dan-ziman_0

How Salesforce.com Users Can Close the Gap Between Marketing and Sales

sales and marketing

If you are an executive at a larger organization, you may be very familiar with the disconnect between sales and marketing. Marketing talks about leads and lead generation, sales tends to talk about target accounts and outreach to close those target accounts.

You may have encountered issues with deals getting lost when people make calls without knowing if those leads are already a target account, if they are already a customer, or if a deal is already being worked on.

Dan Ziman, CMO for Lean Data explains how LeanDataInc.com solves that problem using their software. Lean Data helps companies with their account based sales and marketing strategies, specifically on Salesforce.com.

Listen now and you’ll hear Dan and I talk about:

  • (01:00)  Introductions
  • (04:30)  What are some of the problems you help your clients solve?
  • (09:30)  How does your software help to solve target account selling problems?
  • (12:00)  What size of companies suffer from these problems?
  • (15:40)  How did your company get its first dozen customers?
  • (18:40)  How did you build your target account list?
  • (20:30)  How did you make contact with the people on your list?
  • (23:00)  How did you have interns do 2nd level validation?
  • (26:00)  What are some things that people could do to better use their CRM?
  • (36:00)  What is round-robbining lead management and what are some challenges with it?
  • (38:00)  How much does your product cost?

More About This EpisodeGroove Digital Marketing Podcast

The Groove Digital Marketing podcast is the podcast for entrepreneurs  who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business. It’s designed to help entrepreneurs discover which proven tactics and strategies  are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

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Transcript

Trent:
Hey there bright idea hunters. Welcome back to episode number eighteen of the Groove Digital Marketing podcast. I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid and this is the podcast where we help marketing executives to discover ways to use digital marketing and marketing automation to dramatically increase revenue.

So if you are a marketing executive and you would like to hear proven tactics from other marketing executives this is the podcast to listen to. The way that I do that of course is I bring on your peers and get them to share with you and I exactly the strategies and tactics that they are using to achieve extraordinary results.

So my guest in this episode is a fellow by the name of Dan Ziman. Dan Ziman is the Chief Marketing Officer for a software company by the name of Lean Data. So if you are an executive at a larger organization you may be very familiar with the disconnect between the sales and marketing department. Marketing talks about leads and lead generation, sales tends to talk about target accounts and outreach to close those target accounts.

And there is a big problem that can happen, especially in larger organizations when leads start coming in from all of the marketing department’s activities and they get passed over to the sales team; people start making calls without knowing if those leads are already at a company a.k.a. a target account that is maybe already a customer or a deal is already worked on and so people end up stepping on each other’s toes or opportunities are lost.

There’s all sorts of room for error in that situation. So we are going to talk about how Lean Data goes about helping their customers to solve that problem using their software. We are also going to talk about how they have grown their own company. We are going to talk about how they got their first few dozen clients. They are only a two and a half year venture backed company with around 60 customers now.

And we are going to talk about how they got those customers. How they built their list, what the criteria were, what their sales processes look like and how they manage those sale processes within their own CRM (customer relationship management). And of course we are going to talk about some best practices for getting the most out of your CRM system. So in just a moment we will welcome Dan to the show.

Before that a quick announcement, if you are looking for help with content marketing, our firm Groove Digital Marketing can help you with that. We also have a number of free guides. You can get to all of those at GrooveDigitalMarketing.com/resources. And there is an entire library of marketing e-books there for you to download; any or all of them, however you see fit.

So with that said please join me in welcoming Dan to the show.

Hey Dan, welcome to the show.

Dan:
Hey Trent, thanks for having me.

Trent:
No problem, it is a pleasure to have you here as a guest. So before we get into all the nitty-gritty details of our conversation today as I have always do I want to give you an opportunity to introduce yourself to my audience so they know who they are listening to. So the first question I always ask is who are you and what do you do?

Dan:
Thanks Trent, my name is Dan Ziman. I am the chief marketing officer for a company called Lean Data. We are in Sunnyvale California in the bay area in Silicon Valley. What I do here is I am building the brand strategy, go-to-market strategy, demand generation and our web and digital strategy for Lean Data.

That is a younger company. We have been around for about two and a half years now. And what we do is help companies with their account based sales and marketing strategies. Specifically on SalesForce.com, potentially other platforms down the road.

