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How To Nurture NO Prospects Into YES Buyers

Craig Klein is the CEO of SalesNexus, a leading CRM, SMS, & Email Marketing automation platform.

In this episode of the Salesman Podcast, he explains how we can make our sales pipelines more effective by nurturing people who say no into people who say yes over time.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:
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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Craig Klein
CEO of SalesNexus

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Coming up on today’s episode of The Salesman Podcast.

 

Craig Klein:

As sales people, we tend to be focused on the here and now. Right? We’re trying to hit our numbers for the month or the quarter, and everybody that says no, we just throw them over our shoulder and keep going. All of those nos could be a yes in the future if we just stay in touch with them.

 

Will Barron:

Hello Sales Nation. I’m Will Barron, host of The Salesman Podcast, the world’s most listened to B2B sales show. If you haven’t already, make sure to click subscribe. With that, let’s meet today’s guest.

 

Craig Klein:

Hi, I’m Craig Klein. I’m the CEO of SalesNexus, and we help sales teams cast a wider net and catch more fish, and bigger fish, with our automated CRM and marketing automation. My passion is helping businesses grow, and salespeople are the engine of business growth. So, I love working with salespeople.

What is Lead Nurturing? · [01:14]

Will Barron:

On this episode, with Craig, we’re diving into how you can leverage all the nos, all the people that say, essentially, no right now, and how you can use lead nurturing to turn them into yeses over the medium and long term. This is incredibly important, this incredibly powerful, and it’s actually not very complex. It’s relatively easy to implement. So, let’s jump into the conversation. What is lead nurturing for someone who has never come across that term before?

 

“As salespeople, we tend to be focused on the here and now. We’re trying to close. We’re trying to hit our numbers for the month or the quarter, and everybody that says no, we just throw them over our shoulder and keep going. All of those nos could be a yes in the future if we just stay in touch with them.” – Craig Klein · [01:24] 

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah. Great question. Basically, it’s just staying in touch with all of your leads. As salespeople, we tend to be focused on the here and now. Right? We’re trying to close. We’re trying to hit our numbers for the month or the quarter, and everybody that says no, we just throw them over our shoulder and keep going. All of those nos could be a yes in the future if we just stay in touch with them.

 

Steps and Goals to Lead Nurturing Done Right · [01:50]

 

Will Barron:

So, who is this for then? Is this for … Because there’s many people and many shades of sales that listen to this show, even though we tend to cater towards people who are doing higher deal sizes. Is this for account managers who want to, perhaps grow the cashflow from an organisation, land and expand, that approach? Is it for the individual who’s spamming cold emails day in and day out, an SDR or someone like that? Is it for someone in between who is, perhaps, doing customised content for outreach, but then again, as you described, throws the nos away and never comes back to them? Who is all of this for?

 

Craig Klein:

That’s a great question. It’s really for all of those little niches. You can imagine, in a very big organisation that has all of those roles, every one of them has a lot of people they need to touch, but only a few they can really focus on at any one time. So, lead nurturing will keep you focused on the ones that aren’t, that you’re not paying attention to, and in a big organisation, it can help move a cold lead that the SDR didn’t engage with up to the next level to the account manager or whatever, automatically. The customer can raise their own hand. In a small business, there’s not as much distinction there. It’s just basically about keeping your brand in front of these leads no matter what happens.

 

Will Barron:

If you had to guns ahead, come up with an end goal for lead nurturing, is it to close the deal, or is the more stages to it of perhaps it is to get someone who is reengaged on the phone? What would be the end goal of all of this?

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah. Well, I think if we’re talking about salespeople, then it’s to get them reengaged with the salespeople. Right? So, in an E-commerce business, you might use lead nurturing to get people back to your website to place an order. But if you’re a business that requires human-to-human contact to do business, then that’s what it’s all about. You create the lead nurturing to get them back on the phone with your salespeople.

 

Practical Lead Nurturing Cadence for a B2B Sales Professional · [03:55] 

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. Well, I think we’ve framed this up well now. Let’s dive into some of, perhaps, the practical elements of this. The answer is, it depends. I appreciate that. It depends on niche, deal size, and everything else that goes along with the complex world, or the world of B2B complex selling. But what does this look like practically? Because there is people on the social selling front who are saying, “Well, all you’ve got to do is retweet a couple of tweets and you’re engaged, and you’ve got brand and you’re building your … know, like and trust with individuals.” I’m not sold just on that specifically, there are people, new friends saying you should only email insightful content and try and have conversations and get people on the phone and go that front.

 

Will Barron:

What does it mean to lead nurture, perhaps a B2B sales professional who’s selling … a monthly payment service or piece of Sass software? What does it mean to lead nurture the initial knows?

