? Do I just start learning what works and doesn’t work? What do you recommend there?
Steli: I always recommend to start yourself. The reason for that is that in the first phase, we gathered some intel, we put together some kind of a game plan on like, “This might work trying this kind of a channel, trying this kind of messaging.” We put together some high level of thinking.
Now what we’re doing is as we’re going to go out there, we’re not yet ready to execute the perfect sales plan and we’re definitely not ready to scale some kind of a sales process. We are if you think about sales as a product. We be in the very early stages to try to come up with an MVP, like a minimal viable pitch or a minimal viable outbound pitch or whatever you want to call it.
We are still very much in the phase of trying to generate insights that will inform us on how to do this successfully. You cannot get second-hand insights. Such a thing does not exist. Just like an MVP, I can’t just go to a web development agency and say, “Well, I want to build a really killer social network that’s mobile. Please build it for me. That’s not going to work. If they knew how to build an amazing successful social network on mobile, they’ll just do it themselves. They can build something if I tell them very specifically what it needs to be, and how it needs to look like. I can’t just be broad.
Same thing applies in sales. I can’t just hire somebody, even worse, try to outsource my sales process and just go, “Well, we’re selling to marketers of companies 50 to 500. Go and figure out selling for me and do it successfully immediately. If they could do that, they would just do that themselves. That’s not feasible.
In the early days, even if it doesn’t scale, even if you have zero experience in selling, and you think, “Well, I’m going to do a terrible job at it,” that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that much. In the early days, you want to do some amount of that selling yourself, to gather intelligence, and to generate insights.
It’s those moments when you’ve been on the phone multiple times and you realize, “Well, every time I try to call this type of buyer, an assistant picks up the phone. We might have to come up with a compelling pitch to the assistant first to get to the decision-maker. That’s a reality we didn’t think through. We created this incredibly compelling pitch for the buyer but we have to first sell the gatekeeper. We need a better pitch for that and we don’t have a good pitch for that. Let’s think about that. Let’s think about the psychology of that.
That’s something somebody else is not going to tell you. All they’re going to tell you is, I never reached the buyer. They’re going to be a lot lazier with the insights. They’re just going to share their results and go–well, you really can’t sell this through the phone. Versus if you talk to a few of these assistants, especially if you had some good conversations that again used the techniques we mentioned earlier—the ask and listen—you don’t want me to get to the buyer. Your job is to protect them from people that waste their time.
I have something that’s compelling but I’ve no experience on how to communicate that. “Dear assistant, if you’re aware…” and again, an adviser to our company, if you are my co-founder, how would you do this? Have you ever let anybody through? Has that ever happen? And if so, what made them stand out? You’d be surprised when you ask people for help, when you become vulnerable, and you open up in that way, people will actually give you an incredible amount of valuable insight and they’ll give you advice that you’re going to be able to take and run with.
You can’t give that to somebody else. You have to do some of the selling, cold emailing, cold calling, some of this activity yourself, to really generate the insights of figuring out this doesn’t work, this works, we have these phone numbers but nobody ever picks up so this channel will never work for us.
Whatever it is, you collect these insights and all you need as a version one of an MVP in this sense, is you have to generate a first model, sort of like reaching a decision-maker, then the second model is reaching the decision-maker and getting to some kind of a meaningful conversation whether you can qualify them or not, and then eventually getting into one close, one customer acquired. It doesn’t matter how small the customer is.
If you can get to these milestones, it doesn’t really matter if it takes you a month or three or four or five. If you can get to these milestones through up on efforts, chances are these efforts can be improved, replicated, and scaled.
That’s the phase where you might want to bring in more expertise and people will help to improve and adjust and add and scale things. But there’s no outside expert you can bring in typically, when you have nothing, that can build everything from scratch. That’s very, very rare.
Eric: Steli Efti. What a cool name. What a cool guy. I hope you’re enjoying this episode in the show so far. It’s half-time, so just a quick ask. I am looking for some fun topics for the Actionable Marketing Podcast. If you have some ideas that you want to cover, people that we should interview, hit me up. Just reach out to [email protected] Let me know what you like to talk about. I’ll be happy to do so. I’ve got tons of ideas but I love to hear from listeners. Looking forward to your suggestions. All right, let’s get back to the episode.
As with marketers, not all sales reps are created equal. If you’re going about building a team, in your mind, what really separates a great sales rep from a mediocre one?
Steli: What separates the great from the good is real consistency and persistency. That’s why I am considered “a sales thought leader.” I’ve written many books about the topic I’m speaking all around the world around us. I’ve hired lots and lots of sales people. But you never heard me say the words, “I just hired a great salesperson.” You will never hear me say those words.
