Chris Battis:                  On this episode of Intent Topics, we’re going to talk about a more evolved concept of outbound sales.

Chris Battis:                  What’s up bro?

Logan Kelly:                  What’s cracking dude?

Chris Battis:                  Oh, not a lot. Not a lot. Just plugging away here. So today I want to talk about outbound sales. All right? And I want to talk about why we need to be okay with a more evolved concept of outbound sales. All right? And I feel like we need to merge inbound with the old school for better for worse called cold-calling. And I would like to discuss this evolution with you today.

Logan Kelly:                  Sure. Yeah. Great. Absolutely.

Chris Battis:                  All right.

Logan Kelly:                  It’s my favorite thing to talk about.

Chris Battis:                  I know. So talk to me about how you think things have evolved over time?

Logan Kelly:                  Yeah. So I think the important thing to realize about the inbound, outbound, there seems to be a divide between the two. And the important thing is outbound relies on content as much as inbound does, in 2019, moving into 202. So it’s very important that we are delivering information to our prospects. What we have seen, is a lot of the research that is going on, is not happening on the business that the customer is ultimately going to transact with. It’s not happening on their website. Right? So the idea is they’re going to review sites.

Logan Kelly:                  They’re going to places to get information that are not the end user, or the end company that’s pumping out blog articles and all that kind of stuff. So I don’t know if I’m making a lot of sense here, but we need to deploy content to meet it where the prospect is, as opposed to letting the prospect come to us.

Chris Battis:                  Okay.

Logan Kelly:                  But, that doesn’t mean we’re disrupting the prospect. I think disrupt in the HubSpot language. It’s like, “Let them come to you and then have the conversation you want to have with them.”

Chris Battis:                  Yeah. Almost like interrupt. Right? And so-

Logan Kelly:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Battis:                  … a couple of things to that. So like cold-calling in its old form is basically like, you have a list of phone numbers, right?

Logan Kelly:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Battis:                  Not to be ever called the same thing again, right?

Logan Kelly:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Battis:                  it’s gone. It’s like cars without seatbelts. Right? But the one thing that’s changed a ton, is the ability to put content in front of someone is at a completely different junction than ever was. Right?

Logan Kelly:                  Yeah.

Chris Battis:                  So if you in the late sixties or seventies call it cold-calling, all you had for content was what you said, if you got that person on the line. Right? And so there’s this whole concept with outbound that I think goes so seamlessly with the inbound, which is the content in front of the right person. Right?

Logan Kelly:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Battis:                  And the distinction is reaching out and grabbing that person and pulling them in, or have having them find you. Right?

Logan Kelly:                  Yep.

Chris Battis:                  That’s seems to me like the clear distinction, right?

Logan Kelly:                  Yeah, absolutely. So if we look at intent data, there’s definitely a curve. There’s an amount of research and content consumption that’s being thrown off. I just did a video on this. So a marketing qualified lead and a early intent search are kind of the same thing. Right? So we can see where that person is in that… And when I say the same thing, it’s in terms their research cycle, their buying process. So the idea is, regardless of if they are interacting with your website, they are consuming content somewhere.

Chris Battis:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Logan Kelly:                  Your job is to understand how to get the content in front of that person.

Chris Battis:                  Yeah. In fact, I saw the statistic today that 67% of B2B sales, the prospect has already been researching that by the time they speak to a salesperson.

Logan Kelly:                  Yeah, yeah, exactly. We saw that happen in the car business, right? Yeah. I think the analogy would be in the car business, before Autotrader, Kelly Blue Book, etc. you had the average it was like 6.3 dealerships visited before somebody makes a purchase.

Chris Battis:                  Wow.

Logan Kelly:                  Now it’s 1.2.

Chris Battis:                  Wow.

Logan Kelly:                  So think about that. The prospect in that case is doing all their research on Kelly Blue Book, Autotrader. They’re all owned by the same company [crosstalk 00:05:11] which is nuts, right? Cars.com. And they’re going to the manufacturer’s sites. And they might be shopping all these different websites.

Chris Battis:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Logan Kelly:                  So when they get to the store, you have to close them.

Chris Battis:                  Yeah. And what you’re saying is the research is done.

Logan Kelly:                  Yes.

Chris Battis:                  Where back in the day, it used to be the shopping process, like coming to check out the cars, seeing the different options.

Logan Kelly:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Battis:                  Collecting all the pamphlets or whatever you call those things. Right? And then probably walking away and making a decision. Now somebody comes in probably knowing a shocking amount about what they want and what they can get. Right?

Logan Kelly:                  Right.