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, so I think the important distinction is we’re not talking about a marketing function really here. A lot of businesses try to get this to be a marketing function, it doesn’t really work very well. Because it only really works if it’s really tuned up with what’s happening with the salespeople. So, in other words, you mentioned SDRs earlier. So I’m an SDR I’m on the phone with a lot of people, could be using social and search ads and radio ads, and who knows what else to get leads on the phone with me? But then when I talk to them, I’ve got a certain set of questions I’m going to ask them to qualify them, we all do that.

 

Craig Klein:

Those little details, really make all the difference in the world. I learned that you’re either a big account or a small account, or you’re working with this competitor or that competitor. In other particulars that helped me position my company with you. So if I can capture that data, and then have some series of automated messages, that’s going to go out to those people that’s specific to what I’ve learned about them. The effectiveness is just through the roof. Typically what we see is just putting a simple, not a multi tiered, very nuanced campaign, but just a simple, we’re going to stay in touch with them via email type of campaign in place.

 

“We all know this intuitively, we get a lot of nos to get a yes. But most of the time, the nos are not a, “Hell no, I don’t ever want to do business with you.” It’s just, now’s not a good time for me. I don’t have the budget. It’s not in our cycle right now. We’re going to look at this six months from now, whatever, right? So all you got to do is just be there when it’s time for them.” – Craig Klein · [06:24] 

 

Craig Klein:

Within six months, a typical sales team will see a 10 to 20% uplift in sales. Because it’s just, we all know this, right? Intuitively, we get a lot of nos to get a yes. But most of the time, the nos are not a hell no, I don’t ever want to do business with you. It’s just, now’s not a good time for me. I don’t have the budget. It’s not in our cycle right now. We’re going to look at this six months from now, whatever, right? So all you got to do is just be there when it’s time for them. And you’ve already made the relationship, built the relationship in the sales process. Let’s use that and extend it.

 

Will Barron:

So is it fair to say what we’re trying to do here is stay top of mind?

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, exactly.

 

How to Stay Top of Mind After an Initial Sales Objection · [07:01]

 

Will Barron:

What do these emails look like? Again, I know the answer is it depends. But taking [inaudible [00:07:07] the audience into practical a framework, a template to go out here. What would those two, three or four emails look like? And then when would they come after the initial no? Would it be a week, then a month, then six months? How does that cadence look?

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, I think the frequency just depends on your market and your buy cycle, right? So in some businesses, it might be an email every day for a couple of weeks or something. In most B2B situations, it’s probably not that frequent, it’s more like maybe once a week for a while, and then you space it out a little more. And to your other question, the email itself, that’s where most people get hung up, it’s hard to do that, it’s really hard to write an email about your own business, that doesn’t sound like a sales pitch, right?

 

Will Barron:

Yeah.

 

“In sales we learn about understanding the customer’s pain, right? So if you think about that, if you know the three or four pains that your customers typically have, that you can fix, then that’s what the email should be about, like the subject line should be, do you have this pain? Then the body of the email is if you have this pain, here are some symptoms you may be dealing with, and here’s how you can fix it.” – Craig Klein · [08:22] 

 

Craig Klein:

That’s why we’ve just released what we call our four steps to market domination. And it’s just a really simple guide, to help people figure out what they need to say in these emails, and how to craft their first two or three emails. Real simple, but it really comes down to we’ve all … in sales we learn about understanding the customer’s pain, right? So if you think about that, if you know the three or four pains that your customers typically have, that you can fix, then that’s what the email should be about, like the subject line should be, do you have this pain? The of the body of the email is if you have this pain, here are some symptoms you may be dealing with, and here’s how you can fix it.

 

Craig Klein:

Click here to whatever, download my PDF, watch my video, et cetera.

 

Why Salespeople Should Not Let Marketing Run the Sales Nurturing Process or the Strategy for Staying Top of Mind · [09:00] 

 

Will Barron:

Is this content that a B2B sales professional should be creating themselves? Because seems like it could be it would add perhaps a personal touch? Or are we strictly talking about corporate contents that perhaps marketing put together before, because we’re using the word campaign here? Is it something that marketing would put together for us?

 

Craig Klein:

No, that’s a great question, and I think it’s absolutely should not be handed off to the marketing department because they’re going to screw it up [crosstalk [00:09:24], you know?

 

Will Barron:

Yeah.

 

Craig Klein:

They’re going to put their marketing spin on it. And it’s really almost best if it’s not well designed and it just looks like a text email that the salesperson sat down and wrote. [crosstalk [00:09:37] person.