Trent:
So to the laymen like me, I am not exactly clear on what it is that you guys do and I say that a bit tongue in cheek. I’ve been in sales a long time so I think I understand the process. You have SalesForce.com or whatever CRM you’re using, you got all your prospects loaded up in it and you communicate with them. You call them, you email them or do whatever to get a conversation so that you can qualify them and go through the sales process.

What am I missing, what is the piece that you guys help your customers with?

Dan:
Very good question Trent and to get into it a little bit deeper; basically what happens when leads come in to Sales Force (this is from a more inbound marketing perspective), in the situation that you just mentioned where a sales person is making an outbound call and they’re following up on it, it is not a complex sale and they are driving all the way through.

Sales Force works pretty well for that kind of situation but in the most cases of B2B marketing and complex selling there is a bunch of different activities that go on. First of all you do a lot of inbound marketing. You have probably talked to a lot of inbound marketers and digital marketers about driving web traffic and strategy and demand generation over the web.

All those leads come in, generally they get qualified by an inside sales team or a sales development team before they’re passed on to the account executives. And therein lies part of the challenge which is it is a lot of manual effort to move those leads along in the system. And the other big challenge that Sales Force has is that when the leads come in they are disassociated with the accounts in the system.

So I can throw in say most companies generate between five hundred to five thousand leads a month into their system. If I threw five hundred leads at you over a given week and you worked a particular set of accounts how would you know what those leads are.

Like do they match to existing accounts? Are these active opportunities that you are working on? Are they target accounts that you are dying to get traction in? Or are they potentially useless leads from other people who are just poking around and are just trying to educate themselves and they have no intention of buying?

It is a very manual effort for people to do the matching to figure out, “should I call this person or should I not?” And in most cases what happens is, or in some cases what happens is sales people of the inside sales team ends up calling an account and the person on the other side of the line says, “why are you calling me about this,
I am an existing customer? I am already talking to somebody at your company about this. In fact we are working on closing a deal.”

And then when the account manager finds out about it they get furious as well like, “why did you call my customer?” And the reason is that it is very difficult to make that matching insight of SalesForce.com. People use different names, different email addresses and it is just not well built for us. Does that make sense so far?

Trent:
It does. And I think just to make sure that the audience really gets it lets clarify two pieces of terminology, lead and account.

Dan:
Okay, so lead will be basically a person that is yet to be qualified that has shown some interest in your products or services by raising their hand and says, “Hey I’d like to learn more.” An account in SalesForce.com terminology an account could be just an account that has been created that has a potential of being a customer, is a customer, could be a partner, could be another business development or some other association that your business is associated to.

So it is basically the account name or company name by which all leads will be eventually associated with but if a lead comes in and there is no account created then that comes in to another situation which is when to create an account and how should they do it. And who should it be assigned to.

Trent:
So leads are people and accounts are companies?

Dan:
That is right. And they are in lies some of the challenges with using Sales Force with sales and marketing because marketing works in leads and sales works in accounts. And those two things are not associated with each other until somebody physically and manually makes that association.

Trent:
So there is a post on your blog that I think deals with that. I was having a look before we started recording and it is called the Unanswered Questions for Account Based Selling. Is that kind of the issue that a lot of these companies deal with? Is that they have this miscommunication between the marketing department and the sales department and it causes all sorts of grief.

Dan:
Yeah exactly Trent, the biggest issue is that not all leads are created equal but when they come in to Sales Force they are dealt with in an equal fashion because the only thing that Sales Force can really do is take the name and then try to route it to somebody who is the right person to follow up on it. But it doesn’t have the background piece, which is it cannot say, “Oh here is Trent from Hewlett Packard, Hewlett Packard is an existing customer, they have an active opportunity. The opportunity is being run by this person; I should send it to this person.”

All that would come in is Trent HP. And so that is where the challenge lies, is that then somebody has to start looking up that information and make that association. That is where we come in as a company, Lean Data; we start to give people that more important information that not all leads are created equal. Leads can be put into different buckets or different categories.

Trent:
So you guys have built software to help do this?

Dan:
That’s right, so we’ve built a package. The first thing that we do is, we look at a lead and say, “Does this lead match an existing account in the system or not?” And then the other thing is does it potentially match another lead in the system. And I don’t mean a duplicate. Let’s say that you and I work in the same company and we both hit the website at two different occasions, let’s say a week apart. We have heard about the company and we went to go download some info.