Chris Battis:                  And so to bring it back to this inbound marketing thing where in the late, call it 2011, 2012, 2013, it was like, oh, things like TiVo, caller ID, spam filters, and email has killed outbound sales, effectively cold-calling. Right? On the flip side, the ability to research got that much better too. And if you’re savvy as a salesperson, and I think this is the main point of this talk, is those tools are just as powerful as the tools created to shut all this stuff off. Right?

Logan Kelly:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. So even things like Apple with their voicemail transcription made voicemails into a pseudo kind of email or a text message, right?

Chris Battis:                  Totally, yeah.

Logan Kelly:                  So, it’s how we’re using the tools, needs to be to get content in front of somebody in a conversational manner. Right? So not like, “Download my eBook.”

Chris Battis:                  Yeah.

Logan Kelly:                  Stop it. Let me know and I’ll shoot it over to you if you really want to read an eBook, but who the hell wants to read an eBook right? They want-

Chris Battis:                  That has become the new flavor of the used car salesman. Right? “What do I have to say to get you to buy this car today?” If you hear those pushy, pushy messages like in the, “Oh, here’s my eBook or something.”

Logan Kelly:                  Exactly.

Chris Battis:                  Oh my God, that’s actually become outdated.

Logan Kelly:                  Yeah. Yeah. It’s like every single lead gen ad on Facebook is download an eBook from a digital marketing company. So I think it really comes down to, are we getting the right information in front of the right person? And that’s where things like data coming. So intent data, technographic data, even just simple firmographic data, like who are you talking to?

Chris Battis:                  Yeah.

Logan Kelly:                  So if we can take that and we can shape the content that we’re putting in front of somebody, that is so powerful. The other thing is, and this needs to be part of this discussion, is so many people talk about how outbound or cold-calling, it’s disruptive and they’re scared of being disruptive, right? So I hear it a lot, “I don’t want to push the customer too much [crosstalk 00:08:21], or the prospect.” Or, “Yeah, I’m going to pester him too much.” Or those kind of stuff.

Logan Kelly:                  Okay. So let’s talk about the rationalization here. In a research process, if as a salesperson, you do not believe that you are knowledgeable, more knowledgeable than the guy you’re competing against-

Chris Battis:                  You’re truly helping someone.

Logan Kelly:                  You’re truly helping somebody.

Chris Battis:                  Yes.

Logan Kelly:                  So if your expert positioning, right? internally is not high, then it gets very hard to do this. But if your expert, positioning is, “Hey listen, I can truly provide you value. I know more than the next guy. Let me help you consolidate this in a very real way, a very true way.” You are not lying, or skewing data and you’re helping somebody get that research done. That is very valuable. Because I can tell you, if you type in a Google search of the product or service that you’re selling, let’s talk about it.

Logan Kelly:                  So if you just type in your company’s name, if, say you’re a SAS company.

Chris Battis:                  Yep.

Logan Kelly:                  Your company’s name, or if you’re not in a SAS company, type in a software as a service that maybe you use or you’ve heard of you. If you type that in, then on the first three or four listings on Google, they will be ads, what are those ads? Those ads are competitors saying, “I’m better than this person because.”

Chris Battis:                  Right.

Logan Kelly:                  Then underneath of that, it’s going to be a G2 crowd, or some sort of review site about that software.

Chris Battis:                  Or maybe a Wikipedia article. Right?

Logan Kelly:                  Yeah, exactly. And then on G2, right? That software’s competitor might be buying ads on that page that are saying X, Y, and Z about how they’re better than them. So if the salesperson doesn’t believe they’re doing a service to the prospect, by simplifying the enormous amount of information overload that the prospect will be encountering, then they shouldn’t be selling.

Logan Kelly:                  So that is the power of outbound. Simplify things for prospects. And that’s why we talk about conversational messaging.

Chris Battis:                  Yep.

Logan Kelly:                  … good context, concise messaging, et cetera.

Chris Battis:                  Being engaging, educational, entertaining, even.

Logan Kelly:                  Yeah. Being conversational. Yeah, exactly. I can’t tell you how many people, it’s like, “Hold on, I got to get my mind around this. I need time to think about it.” Right? Time to think about it is you’re either unsold on something, or there’s just so much information that you truly do need to organize that information in your head. And so if you can provide those frameworks, if you can provide that valuable information, you will start to win more deals.

Logan Kelly:                  And sitting there waiting for it on the inbound side doesn’t work. I don’t think it ever has. I think the content that is being created should never go away, because that’s content that if it’s valuable, that should be getting in front of the prospect.

Chris Battis:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. And then on this same thread, I’m trying to pull up, but there’s a screenshot I sent you the other day that was a comparison of outbound prospecting versus inbound prospecting. Right? And this diagram, was very quick to call outbound prospecting, anything outbound prospecting, cold-calling. And defined it as unsolicited calls to sell a product or service. Right?