 

The Know, Like, and Trust Principal After an Initial Sales Objection · [09:40] 

 

Will Barron:

Because I was hoping you were going to say that, Craig well, no doubt you were going to say it. That we’re trying to build [inaudible [00:09:48] failed to try and build over the know, like and trust with anything like this of any project like this. Because I feel like if that’s the case, all we’ll trying to do is build and obviously it’s a big ask to do but if all we’re trying to do is build know, like and trust, I think we overcomplicate some of this, don’t we?

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, it doesn’t have to be complicated. We hear it regularly in our business, because of course we do this a lot. And very often people will call six months, 12 months, two years after they originally engaged with us, and they’ll say, “Hey I looked at your system before, and we weren’t quite ready.” Or whatever. But, you guys have done a great job of staying in touch with me. And that’s the main reason they call us back. It’s just the effort of staying in touch.

 

Will Barron:

For sure. Yeah, I’m doing a deal, at the moment, I won’t say who it is in case it doesn’t come off. But the audience will … the brands that we regularly work with. And I’m now working with brand for just over 12 months now. And there’s been a change of personnel and we’re tying everything together and it’s looking really positive of what we’re going to be putting together. And, I got similar comments of what you described that of, we wouldn’t really look anywhere else for the content that you guys created for partners in this space. Because you put one, which may or may not be appropriate for a lot of sales professionals.

 

Will Barron:

They said, you put out that much content, that we see it in our feeds, that our sales people in our organisation, are listening to your show and consuming the content that gets shared around internally. That’s your top of mind regardless. So I was like,” Well, that’s a nice thing to say.” But then the other thing they said was, “Every quarter you check in with an email.” And my templated email for this, that is somewhat templated but adds a bit of nuance to the end of it is, what’s your goal for the years? The first one, what’s your goal for the quarter are the follow up emails.

 

Will Barron:

And it’s a genuine question. It’s not what’s your goal that I can sneak some product or service into and take some money out your pocket? It’s for example, one of these brands that I’m working with long term, hosts a bunch of podcasts. So I’m always sharing data from our podcast, showing data for the analytics of … because our … Well our podcast does 10x the downloads that all of those do, for whatever reason. I’m always sharing the data in analytics, and that’s always my quarterly email to them, and then I always get an email back then saying, “How can we help you? What can we do?”

 

When to Remove a Non-responsive Prospect From Your Pipeline · [12:23] 

 

Will Barron:

They’ve got massive budget for spending on projects that cash flow [inaudible [00:12:19] always keep us going. And obviously we’ve got those insights to share. So, with all that said however, there must be a point where we go, they haven’t said use your words, hell no, we’re not doing business review. But [inaudible [00:12:32] we’re not much of a reply. So there must be a point where or is there a point where we go, “Okay, this person clearly isn’t either qualified or isn’t going to do business with us, we need to cool this off for the time being.” When does that point come across Craig?

 

Craig Klein:

Well, if we’re talking about automated email campaigns, I don’t think you ever give up. You may change the nature of the messaging and you may change the frequency, right? The further out you get or the colder the lead gets, you want to be more and more just helpful content, you’re not talking about your own brand, so much as you’re saying, “Hey, if you’re in this industry, we have some tools that can be helpful.” Or something like that. And you’re not annoying them with messages three times a week or something. Of course, they can always opt out. But as long as they don’t opt out, then that means they’re at least seeing those emails.

 

Craig Klein:

They’re seeing your brand name on a regular basis, and that’s a good thing.

 

How to Predict if Your Lead Nurturing Strategy will Eventually Bear Fruits · [13:37]

 

Will Barron:

So in that case, I’m thinking now from a B2B sales professional who wants to either do this now, and I won’t put words in your mouth. This is what I recommend that most things in sales, it’s typically better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission, especially if it works. You only have to have one big win out of three or four experiments, and you hit your target and the rest of it is forgotten about that’s my experience in B2B sales as a sales professional. But, I’m thinking here from the perspective of the B2B sales professional, who perhaps wants to sell this to their sales leader, their sales management, how do we measure whether any of this is successful, if it never ends, if that makes sense?

 

Craig Klein:

Sure, well of course most systems that automate email communications like this will give you lots of analytics, it will tell you who’s looking at it, who’s looking at your content and things like that. So that’s a big measure of how things are going. And the way we teach sales teams to do it is, when a prospect or a past lead or … To your point earlier, it could be a current customer, but you’re sending them emails about additional products and services that you have to offer and things like that. Either way, when that customer or potential customer gets that email.

