7 Social Sales Hacks To Insure You Hit Quota in 2015
by Chad Burmeister
In this video, Chad Burmeister shares with us 7 practical tips you can use today to hit your sales quota using social selling. Specifically, you will learn the following:
Chad Burmeister is Vice President Sales at ConnectAndSell. Chad was voted Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professional by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals 4 years in a row – 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Business professionals describe Chad as “high energy”, “high integrity” and Chad has “an extremely high ability to execute”. Chad has an MBA in Computer Information Sciences from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He has traveled the world from Australia/New Zealand, Barcelona, China/Hong Kong, India, France, Italy, and has built world class sales teams in Arizona, Southern California, Northern California, North Carolina, and is excited to be “home” in Colorado where he has built a high velocity sales team to sell and service ConnectAndSell customers.
Chris: Welcome, everyone. My name is Chris Kennen, business development director at HireVue. It is an honor to introduce you to our next speaker, my good friend, Chad Burmeister of ConnectAndSell. Chad is in the Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professional and have been for the last five years. He is also the author of saleshack.com, socialsaleshack.com. One thing I love about Chad is that he really loves what he's doing and he's definitely making a difference in the inside sales level, and I would definitely compare him to people like ken Krogue and Trish Bertuzzi when it comes to changing the way we are doing sales in the inside sales realm. So with that being said, Chad, take it away.
Chad: Hey, thanks for having me today. I would like to really thank HireVue for putting on The Social Selling Summit as well as Sales for Life and all the other sponsors. Particularly I would like to thank Gabe and Chris for building this conference. It's exciting to be here amongst all the other speakers, so thank you very much. As Chris just mentioned, my name is Chad Burmeister. I'm the head of sales and marketing for ConnectAndSell, which is a sales acceleration platform that enables sales professionals to talk to somebody in their prospect list every two to three minutes.
I'm going to share with you to get started a little bit about what would happen if you were running 10, 15, 20 page trials per month as a business, and then all of a sudden in one month, you were able to quadruple or even 6x that number. I'm excited to tell you that at the middle of last year in the October timeframe, that's exactly what happened at ConnectAndSell. By using people, process and technology, we were able to get to a 6x over our normal run rate of paid trials.
I'm going to share with you today seven sales hacks that will help you get to your number in 2015. Throughout the course of this presentation today, please feel free to tweet at me -- @SalesHack is my twitter handle – and make sure you use #SocialSelling Summit when you're tweeting today. And again my twitter handle as you'll see on the bottom right-hand of every slide is @SalesHack. So I'm excited to be here today. As I mentioned, I head sales and marketing. I'm also on the board of an organization called Integrated Alliances.
What I'm really excited about in 2015 is that Lori Ruff and Mike O'Neil have been voted in the Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers for the past several years. So associating with these folks... They've now written two books. They just came out with their latest and they will be speaking at various AA-ISP events throughout the year. So I'm very excited to be collaborating with them and continuing to take my game in social selling to the next level of professionalism. You can also find me at Frontline Fridays at the AA-ISP. It's www.aa-isp.org to learn more.
Let's get started. The first social sales hack that I'm going to share with you today was published on socialsaleshack.com, which was just launched within the past couple of weeks. I'm going to share with you what I'll call the LinkedIn connections hack. Everybody has a series of connections. Are you leveraging your connections to the effect that you could be? Before I get to the hack, I'll point you to saleshack.com because a number of the processes that I'm going to share with you today have been covered at saleshack.com, and again I'm building Social Sales Hack on a go-forward basis.
So my assumption is that you have a list of connections in your LinkedIn profile that you want to be having regular communications with. And again at salehack.com, you'll find some best practices on how to build those connections. This LinkedIn hack number one – the connections hack. Basically you just go and you export your contacts and it's super simple. If you Google "export my LinkedIn contacts," you'll find how to do that. So if you've never done that, I highly, highly encourage you to do it. You've invested the time to build your LinkedIn connections, you own those connections so export them.