Chris Battis:                  And they call it inbound prospecting warm emails to explore your relationship with a lead who has already expressed familiarity with your product or service. I think this is completely inaccurate, right? Because are starters, you’re not necessarily prospecting in the way that you’re prospecting when you’re out doing outreach. Because this person’s filled out a form on your website, right? They’ve already come to you.

Logan Kelly:                  Yeah.

Chris Battis:                  Right? I’m saying that outbound prospecting, and we can stop calling it cold-calling because you’re right, it’s not cold-calling. It is reaching out to people to bring them in to then give them that information, that data that we have access to as salespeople could suggest that this person’s researching this topic. Right?

Logan Kelly:                  Right.

Chris Battis:                  And it’s actually not unsolicited, right? It’s not a coincidence when we reach out to someone via email, or call, or whatever.

Logan Kelly:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Battis:                  And then just say, “Oh, as a matter of fact, I just happened to be researching.” It’s like, “Yeah, we know.” Right? But we’re still reaching out. Right? And I think there’s this huge gap between the Field of Dreams, if we build it they will come, concept of inbound, and inbound sales by these kind of definitions, right? And this reaching out and nudging, someone. And saying, “I’m here.” Not yelling at them. Not the whole megaphone analogy that they use and we’re talking about how this was a paradigm shift to inbound. But still, “Hey.” Like in the retail store, “Hey. I’m here, let me know if you have any questions.

Logan Kelly:                  Sure.

Chris Battis:                  Feel free to browse.” Right? And that’s like an unassuming way to say, “Hey, I know everything about everything in this store. Happy to help you if you want it.”

Logan Kelly:                  Right and that like… Exactly. Yeah. Keep going. Sorry.

Chris Battis:                  I’m kind of ranting. But what kicked off this topic was I was very frustrated that this positioning of outbound prospecting, which is what we do, had this negative connotation. It really basically says, “Reaching out to people who don’t want to hear from you and interrupting them.” Right?

Logan Kelly:                  Yeah.

Chris Battis:                  In this “inbound prospecting thing” being like, “And here to save the day we’re going to do these warm emails to explore a relationship with a lead that’s filled out a form.” That’s not the same thing at all.

Logan Kelly:                  Yeah.

Chris Battis:                  It’s like prospecting, it’s lead follow-up.

Logan Kelly:                  Right. Yeah.

Chris Battis:                  To me it’s just a different part of the altogether funnel in general, right?

Logan Kelly:                  Right.

Chris Battis:                  So that’s-

Logan Kelly:                  Yeah. Yeah. I think they’re different. Inbound wants to be different than outbound. Right? Because inbound is easy. It’s a message that was made to sell the product like HubSpot. Right?

Chris Battis:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Logan Kelly:                  Really. And then everybody else jumped on the bandwagon.

Chris Battis:                  Right.

Logan Kelly:                  So it’s easy to say, “Hey, listen, cold outreach makes you uncomfortable. Right?”

Logan Kelly:                  “Yeah. It makes me uncomfortable.

Logan Kelly:                  “Okay, great. Well guess what? You don’t have to do it. I’m going to let you off the hook.”

Logan Kelly:                  “All right, great. That’s awesome.” So that was a sales tool. So everybody who believes in it has been sold. People, they’ve been sold. You just got sold. If that’s what you believe in. People who do outbound really well. Right? Outbound sales. They know that they need that content. They need to be valuable. Every time they touch something-

Chris Battis:                  Yeah.

Logan Kelly:                  … whether that’s an email, phone call, et cetera, they need to be valuable.

Chris Battis:                  Uh-huh (affirmative). Yeah.

Logan Kelly:                  And as for the outbound people I think have thrived since the onslaught of inbound, because their competition’s gotten a lot less, because there’s a lot of people sitting around.

Chris Battis:                  Yeah. Yeah. I’ve told this story on one of these podcasts, back when I creating Allen Technologies, which is the agency I created years ago, I hired a sales rep. And at the time, there was this thing called partner match and you’d be a member of this thing on HubSpot, where if a customer came on to HubSpot and they needed something, they’d fill out this form, and this email would go to all the partners that were enrolled in receiving this email.

Chris Battis:                  And we started landing a bunch of business. And at one point we started asking people, “Hey how did you go with us?” And they said, “Well everyone just emailed us. You’re the only person that called us.” And it was like, at that time, that’s 2012 right? At that time everyone was hiding behind forms. Everyone thought that was it. You’d get the form submission and the rest was either just going to happen. There’s this gap between form submission and contract, or signed deal, or whatever. Right?

Chris Battis:                  And then my point here is we just learned that picking up the phone is a big deal. So maybe this whole thing all boils down to pick up the phone, fricking talk to people. Right?