 

“If somebody actually reads your email, and then clicks on the link to go do something, download something, visit your site, watch your video, whatever, that’s a really strong sign in a B2B world. They’re saying, “I have a problem, and I’m interested in solutions around whatever you just sent me.” So it’s like them raising their hand and going, “You should call me right now.” – Craig Klein · [15:15] 

 

Craig Klein:

Imagine the busy world that we all live in and how we interact with our email, we look at our inbox and it’s like, “Oh, crap, I got to go through all this stuff.” So I just go in there, I’m deleting stuff as fast as I can without even looking. So, if somebody actually reads your email, and then clicks on the link to go do something, download something, visit your site, watch your video, whatever, that’s a really strong sign in a B2B world. They’re saying, “I have a problem, and I’m interested in solutions around whatever you just sent me.” So it’s like them raising their hand and going, “You should call me right now.”

 

Craig Klein:

So that’s where we teach sales teams to start, is just start watching for the clicks, and then pick up the phone and call those guys and just reference what they clicked on. “Hey, I noticed you downloaded our competitive comparison, our ROI analysis.” Or whatever it is. And it just starts a very warm conversation with what was otherwise a very cold prospect, right?

 

The Benefits of Striking the Perfect Balance Between Prospecting and Lead Naturing Efforts · [16:09] 

 

Will Barron:

And feel free to mention SalesNexus here if appropriate or [inaudible [00:16:09] any of the tools. But how do we strike the balance here, between being a complete psychopath and just staring at a screen waiting for notifications going off every four seconds, which I’ve found myself falling into the trap of this, especially when I’m only doing two or three large deals for the year versus if I’m doing 50 deals for the year, the numbers blur into the same thing then. But [inaudible [00:16:32] two or three deals, I could sit there all day track, reply, call on the back of instantaneously being thrown up notifications.

 

Will Barron:

How do we balance that again, whether it’s a tool, whether it’s just habits or wherever it is? How do we balance that between not being in somewhat real time? Because clearly there’s a benefit to doing that?

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, that’s a good question and I think that I would answer that the same way I would respond to a new salesperson that I hire, that tells me well, I’m going to spend an hour or two every day going through LinkedIn and prospecting that way, when they also have a list of people they need to call. I’m going to say, “No, don’t waste your time there, get on the phone and call the people that are in your pipeline.” And that should always be the priority. The way our system works is, we try to make that front and centre. And then, as people are getting those emails, the salespeople don’t even know about the emails, are not even part of the campaign at all, it’s just happening.

 

“If you’re able to make those calls within, typically in B2B what I say is two to four hours of when they click on it, then you’re going to see some really great results because it’s still going to be top of mind. But if you let me go home, have dinner, spend time with my kids, go to the soccer game, watch football game, and sleep, and then call me the next morning, I’m not even going to remember looking at your email.” – Craig Klein · [18:01] 

 

Craig Klein:

Then in real-time, they’ll see on their call list a new person will show up, hey, this guy just clicked on something. Here’s what he clicked on, pick up the phone and call them. So, I don’t think it should be a distraction from your pipeline, that’s for sure. It’s definitely secondary to that. But, on the flip side, if you’re able to make those calls, within … Typically in B2B, what I say is two to four hours of when they click on it, then you’re going to see some really great results. Because it’s still going to be top of mind. But if you let me go home, have dinner, spend time with my kids, go to the soccer game, watch football game, and sleep, and then call me the next morning, I’m not even going to remember looking at your email, right?

 

Will Barron:

Yeah.

 

Craig Klein:

There’s a balance in there. And it depends on the industry of course.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. And there’s some experimentation go on with that. The reason I ask that from a personal sanity perspective for myself, because I can … I don’t know whether it is how my brain is wired or [inaudible [00:18:46] but I can get addicted to pop ups and notifications. And for context, I literally don’t have emails turned on on my phone, I only check my email two or three times a day now. I find … Going off topic here. But I’m much calmer, collected and able to deal with incoming emails. You said it perfectly, no one’s that bothered about an instant response, because they’ll call customer services if there’s an immediate issue.

 

Craig’s Thoughts on How Fast Salespeople Should Act After Prospects Essentially Raise Their Hands · [19:33] 

 

Will Barron:

No one’s not concerned about a response that perhaps a two hour window is a deal breaker for them. Having said that, there is data that quicker replies do position brands and sellers in a more favourable light. So, pick and choose and take your sanity over bigger commission checks maybe, from my perspective on that. So what you’re saying there Craig is that, with your system we don’t need to dissect it, but essentially there’s some lead scoring going on, and it’s prioritising where we should be spending our time?