Part number two, append those contacts with demographics. In LinkedIn, you have first name, last name, you have email address, about 10 or 15 fields. However what you don't have is what industry is the person in, what's the SIC code, how many employees do they have, so append. Some of the tools that I would recommend that you consider when you are appending your records are tools like ZoomInfo, or if you're calling into IT folks, DiscoverOrg or RainKing, but get a data append tool and append your contacts. This can literally take minutes. It doesn't have to take a lot of time. If you have any questions about it, I'd be more than happy to help. Our team actually provides this service as well.
So export your contacts, append them with demographics, and then next is match with the ideal customer profile. For me, personally I have about 6,000 contacts on LinkedIn, and I export them, and then I look at what's my ideal customer profile. Well, its series "A", series "B", series "C" funded technology startups is one of the target markets, and then we've also been working in mid-market and enterprise, companies like IBM and Oracle. So match my social followers and my social connections to the ideal customer profile.
Now I've got a database. Out of those 6,000 connections, maybe 3,000 of them fit my ideal customer profile. Some of those connections may be irrelevant to my product or service. Maybe they were relevant three years ago when I worked for Riverbed, but maybe they are not as relevant today when I work for ConnectAndSell. So match it with your ideal customer profile and then leverage marketing automation. It's pretty standard practice these days whether you are using MailChimp if you're a small business or you have Marketo or Act-On software or another like Eloqua, but leverage your company's email marketing automation tool.
This is something that most companies have a dedicated marketing automation specialist. So if you just give them your list of connections with the demographic information, often times they will be able to dedupe for you and then assign these contacts to you. So I'm taking you through kind of a quick process here that I hope you can leverage.
Finally the last piece is once you've done the emailing, you got to talk to them. These are connections that you are connected to. They are your first degree connection. So I'm calling it Real Sales Acceleration Technology, and I call it real because there's a lot of tools that will enable you talk to two, three, four people in a day and maybe you get 30% more efficient and now you talk to five. What if you could load your database of 5,000 LinkedIn connections and actually talk to 30 of them in one day? Within just a couple of weeks, you could've penetrated your entire list of almost all your LinkedIn connections.
That's the first LinkedIn hack that I'm going to share with you and I'm going to get through six more, so hopefully there's some business value for you.
The second one, these are my very good friends at SalesLoft. If you've never heard of SalesLoft, look them up, write it down, this is a tool that you want to learn about. It's www.salesloft.com. Kyle Porter is the CEO and they've built such an incredible organization that allows a user to go in and do a search of contacts. Maybe, in this example, I was going to a conference in Minnesota. And before I went there, I wanted to invite as many vice presidents of sales to the conference that I could. I had some extra passes to the conference. So I went in to SalesLoft, I downloaded it, all within a series of minutes, sent it off to my marketing automation specialist, we did an email blast, we called them all within a day, and we were able to get about six or eight prospects to come to the conference all within one week's time.
So the LinkedIn hack is around contacts. Check out tools like SalesLoft. Another example is Social 123. Social 123 is more for the industrial user. If you have to append data by the thousands and you want to make sure that you have the latest and greatest, Social 123 is another good alternative here. Check that out.
Social selling hack number three is what I'm calling Outsourced Social Selling. This one would be a bit controversial with our 20 experts here today. If you ask one person versus another, versus another, you will probably get very different answers. I'm just going to share with you my personal success, and this has allowed me to be viewed in the top 1% as you can see here. Of all the people who I'm connected to, I'm constantly viewed as a top 1% person inside LinkedIn in all of my connections. I'm going to share with you the "how" behind that in the next few minutes.
Step number one is I used to do this in the weekends – connect with a lot of folks, know your ideal customer profile, and go out and connect with them. I watched the Denver Broncos game on the weekend, and I've spent two and half hours. I could either watch it and do nothing or I could watch it with a laptop on my lap. That's what I did for two to three years. I would go in and I would handpick people that I wanted to have on my network.
Now what I do is I've outsourced that to a team of people, and I use a company called prospectrs.com. You can see the spelling there. It's P-R-O-S-P-E-C-T-R-S dot com, and I've had a ton of success. They actually go in on a nightly basis. Anyone who's in my pipeline, these could be my prospects or my sales reps' prospects, they personally connect me to not only the person in the lead or the opportunity, but also the rest of the executive team.