Logan Kelly:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Battis:                  And maybe it’s just lending itself to the merit of this whole conversational marketing category that’s been created by the guys at Drift.

Logan Kelly:                  [inaudible 00:17:26].

Chris Battis:                  And I don’t know. But that’s a pretty big distinction for me. Maybe the difference is calling versus just emailing, right? Or just reaching out to specific people and starting conversations. I’d actually like to revise it. Start the conversation. Whatever medium is doesn’t matter, right?

Logan Kelly:                  Right. Yeah.

Chris Battis:                  Just start the conversation.

Logan Kelly:                  Channel doesn’t matter. People need to stop talking about the channel, whether it’s phone, email, outreach, et cetera.

Chris Battis:                  Yeah.

Logan Kelly:                  It’s got to be agnostic. It’s what works. because the phone works [crosstalk 00:18:07].

Chris Battis:                  It’s all the things, right? It’s like going to the doctor. “Yeah, I got this thing.” And they’re quick to be like, “Oh, no, your body’s this holistic creature.” So we have this person’s on… Let’s just like talk through a scenario. This person’s researching a thing. They’re observing a company or product on social media of some sort. They’ve been to the website. There’s probably opinions of colleagues from trade conversations, whether it’s forums or trade shows, or just people know each other. And a phone call, a few emails and maybe some chat on a website. Maybe multiple websites. Right?

Chris Battis:                  There’s no one channel. Is there a word for the omnichannel marketing?

Logan Kelly:                  Omnichannel?

Chris Battis:                  That’s was like the Twilio. That’s actually part of our origin stories, how we got going. Is monitoring the conversations across all channels. Right?

Logan Kelly:                  Yep.

Chris Battis:                  So anyways, I’m just backing you up on that concept of, it’s not just phone, it’s not just email. It has nothing to do with that. Those are the wrong axes to be working on.

Logan Kelly:                  Right, exactly. Exactly. And they need to be integrated. It’s not just like hit somebody on three different channels. It’s how are they all interacting.

Chris Battis:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Logan Kelly:                  That’s why I’m a big proponent of SalesLoft.. They do a very good job at integrating everything. So this is a good one man. I love to hear you go off. It’s nice to hear you go off and not me go off.

Chris Battis:                  Well, I don’t know. I don’t want to be negative about it. But I do have this real chip on my shoulder about how the inbound versus outbound thing has been positioned.

Logan Kelly:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Battis:                  And it’s like back to my original decision to come join Union Resolute was I didn’t believe that what we were doing, or what Union was doing prior to my showing up even worked. I was that programmed. And now I’ve swung so far to the other side where, I don’t know, I’ve sat on the sidelines and I’ve seen things change, but the things aren’t talked about like apples to apples anymore. When the concept of inbound was made a concept, a thing, HubSpot was basically an SEO tool, blogging, form submission, or the ability to receive a form submission. And that’s what inbound turned into.

Chris Battis:                  And then it’s turned into this huge thing where we’re actually you could use HubSpot very much only outbound all day long. And it’s almost like the inbound concepts made legacy, but it’s still here. Right?

Logan Kelly:                  Right.

Chris Battis:                  Because it’s a conference with 30,000 people, and a lot of stuff has been built around this concept. And I just think that it’s just not as simple as in versus out. it’s not as simple as which channel warm, cold?

Logan Kelly:                  Right.

Chris Battis:                  Right? And so to bring it back to my original point of what I want to talk about here, is as much as consumers are able to turn all these things off, right? And tune off the noise, and own their incoming communications. Savvy marketers, I’m going to say marketers, not just salespeople, have the ability now with these tools created on the internet, to reach people in much better ways, and engage with them successfully.

Chris Battis:                  Right? And I’m just picturing the dude in a brown suit with a shitty tie, and a phone book sitting at his desk in the 70s, probably smoking indoors, cold-calling. And I think that’s what people latch onto what they think of it is today. And it’s just not that. It’s super productive, and it works. And we have tools available to us to make it so there’s no such thing as cold-calling. It’s just outreach, it’s prospecting.

Logan Kelly:                  Right. Exactly.

Chris Battis:                  And I find these tools fascinating. I find the data available to us insane, and the way that we can use it and create messaging, it’s just insane. I clearly could talk about all day long.

Logan Kelly:                  Yeah, dude, I love it.

Chris Battis:                  I’m also caffeinated. So I could wrap this up for you. What do you say?

Logan Kelly:                  Yeah, let’s wrap it up.

Chris Battis:                  All right, man. Well, I’m Chris Battis.

Logan Kelly:                  And I’m Logan Kelly. Thank you so much for stopping by. Please give us a five star rating on whatever podcast app you listen on. We will see you next time.

Chris Battis:                  All right. Take care.

You May Also Like