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, exactly. And again, to your point, it’s very dependent on the industry in the business, some businesses, 30 minutes is too long. But for the most part in a B2B situation, you got a few hours. Now, I’m referring to somebody clicking on your email. So this is somebody that was already somehow in your pipeline and just went cold or something like that. When you’re talking about a new lead that just converted on your website, that’s a whole other animal and that should be much faster.

 

The Perfect Sales Nurturing Framework for Busy B2B Sales Professionals · [20:20] 

 

Will Barron:

Sure. Okay, so with all that said, we’ve only really talked about email here. And the audience know my thoughts on what the industry calls social selling, and how effective that may or may not be when we take the conversation here to [inaudible [00:20:35] get your thoughts on it. But should we be taking an omni channel approach here? Should we be going down multiple routes and multiple touchpoints to nurture someone, whether that’s phone calls or emails or social media or seeking them out at events? And I’m not necessarily talking about in an ideal world here, I’m talking in the life of a busy B2B sales professional.

 

Will Barron:

Should we be focusing on email or should we be trying to do everything?

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, that’s a good question and I think it depends on the scale of the organisation, right? There are some businesses that have a lot of resources and … or maybe just the people in the business are very tech savvy and they can manage six different systems and it’s not a problem. And that’s fine. But I think there’s a lot of other salespeople that can quickly get very distracted and overwhelmed and they’re not clear on where their priority should be when you give them too many different sources of input. So you got to be very careful about that I think.

 

Craig Klein:

First of all I should say, social is great and I think where I’ve personally found it the most useful is where it augments the relationship, right? I’ve never been tremendously successful at initiating new relationships on social, other than getting connections or something like that, but not generating leads. But, where we have a lead, like, for instance one of the cool things our system will do is, I put your lead in my system, and then boom it finds your LinkedIn and all that. So now I can go check you out on LinkedIn, send you a connection request. And when I pick up the phone, I’m a little more informed. That’s great. I think that’s well worth it.

 

“The benefit of email is that it’s number one, so affordable. When it comes to advertising, it’s the least expensive thing you can do. It’s also eminently measurable.” – Craig Klein · [22:21] 

 

Craig Klein:

The benefit of email is that it’s number one, so affordable, right? It’s really when it comes to advertising, it’s the least expensive thing you can do. It’s also eminently measurable. So it lets you really test and measure things, and adjust and really dial in your messaging. And that’s the way we use it now is, of course we do tonnes of lead nurturing. But we also, anytime we have new campaigns and new ideas we’re playing around with, we test it with email first test, test until we get the landing page optimised and messaging and everything. Then we start spending money on other advertising platforms, because it’s just easier to do all that with email.

 

Craig Klein:

Easier and faster really.

 

Craig’s Thoughts on the Effectiveness of Sending a Breakup Email · [23:08]

 

Will Barron:

Well. What are your thoughts Craig on this email that I get regularly and I think the scope is what we’re talking about here, which is why I don’t like it, which is what we call a breakup email, essentially on the lines of, “Hey, I see you haven’t replied to my previous 54 emails and voicemails. I’m assuming that you don’t want me to contact you anymore, this is the last message that I’m ever going to send you.” Then they send you a message a week later. But what are your thoughts on that as an email? Because again it goes against what we’re saying here in this conversation so far.

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, I don’t see that as being that effective for the same exact reason. I don’t want to break up with you. What I want to say is, “Hey, I understand that maybe right now is not a great time. So maybe I’ll stop calling you and bothering you on the phone. But, I’m going to keep sending you helpful information and if you don’t want to get it anymore, just go ahead and opt out.” So that’s the approach we take. Now, that being said, we do use the approach on the phone sometimes, we call it firing a customer, right? So, when a lead comes in through the website and we just can’t get them on the phone after a while, we’ll tell them in that last voicemail.

 

Craig Klein:

“Hey, this last time I’m calling.” And it works. Sometimes they’ll call back, but it doesn’t mean we’re going to stop sending them emails.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. So we don’t want to sever all ties. That’s the message?

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah.

 

Do you Need an Opt-Out Option When Sending Out Cold Emails? · [24:30]

 

Will Barron:

Some of you have mentioned here, and then … I’m intrigued to this, I’m sure you know this relatively inside out with your business. But we don’t need to go too far into the weeds because this is something that marketing and other people, hopefully with our organisation have got a finger on the pulse with. But you’ve mentioned the word opt out. So, how does that work for a B2B sales professional when they are using an automated tool, versus if they are just sending these emails, perhaps they’ve only got two accounts they’re going after this year.