So that's part number one – connect, connect, connect. I've heard Jill Rowley talk about it and she said, "The ABCs of social selling, always be connecting," and I whole-heartedly agree. So set yourself a bar. Is it 1,000 connections? Is it 5,000? But set a bar and then you can outsource that work. If you've got kids, outsource it to them. If you've got friends and family, outsource it to them. They can log in as you and then they can go and make these connections for you. So I highly recommend that.
The next part, now you've got your database. Think of that as the bottom of the pyramid. You've built your database of people. Now it's important to get information in front of them that's relevant to them. It's not about your products and services. Let me repeat. It's not about your products and services. It's all about relevant content.
If you noticed, I re-tweet, I re-post, I send newsletters that have folks like Jamie Shanks who's talking here today, Ken Krogue who's an expert in the inside field industry, and others, and I post that content in a relevant meaningful way, and I comment on top of that content. So make sure you're doing that. There's a couple of tools out there that I would recommend. Hootsuite for free is a good place to start. So if you don't have a budget, that's a great place to start. There's other tools like rFactr. It's r-f-a-c-t-r. Notice at the top of your screen here today, they are one of the sponsors. I highly, highly recommend rFactr. This is the same tools that Oracle, and Microsoft, and many of the large organization that are out there use to power their entire social strategy. So check that out.
And then finally step three, create a weekly newsletter. It's great that you've got all the social connections, and you're posting in step two, you're connecting in step one. There's a lot of ways to communicate with the folks. What I'm starting to find in my LinkedIn personally as a vice president of sales, I get 10 to 20 emails almost every single day. It's like a second Outlook box. So what I would recommend is send out a weekly newsletter and this is the trick. This is the hack. This is actually a separate hack that I published at another time. We learnt this from a company that does this. It's publish your post on Saturdays, because there's so much business to business communication going on during the week. Why not send it out on the weekend? We are finding very, very good pick up rates and open rates. That's social hack number three.
So outsource your social selling, build your network, get information in front of your prospects on a regular and frequent basis. By the way, when you do this, what I've personally seen is that up to 35% to 40% of the people that you invite to connect with you will actually accept your invitation. So think about that. That's a big number. If you send out a hundred invites, that's 35 to 40 people who will accept your invitation. I recommend you change the wording of the invitation. Jill Rowley would talk a little bit about that. Don't make it generic. Make it relevant to the audience. I would do that by title, by industry. So it says, "Hey, I noticed you are in the technology industry, and I'd like to connect with you." That's how I build my business. Make your introduction relevant so that it's scalable and its outsourced provider can help you connect to more people.
Moving on, social sales hack number four is called Get inside the Conversation. If you use social media to connect to people, you communicate with them through social, there still has to be a phone conversation at some point during the sales cycle. If there wasn't, then there'd be no need for me, no need for my 15 sellers, and no need for other sales people. At some point in time after this interaction occurs, this phone conversation needs to happen. What we found is that it's very different between an "A" player and a "B" player and a "C" player. What is being communicated to your prospects is very different from person "A" to person "B" to person "C".
So I would highly encourage that you have a mechanism, so that once the communications are moved from social to the phone, that you have a way to track and record those conversations. What that enables you to do is to partner with the company like we did called Factor 8 and there's other providers in this industry too, we've had a lot of success with top of the funnel conversation coaching. They will teach you their swift methodologies that say, "How do you open a call? Make sure it's a swift introduction. What's in it for them?" Make sure that you're doing that.
The difference between an "A" player and a "C" player is that an "A" player generally converts their first conversations – actually it's first, second, third conversations – at a rate of about 8% to 12%. So 100 conversations, they're going to set up 8 to 12 meetings. A "C" payer, 1% to 3%.
So if you're investing in social media selling for your reps, if you're investing you're time in making calls and talking to folks, make sure you're using the latest and greatest methodology. Make sure you know how many of your conversations are converting and how many aren't, because if you're converting at one in a hundred or two in a hundred, then you got to look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you're not going to make as much money as you could if you had somebody listen to your conversations and coached you on how to improve them.