Why is that? It takes some time for me to really be able to know if somebody is good, average, or great. Consistency is really the hardest part to becoming great because the thing that sales has in common with sports, for instance, is that it’s a performance art. It’s a performance activity where everyday the score card is pushed back to zero and you have to bring your A-game every single time. It doesn’t matter if you’ve won the last two championship if you were a top basketball player. Every game starts at zero and you have to perform that day and that game within those specific circumstances.
Similar in sales. It doesn’t matter if you have the most amazing quota ever you crushed and you’ve closed all these incredible deals. The new quota starts maybe with a dry pipeline since you’ve just closed all your pipeline. You have to do it again and hopefully do it even better. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in sales a year or a decade. You have to bring your egg in every day, every week, every month, every quarter. That’s very hard to do and for most people that never become great at sales is because they don’t have the discipline and the persistence to really be consistent.
Because this takes time for me to really figure out, the things that I try to figure out early on are some very basic things. The easiest question to ask, and I’m always trying to use the framework of somebody that’s never hired a sales person, then we always have this doubt, this, “Oh, I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what to look for. I have never hired sales people.” Just ask yourself this very simple question: Would I want to buy from this person? Then ask yourself, would I want to buy something from this person that I don’t really want to buy? Because there’s a difference.
If I know I need coffee right now and then this person seems like, I don’t know, seems clean enough, knows how to smile, says hello, I would trust to give this person $3 and get a coffee back, that’s fine, that’s good. If I can’t trust somebody with a simple transaction, then I should never consider to hiring them.
But in sales, I’m not just looking for good enough, is this somebody that is not unbearable to talk to? But I’m looking for, is this somebody that is both so trustworthy and so confident that I would change my mind because of the things this person is telling me. That I would trust them to make me consider something that I typically would not consider. Is this somebody that could change my mind or influence me?
That’s another very interesting question because would I allow this person to influence me? Both means I need to trust this person. I don’t want people to influence me that they are going to want harm for me or want to take things away from me or ultimately create problems for me. If I would want you to influence me, I need to trust you and I need to believe that you have authority. I need to believe that you know certain things I don’t know and I would want you as an expert to lead the way or to influence me so I can make better decisions.
If I think, “Yes, this is a person I like. This is a person that generally I would buy from, and if I step back, this is even a person that I would feel good about influencing me or changing my mind about something,” that’s pretty good. That’s pretty damn good. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good. If you don’t have a yes for these basic questions, you should never consider to hire somebody in sales and it does not matter how many years they have been sales. It doesn’t matter how much of an “expert” they are in the field, it doesn’t matter how much they have this compelling promise of, “If I just hire this person, this person is such a […] of potential customers for our product that they will just go and create instant success for us.” All of that doesn’t matter because it’s not going to be true.
Just ask yourself: Would I want to buy from this person? Would I want this person to influence me? Those questions are answered with yes, there’s still a few other things that you want to find out. Can this person learn? Can be coached? Has this person shown a trajectory of being authentic and honest and trustworthy but also trajectory of being competitive and being able to deal with adversity and difficulty? They’re going to have to deal with that if they’re in sales. If you can find evidence that suggests yes to these questions, then you have a potentially good candidate at your hands.
Eric: That is so good. There’s so much to impact there so I hope our listeners go back and listen to that answer a couple of times. Some really good nuggets in there. Let’s get a little granular. I think there’s obviously emails, there’s calling, cold calling, cold emails. Do you recommend starting with one or the other? Do you recommend doing both at the same time? How do they interplay with each other? What’s your take on that?
Steli: Again, I think it all depends on you buyer. Is your buyer somebody that picks up the phone or not? Is she someone that reads emails or not, or responds to emails or not? It really depends. Just to give you an example, if I were selling a solution to CTO for Fortune 500 companies and all I can get is their office desk phone, it’s very unlikely these people will pick up the phone of a random number calling them.
That might not be a viable way to reach them. But if, let’s say I’m selling to individual accountants or doctors’ offices or something, calling them might be super effective because they do pick up the phone, the phone number’s up-to-date and publicly available, and all that. it really depends on who I’m selling to. If I would use the phone or email or combination of the two, oftentimes sales people, when they know that ultimately they want to reach somebody on the phone, they do like sending out emails beforehand just because it gives them the psychological safety to refer to the email when they call. It makes them feel comfortable to say, “Hey, I sent you an email a few days ago. I want to see if you received them.” That makes them feel better than just calling somebody out of the blue.
I have to say that I’m not sure. I do think that there’s a lot of value in you feeling comfortable when you’re calling somebody because ultimately, your state of mind will translate in a way that you sound to me. If you sound confident and comfortable, it’s going to make me feel like I should stay on the phone and keep listening, whereas if you sound nervous or angry or excited, then I will want to get off the phone as quickly as possible.