 

Will Barron:

And there’s five people in each account, whatever the numbers are, but the numbers are low enough that they’re managing this on a spreadsheet or calendar reminders to send a follow up. What does it mean to opt out? What’s the … I don’t know the legality perhaps behind that? And do we need to allow people to opt out if we’re just sending them one off bespoke emails in a non-automated chain? What does this mean for B2B sales professionals because, I think this is increasingly becoming something that we should be conscious of.

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, it’s a good question. And the laws are different in different countries. So Canada’s a little more stringent, Europe’s even more stringent. I don’t really understand the European laws, because we just don’t do a lot of business there. But, in the US, it’s pretty simple. To answer your question specifically, if you’re just doing it yourself in your own email programme, then there is no requirement for any opt out. Somebody can hit reply and say, “Hey, stop sending me these emails and probably you should respect them.” Right?

 

Will Barron:

Yeah.

 

Craig Klein:

But otherwise, the law really is pretty simple. You just have to give them an easy way to opt out or request to stop receiving the emails. And you have to clearly identify yourself. So, you don’t want to put a different company name in there than the one you’re actually marketing in the emails. So, it’s pretty simple. I think, from my point of view, systems like ours make it easy so the salesperson doesn’t even have to think about that, if somebody opts out, we just stop sending the emails, the salesperson doesn’t have to do anything.

 

“From a philosophical point of view, I think what we’re trying to do here is build relationships with customers. We want to build as many relationships as we can within the industry and the niche that we’re focused on. And we want those to be long term relationships of trust. So, if somebody says I don’t want to get your emails anymore, the way to build a relationship of trust with that person is to stop sending the emails.” – Craig Klein · [26:54] 

 

Craig Klein:

But in general, from a philosophical point of view, I think what we’re trying to do here is build relationships with customers. We want to build as many relationships as we can within the industry and the niche that we’re focused on. And we want those to be long term relationships of trust, right? So, if somebody says I don’t want to get your emails anymore, the way to build a relationship of trust with that person is to stop sending the emails. And also try to be cognizant of, if I’m an electrical engineer, I don’t want to see all your emails about mechanical engineering. Send things that are relevant too.

 

The Impact of a Salesperson’s Ability to Segment Lists When Comparing the Effectiveness of Sales Versus Marketing Efforts · [27:40] 

 

Will Barron:

So, I wanted to almost wrap up the show with this and you took the words right out of my mouth which is perfect, of, if we had a battle going on between marketing and sales over who’s going to drive the most revenue, is sales biggest competitive advantage that perhaps we don’t lean into as much as what we should do, is the fact that we can sub segment down into, well this person is, same organisation perhaps doing some account-based selling, this person’s C suite, their interest is this person’s in finance they’re interested in this, perhaps this seven people that we need to get in front of to win this complex deal over the next 12 months, is our biggest competitive advantage against marketing.

 

Will Barron:

Again, something that perhaps we lean into, is the fact that we can sub segment and go into the different niches and interests of all these individuals.

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, absolutely, just those little details make all the difference in the world, if you had, just as you said it, if you had a different series of messages for the CFO, versus the COO, you can imagine those messages should be very different, right? And they’ll be so much more effective if they are.

 

Where to Ask or Find Market Insights as New B2B Sales Professional · [28:53] 

 

Will Barron:

Final thing on this, for the new salesperson who’s listening because, I poll the audience regularly. And obviously the new salespeople are graduating, to not so new salespeople, so it’s difficult to keep track of it. But there’s always say 20% of the individuals that listen to this show are within the first year or two of B2B selling. So with that, to put ourselves in their perspective of perhaps they don’t have insights for a CFO because I’ve never spoken to a CFO before and this is the first person they’re doing business with, or perhaps it’s the fourth person, but they’ve not had any replies from the first two nurturing campaigns.

 

Will Barron:

So they don’t want to just copy and paste because they’re not sure if it’s being effective or not. Where can we go? Who can we ask? And where can we find insights, useful content and things to put in these lead nurturing emails? And I have other contact points. Where do we rather than just assuming that it can come straight out of our head, how does the new salesperson put all this together?

 

“For salespeople, we want to really steer away from, “Hey, do you have this problem? Because I got a great solution.” We want, “Do you have this problem? Because if you do, here’s some helpful tips that might help you better diagnose it, or analyse the cost of different solutions.” We’re trying to be just helpful, not selling anything, because we’re not using an email to sell, we’re using an email to know that right now you have the problem and I can help you. We’re getting them to raise their hand.” – Craig Klein · [30:31] 

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, that’s a great question. Again, that’s why we created our four steps to market domination is because that’s the biggest challenge in doing this for most salespeople. So, really it comes back to, it doesn’t have to be complex, if you can just write down the four or five problems that you know that person you’re trying to speak to, probably has or might have, that you can address, through your company, your business, your service, then that’s what the email should be about. And probably for salespeople especially, we want to really steer away from, “Hey, do you have this problem? Because I got a great solution.”