I couldn't talk more about that, because it's so, so, so important, and it difference between the companies who invest a little bit at the front end means a lot more meetings and a lot more pipeline on the bucket.
Social sales hack number 5, the Dinner Event. So we've all gone to conferences. This year, we're slated to attend about 15 different conferences. Several events like this one that are virtual and several events that are physical. So the dinner event basically says, "Now that you've built your social network and you've got your Twitter followers, you've got your LinkedIn, and by the way, you've got an email database of all these folks and more, put together a dinner in the town that you're visiting the night before or the night after the event."
So, for example, on February the 11th and February the 12th of 2015, we are headed to San Francisco. And on the 12th, is an American Association of Inside Sales event. And guess what? We've sent out an invitation to all of the speakers to attend either the 11th or the 12th, and we've sent out a note to all the vice presidents of sales, all the CMOs, every one that meets our ideal customer profile in the Bay area. And finally we've turned on a call blitz by our selling team, so that they're personally calling these folks to invite them.
Tradeshows are great and you probably meet a small sliver of the audience, but when you can invite them to a dinner event like this, you will have their undivided attention. You invite your CEO, your founder, couple of folks from your side, and then open it up to an audience of between 16 and 18 people. The trick of it, if you notice here in the slide, you want to make sure that you show some of the anchor folks who are attending. These are people that other prospects would want to be socially engaged with.
By listing, for example, next February 11th, Kurt Shaver's one of the speakers, Anneke Seley is one of the speakers, Trish Bertuzzi has somebody from The Bridge Group, Steve Richard from Vorsight. If I can get them to agree to come to the dinner, then what happens is they start sharing this dinner with their peers, and colleagues, and prospects, and they say, "Hey, can I bring my prospect to this dinner?" "Absolutely. Absolutely."
So think of the social sales hack number five, the dinner event. If you've never tried it, I highly encourage you. Even if you are a rep and you own a geography, you can still do this social sales hack. You don't need a multi-thousand dollar budget. This is a dinner that's in one place at Kokkari in downtown San Francisco. We spent about $1,800, and we had three customers sign up within the next 48 hours as a direct result of that. So $1,800 investment for several thousand dollars of business. So that's social sales hack number five.
Number six is a video. And because we are in the two dimensional world today, I'm going to play the audio file of this presentation and you'll get the point. I'll be back with you in just a second. Here we go with the audio file. Check it out. I'll be right back with you.
Man: If you've been in inside sales for any time at all, then you know Trish Bertuzzi and The Bridge Group. And in September of 2013, the Bridge Group put out The Outbound Index. And in the article, they point out that if outbound is nearly dead, then shouldn't it be down 5%, 10%, 40%? Well, not the case. In fact, it's up to 35%, and this was at the end of last year.
So what is the Outbound Index? They look at a thousand accounts, and depending on how many opportunities you create, you get a score. Most companies have been growing from 26 to 42, so 42 out of 1,000 is a good number.
Let me report to you the ConnectandSell numbers. ConnectandSell sales team is at a whopping 342% or 814% of the norm. Want to know more? Check us out, www.connectandsell.com.
Chad: If you didn't catch all of that, there is a video whiteboard that goes along with the talk track there. I'd encourage you, look at the screen. I'll make sure it gets tweeted out to you here shortly and notice that it's a YouTube link. Check that out.
The key message is you've got these social followers, you're doing emails to them, a lot of organizations make two, three, five, maybe they have a seven outbound touch strategy to talk to the prospects. I'm telling you right now that that's a failed strategy. It's a failed strategy, because technology 'til today has never been able to solve that problem, because in the past, companies had to hire 10, 20, 50, 100 sales professionals, and that's why very large LBR teams have been developed.
With failed acceleration technology, that's what I shared with you a minute ago, in one quarter, the sales team at ConnectAndSell was able to connect to and talk to 342 out of 1,000 prospects. So make sure you know your ideal customer profile. Connect on LinkedIn, send your emails, but don't give up calling these folks until you've tried them many, many more times than you have in the past. Because I'll tell you, it takes an average of 23 dial attempts to have a single phone conversation with a business buyer. That's 23 attempts. And on average, it takes at least three to four conversations to turn a conversation into a meeting. That's 23 times 4 or 100 dial attempts against one person.