But I’m not sure. I haven’t seen any real evidence that suggest that sending somebody email that they’ve never seen or opened or looked at and then calling them is by any means better than just calling them. I don’t know. Some people will send emails and then will only call people that opened the email or click though it, kind of engage in some way. I do think that it can be useful but ultimately, honestly, I think that oftentimes in these very early stages, sending an email first before making a call is much more about the wrap feeling good and feeling comfortable about making the call than the really the prospect of having a much better experience through it.
I do think that email is an incredible and powerful tool to either get somebody to respond and then engage and schedule a first call or to follow-up, act that you’ve called them the first time and get a chance to really introduce yourself and the company, qualify them, maybe briefly to send a follow-up email with more information and try to get to the next step. But in most cases—not in all—sending an email before you make the first call is much more about you feeling good about it than the prospect getting any big insight that make them more likely to buy.
Eric: Yeah, that’s solid and for those listeners, I’ve been on your blog. There are so many resources on how to structure email scripts or calling scripts and things you should do. Get out to Close.io and check those out. There’s just a lot of good. Your blog is killer so thanks for providing that out there so we can go even deeper into that conversation, if you like.
This is maybe a bit random but I was on your site and I watched a video. You talked about this idea of HUCA and I thought it was so cool. I thought it was so cool because yes, it actually applies to sales but it does applies to everything, almost, in life and I would love it if you just take a minute or two and talk to our listeners to that kind of philosophy and what it stands for.
Steli: Yes. I actually learned this from one of my co-founders who was the CTO and the least salesy person you could ever meet in your life. I was referred to him as being AI-powered because we’ve had him and he’s not fully human intelligence. There’s a certain part of him that must be artificial. He’s not really a salesy dude but one thing he travels a lot, just like I do, but he knows more about airlines and flights and rates and everything that has to do with flying and airports than probably most that worked in this industry for 20 years.
Once I was chatting with him because I was having an issue with a flight that I needed to change something and the agent that I talked to told me that was not possible. I asked him because he usually has really good answers and workarounds. He said, “How many agents did you talk to?” I said, “Well, one.” He said, “Well, then just HUCA,” and I’m like, “Well, that sounds cool and groovy but I don’t know what it means.” He’s like, “Well, just hang up and call again.” He’s like, “Usually, it takes three to four agents before I get an agent that gets the job done for me.”
It blew my mind. Number one, I did it. I don’t know if it was the second or third attempt. It didn’t take four to five. Very quickly I got up to somebody who was more competent or more motivated to solve the problem for me, when beforehand, somebody had told me that this is not solvable.
Once I went through the experience, it just made me go, “Oh my God, this is such a great metaphor for life.” I’ve been teaching this in sales so heavily but in other areas of my life, I’ve not been practicing it. When it comes to calling a hotline of an airline, I am not Mr. Persistent maybe because I hate the experience so much but it made me realize that just because one person in an organization is telling you something isn’t possible, doesn’t mean everybody else in that organization agrees and it doesn’t mean if a policy of the entirety of the organization. It’s just a reflection of that human being at that particular period of time.
If you take that philosophy of HUCA, hang up and call again, all it really means is, when you hit a dead end or when you communicate with one individual and that person gives you resistance, it may not mean that you can’t find somebody else in that organization that will say yes. I have many examples, both from customers, press, the press stories where one writer would tell me, “This is not compelling. We will never publish this,” and I ping somebody else and that person was like, “Yeah, this is super cool story. This fits perfectly,” and I’m like, “What the fuck is going on?”
Just how many people in your company are you disagreeing with that times about things? We all have a little bit of a different point of view sometimes. Keeping that in mind and realizing that, especially in the early days as you reach out and trying to figure out a sales process, you try a few things, and people tell you no, it doesn’t mean that it’s not working, that nobody in that company or that organization would ever say yes to you. It might just mean that you have to try again. Take a step back, re-approach somebody else in that company and see if that conversation goes better.
Eric: Yeah, I love that so much. What a cool example. I think there’s so many applications for it whether it’s marketing sales, customer service, I think. I appreciate you sharing that anecdote with us.
I think to kind of maybe wrap this up, I love to talk about sort of the idea of outbound sales and really how you’ve seen outbound sales work with more traditional account-based marketing? Again, if I have marketers that were listening, what’s the great way to start to incorporate kind of the outbound and inside sales with your existing marketing efforts? Have you found a process where those two can work really compatibly together?
Steli: I think so. I think that most of B2B sales and outbound sales has always been account-based or should have been in some way or another. Yes, we’re having conversations with individuals or interactions with individuals but it’s always the overall organization and account that we’re trying to ultimately win over as a customer. I think that using the heavy marketing of sales work really close together to understand what are both teams trying to accomplish, how they’re going about it, and what of the insights and the data that both sides are gathering. If you can get those two teams to play really well together and have a high level of empathy for each other, I think magical things are happening.