 

Craig Klein:

It’s not that, we want, “Do you have this problem? Because if you do, here’s some helpful tips that might help you better diagnose it, analyse the cost of different solutions.” We’re trying to be just helpful, not selling anything, because we’re not using an email to sell, we’re using an email to know that right now you have the problem and I can help you, right? We’re getting them to raise their hand.

 

Why Sales Nurturing is Essentially Giving Out Free Consulting · [31:36] 

 

Will Barron:

When I’m selling, I was trying to frame it up and you may … if it’s a physical product, this is more difficult. But if it’s software, if it’s a service, this works perfectly. I was trying to frame it up as, “Hey, do you have this problem?” Yes, no, or an insightful question or some way of just getting a conversation going. And then I tell them the solution to the problem of, it’s not rocket science, there’s very few secrets in industry and in the B2B, especially in the enterprise world, people know what they should be doing, by tell them how to solve the problem, and then eight times out of 10 they go, “I’ve not got time to do that.

 

Will Barron:

Or, “I can’t be bothered doing that, I’ll hire you, I’ll buy the product service, because that’s the problem solved.” And that’s how I engineer this in my own brain. I’m not the brightest so I have to come up with frameworks of things like this Craig. But, that’s that’s how I go about doing it. Does that sound about right?

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, absolutely. I think, maybe some of us have a little bit of a resistance to that approach because we’re trained not to give away free consulting. But I think that’s what works. You want to express your expertise about a subject, because that gives you credibility, and creates more trust. And then what you’re selling is really not the expertise so much as it is being able to implement a solution that the business can take advantage of right away without having to figure it all out themselves.

 

Will Barron:

I love this. So, for context, if Richard Branson emails either one of us, we’re going to reply right? But the Richard Branson-

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah maybe.

 

Will Barron:

… Well, I would. I’d be [inaudible [00:32:45] I’d be over the moon. And I’d assume it’s a mistake and there’s a different [inaudible [00:32:49] is going after. That’s how far I’d go down that line. But, with that said, whoever’s at the top of the industry, a thought leader within our space, or a space that we’re trying to break into whatever it is, we’re going to reply instantly. We’re going to be excited about it. But if I think now, so my background is medical device sales, I know a few surgeons in the colorectal and urology spaces that I would recognise their names, but I used to sell to gynaecologists, sell to other places as well.

 

Will Barron:

I used to sell to electro biomedical engineering, so it be all the computer hardware that would go along with the endoscopes that I’d be selling. I don’t know anyone who’s a thought leader in that space, but there must be thought leaders there. So if they emailed me, I perhaps wouldn’t reply. But then if they email me two or three times, and allowed me the mind space to show that they were credible, it might be, “Oh crap, I should have replied to this person from the get-go. But I didn’t give them the opportunity because I’m busy, right? Everyone’s busy doing different things.

 

Understanding the Influence of Sales Impressions in B2B Sales · [33:50] 

 

Will Barron:

So, it’s almost like, how to describe this makes sense Craig? It’s almost like you could be the superstar in the space in the industry, they haven’t heard of you, you probably need those two, three, four, five emails, just to break through any of the noise.

 

Craig Klein:

Sure. Yeah. That’s a marketing 101 principle, right? It takes whatever it is three, four, five, seven touches, for a brand to really connect with an individual. And so that’s a huge part of what these emails are doing for you.

 

Will Barron:

Someone said on the show recently, I can’t remember who said it, but essentially, they were trying to equate love with just impressions, in that, you see your mom and dad that much when you’re a child, and you see anyone else and they help you out. Those number impressions, essentially generate love. And obviously, it’s exaggerated slightly. But I do think that is a real thing. I know people listen to the podcast, they’ll listen two three times a week over the course of a year. And I tell anecdotes and stories and different things for my personal life that relate.

 

Will Barron:

I meet them at a conference, and they feel like they know me. So I feel like there’s probably a slightly more … Well, no, I was going to say emails, slightly more passive, but it’s probably not because I’m not engaging with these individuals one-on-one, they are just listening and just taking in. So it’s pretty much the same.

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, I think that’s a great analogy. I think also it speaks right to the line you don’t want to cross. If that’s what you’re trying to do, every email you’re sending out, is a little bit of love you’re sending to the customer, right? Then you don’t want those emails to do anything that puts distance between you by trying to twist their arm to do anything. You’re sending them little gifts basically.

 

Will Barron:

Yep.