Sales acceleration technology is really the only way to get there by automating the process of talking to these folks. The best practice for most of our sales folks is that they make sure that all of the primary targets that are on their list are being talked to at least once a quarter, not just seven times in a week and then they're done. It's a consistent and concerted effort where the system and the software automatically ensure that that person on your list is being talked to once a quarter.
That's the outbound index. Don't forget the phone. The phone is the sales person's best friend. Coupled with social is the way you take your number of sales in a month from 10, 20, up to 60. That's exactly how we did it at ConnectandSell in the past one year.
We're getting close to the Q&A section. Again make sure that you're tweeting in your questions at the Twitter handle, @saleshack.
Social sales hack number seven, the Dreamforce hack. This is a variation of the dinner hack. What this says is look at companies like Marketo. In 2014, they were uninvited from the salesforce.com session, the Dreamforce event, and guess what? A lot of the audience didn't even know that but why is it? Because they went to their database, they sent a bunch of emails, and they invited people to come to a couple of dinners, and a few offsite events. We did the same thing, and guess what? We only had two weeks when we came up with this idea to execute, and this year, we've got months in advance.
So let me tell you about the historical view here. So in 2013, ConnectandSell spent $187,500. We had about 500 people come by the booth and a lot of these folks were not the person that we wanted to be talking to. Granted, we generated a little bit of buzz. There was probably some influence by close to one business, but it generated a little business for us. In 2014, we invested $2,000 for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel for a 50-person room. We had over 81 people sign up in less than two weeks, and we created over $250,000 in pipeline, and we generated a ton of closed business. So inviting people to the offsite meeting is a great way to go.
Here you can see, Eventbrite. We started advertising it October the 1st, and by the day of the event, we had over 81 people registered, "A" leads. The trick to this just like the dinner hack, make sure you're inviting people who have audiences. You want to get anchor tenants, people who other prospects want to be around, and speakers that can make an impact on your demographic and your prospects. That's sales hack number seven.
And now for the bonus hack. This is a sales hack. I've been giving you a bunch of social sales hack. Now I'm going to go back and I'm assuming that everybody who's using social selling tactics also care about selling tactics. So I'm going to give you one last one and I found over the years that if you do three to five deals a year that have a two-year booking component to them, that can mean the difference between 70% to 80% of your quota of 210% to 220% of your quota. And it's very, very simple to pull off. It's like a magic trick. Get the client to agree that the one-year deal is a good option for them.
So, for example, $325,000 deal, normally it's $400,000. You're saving $75,000. Now you go back to the customer and you ask, "Hey, did you guys ever sign a two-year transaction or a three-year? Because sometimes I can make it interesting for you. As your company is planning to grow, what if I could give you more for the money by signing for two years instead of one? And I'll give you price protection and you'll get more for less." So, for example, that same deal with ten feeds, what if you could go in and say, "Look, it's $650, but instead of ten feeds, I'm going to get you an up to 12, or an up to 15 plan. As your company grows to add more sales people, why not give you a plan that you can grow into and you fix your budget?"
So you've got to make sure that you understand the customers' need, their growth requirements, and try this. It can't hurt to at least ask the question. We did this at the end of last year in December. And in the last week of the quarter, two of our customers signed up for $500,000, and they honest to God would have normally, if we didn't ask this, they would have signed up for $250,000.
So it works, it works, it works, it works. All you got to do is try it. Check with your leadership. Make sure that, obviously, what's your bookings credit for a two-year transaction, but I highly recommend it assuming that's how you make the company money and that's how you yourself as a sales professional make bookings.
So I'm coming up on the time limit here. I really appreciate everybody coming today. Please check us out – new website, just launched, socialsaleshack.com. And as I mentioned earlier, saleshack.com is also open and live, and you can reach me always @SalesHack. Thanks very much, everyone, and enjoy the rest of the conference.