It’s not just the marketing team trying to accomplish a certain KPI number, that is like whatever. Let’s say, “We’ve gotten this amount of engagements on our content from a certain account,” or, “We are getting this amount of new email sign-ups from marketing list or this amount of new trial sign-ups or something.” And then the sales team is responsible for a closing rate of something. Those two groups point fingers to each other when something doesn’t work. “Oh, the lead sucked,” versus, “Oh, the sales teams doesn’t know how to sell,” that kind of a never-ending argument.
You put both teams together and at the end of the day, the sales team tries to understand and realize, “Okay, here’s everything that marketing is doing to attract an account and to track the interactions that we’re getting, and based on these insights, based on this information, I can adjust my approach in terms of how I do my cold emails or my cold calls or my pitch to certain people, to increase the chance to win a good customer over.”
I think really there is not one approach that I’ve seen to rule them all on how to do account-based selling in an organization that has introduced account-based marketing. I think it’s stepping back and understanding fundamentally this is about being more insightful, this is about thinking more holistically. But both sides have to work together really, really closely and understand what are we each are trying to accomplish.
At the end of the day, all ends up in the same end result, which is a successful and happy customer. How do we work together to get to that point? How do we use what the marketing team is doing for sales? How do we use the insights that sales might have to adjust what we do in marketing, which is something that happens way too little.
Sales team can tell, “Yeah, we’re getting all these downloads but here’s the bad thing about it,” or “here’s the interesting thing about it,” “here’s the confusing thing about it.” Marketing can take those insights and those conversations and adjust the way they market, adjust the channels, adjust the things they’re tracking and how they’re tracking success. Those two teams work really close together, then I think success is inevitable at the end of the day. But it’s too often that these two groups have totally separated, have very little empathy and understanding of what each side is doing, and then it’s very hard to have kind of an account-based model that really works.
Eric: Yeah, I would absolutely second that. We had our head of sales on our podcast just about two or three weeks ago. We talked about those exact same issues. The less finger-pointing, the more communicating, empathy, and agreeance on how they can work together, the more successful your teams will be collaboratively.
Well this has been fantastic, Steli. I know we could go on and on about this stuff. I truly appreciate your time. Some great advice in here. I want to thank you so much for being on the show. If you would love to, I’d love to just kind of talk about how would something like Close.io help listeners jump into the space a lot easier?
Steli: If you’re thinking about doing some selling or if you have a new sales team that’s about to get the task, to go out there and sell, especially sell through email and calling, kind of inside sales versus knocking on doors and going door-to-door, then Close.io has really built the most powerful but also at the same time the simplest one to onboard people into use our CRM, obviously you calling out-of-the-box, to an email sync, which means all your email communication, all your calling happens in the app, is automatically tracked, gives you lots and lots of insights.
People tell us that there is no other CRM tool out there that allows them to onboard new sales rep as quickly in our sense that are taking a whole day or a whole week to train somebody on how your system is setup and how it works. People can do that within minutes in closing, start selling. When it comes to sales productivity like empowering individual people that are selling to do that job and do as little administrative work as possible around it, we have really built something special.
Take a look at it and you can always reach out to me directly, [email protected] If you have questions, if you need help, if you need any kind of advice, I’ve written a ton of content, a lot of it is in our blog. But if you want it a bit more structured, we’ve put together a bunch of ebooks that structures certain topics, sales hiring, outbound email, all that good stuff, just send me an email. Again, [email protected], with subject line ‘bundle.’ Refer to this podcast, I’ll send you a link with all my books, all the resources for free. Hopefully, we can help a few people out there to succeed with their sales efforts.
Eric: Yeah, absolutely. I want to give you guys a big shout out. We’re big fans and love your content. I hope listeners, if you’re interested in that, absolutely take Steli up on his offer. That will be great.
Well, thanks so much, Steli. I appreciate the time again. It was really fun just talking a little about outbound sales and inside sales. I look forward to seeing you, maybe hopefully at an upcoming keynote at a conference in the near future.
Steli: Thank you so much for having me.
Eric: You bet. Take care.
Well, another fun interview in the books. Thanks so much for tuning in and thanks so much for Steli for coming on the show. Just a fun conversation. I really enjoyed his tips, his insights. I know that you’re able to glean some good stuff from him.
If you are thinking about the outbound sales practice, what do you do, where do you start, and as a marketer, maybe you’re a business owner, maybe you’re a blogger, maybe you’re on the marketing professional team listening to this podcast, there’s lots of different opportunities to learn from your sales team if you’re not right now. Understand your prospects and your customers that much better. Some really good insights.
Thanks a bunch for tuning in. Looking forward to catching up with you on next week’s episode. Thanks.
You’ve been listening to the Actionable Marketing Podcast from your friends at CoSchedule. For more actionable content, visit coshedule.com.