 

Craig Klein:

Just like your mother or your grandmother would do when you were a kid, right? They would show up with a cookie.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. I never really thought about my grandmother trying to manipulate me for [crosstalk [00:35:46]-

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, you wouldn’t have a very good relationship with her, right?

 

How Much of B2B Sales Success Comes Down to Being More Patient Than the Competition? · [36:00] 

 

Will Barron:

Yeah, every time I go round she offers me a can of Coke, which I’ve never accepted since I was about seven, and an apple pie, which I take every single times. I love these little apple pies that she has. Well, with that Craig, I’ve got one final question to ask everyone that comes on the show, which I’ll ask you in a second. But just before that, just to … almost to wrap up this show, because I feel this is the underlying conversation here. How much of sales success comes down to pretty much being more patient than the competition?

 

Will Barron:

How much of overall B2B sales success comes down to patients?

 

“You don’t give up. A no is not really a no forever, it’s just a no, not right now.” – Craig Klein · [36:28] 

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, I think that’s a great point. The way I would frame it is more persistence, right? You don’t give up. A no is not really a no forever, it’s just a no, not right now. Right?

 

Craig’s Advise to His Younger Self on How to Become Better at Selling · [36:44] 

 

Will Barron:

That makes total sense. And that’ll be a quote from this episode, the [inaudible [00:36:39] around Instagram and LinkedIn after the fact. And with that Craig, I’ve got one final question [inaudible [00:36:44] ask everyone that comes on the show. And that is, if you could go back in time and speak to your younger self, what would be the one piece of advice you’d give him to help him become better at selling?

 

Craig Klein:

That’s a great question and I would definitely say, I would tell my younger self, to learn to practise empathy. When I learned to really try to understand my customers and just people in my life, rather than thinking about myself and my own needs, when that switch flipped in my brain years ago, that’s when everything changed.

 

Craig’s Thoughts on the Benefits of Having Empathy is Sales · [37:19] 

 

Will Barron:

How did that switch flip for you?

 

Craig Klein:

Oh, man, that’s a tough one. I was young and I went through some tough times, got divorced, had some other troubles, career issues, and had some conflict at work where I wasn’t getting along with people and losing my cool and really was a wake up call. I realised that, while I might be good at what I do, I had to also be good at working with the people in my life, right? And as soon as I started to think about that, it immediately started to apply to what I was doing with my customers, and it really changed everything. I also got some training.

 

Craig Klein:

I went to the Sandler Sales Institute things like that. And that was great, really pushed me down that road.

 

Will Barron:

Good. And I appreciate the candid response. So the reason ask is that this is something that I constantly work on and blaming 50% of it of just being a man of when someone comes to me with a problem, I want to ram a solution down their throat, I want to be the hero, I want to solve all the problems. And nine times out of 10, the individual is coming to you with a problem is both in business and out of business in my experience, because they want to share something, they want to get something off their chest, they want to tell you something.

 

Will Barron:

Even now after, whether it’s my girlfriend, whether it’s my dad having a problem with his business or whatever it is, I have to force myself just to shut up for two minutes, 10 minutes, whatever it is, let them finish. And then clearly, you can make a bad judgement and you can help them because you’ve got context of the whole scenario. But when I was younger, and when I say younger, I mean like a year ago, I would just immediately want to jump down people’s throats with, “Here’s the answer. Here’s the solution.”

 

Parting Thoughts · [39:16]

 

Will Barron:

And so, I’m working on this at the moment so that’s why I wanted to ask yourself. Awesome, Craig I appreciate that. And with that, tell us a little bit about SalesNexus, tell us a little bit about … Well tell us where we can find the four steps to market domination. And then tell us where we can find out more about you as well sir?

 

Craig Klein:

Sure. Yeah. So you can go to salesnexus.com, and that’s where we have the four steps of market domination. It’s right there on the homepage. And just in general, SalesNexus is a CRM and a marketing automation solution, all in one, easy to set up and customise tool. And we work a lot with medium sized B2B sales teams. 10 to 100 salespeople, where they don’t have the marketing staff and the IT staff to babysit 10 different pieces of software, our system’s just simple and easy and it does the lead nurturing that we’ve been talking about.

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. Well, I’ll link to all that in the show notes to this episode over at salesman.org. All right Craig, join this conversation. I feel like we’ve distilled this down to a … I don’t want to say simple process, but an own complex process and that’s really useful for the audience so I appreciate that. Because that’s down to you, as opposed to me. I try to overcomplicate everything I possibly can. So with that Craig, I want to thank you again for your time, your insights on this and for joining us on the Salesman Podcast.

 

Craig Klein:

Yeah, well thanks a lot. It’s been a lot of fun. Really a lot of fun. Thanks.

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