So your lead comes in a week earlier. A sales rep or inside sales person might start working it, another lead comes in say from me a week later, and somebody else starts working it. If there is no account created it is very difficult to see that association inside a sales force. So basically we could have two different people calling on us now. So that is the first piece. Figuring out is there an existing account or is there not.

Then from there we start to do the second part of it. Is this a customer or is this not a customer? So we have now broken this one lead (as I’ve said not all leads are created equal), into different characteristics and different buckets then based upon that we start to enable Sales Force so we’ve built both a views and routing and other technology into Sales Force to start moving that around.

What we are trying to do is move the manual challenge and resource utilization within Sales Force to give people a better context for allowing them to do it. And the end result is that you are essentially improving the customer experience because they are going to get followed up on a more timely fashion. They don’t get called and put in the wrong thing, like “why are you calling me, I am not a prospect I am a customer. Don’t you know that?”

So between the utilisation factors and the experience issues, those are two key things that we want to help people address.

Trent:
So what size companies in your experience typically have this problem we are talking about? Because it would seem to me that it is bigger ones, larger sales forces?

Dan:
Yes, that is right. Most of our customers today, we are approaching 50 to 60 customers now, they’re in the ten million to say 250 million range. We find that companies that are smaller than that, they probably don’t have the complexity as of yet. They probably are starting to feel some pain in that area but they haven’t reached the point where it is really boiling over. Or they may not have the inbound volume that creates that issue.

What is interesting is that the larger companies we find is that they have got so many people in place to deal with this issue like the sales ops teams or marketing ops teams are not just one person, they are groups of people.

And that is basically what they are doing; they are building lots of different functions on Sales Force to do what we basically do.

Trent:
My background was not selling at big companies and that is maybe why I don’t have the personal experience here.
But it would seem to me that you could just get a lead and look at the domain of the email address and do a quick search and see if there is anybody else in the system and figure this out on your own in a pretty short amount of time. But I am guessing it is not that simple.

Dan:
Yeah, so what happens if you are sitting on your phone one day on one of those newsletters like, “Oh that is an interesting article.” So you download it not realising later that you registered with your Gmail address. And then somebody else from your company comes in later and actually uses your company’s domain. So what we do is we check about five or six different fields. So therein lies the problem, like people using Gmail, Yahoo, whatever it may be.

And then the other thing is people change companies quite often and so you might have a Trent Dyrsmid from multiple companies. Particularly in B2B software where people are changing jobs eighteen to thirty six months out so. I could find you even same email address, different company names. Okay what do we do there?

So in that situation what we do is we work with companies to figure out what this tiebreaker scenario is and stepping through that. And we automate that and that is the same thing that a SDR would do or a sales development rep or inside sales rep.

They’re searching and looking, “is this the same person?” Search again, they run a duplicate check. They could potentially spend three to five minutes on one lead just to make sure that it is a clean person that they should be calling up on. Our feeling is that if we can take two minutes per lead that they get in by serving up the information ahead of time, that is minutes per day, that is calls per day that a sales development team could be doing.

And it ends up being tens of thousands of dollars a year that we could help somebody save.

Trent:
Yeah I bet because if you have got a large department of SDR’s and they are making a large volume of calls, two minutes per call, per rep, ends up being a big deal.

Dan:
That’s right.

Trent:
So I want to shift gears a little bit and ask some of the questions I meant to ask earlier on. And I just wanted that conversation to go where I think it needed to go. How did you guys get your first dozen customers? Because I think this is something that, regardless of whether the listener here is from a big company or a little company, everybody wants more customers and everybody struggles with sales and lead generation.

You are a young company, you are venture backed. In the beginning no one knew who you where, you didn’t have any proof. So I am very curious, how did you get those first dozen customers?

Dan:
Yeah, so I think I would say the second dozen was probably more difficult than the first dozen.

Trent:
Okay.

Dan:
The first dozen, generally in these situations and I hadn’t gotten involved in the company yet but I came in in January and it actually closed more than a dozen customers in the prior year. They used basically going through their relationships with the VC’s or people that they know that where in a B2B marketing and sales area. And a matter of reaching out, “Hey I got an introduction through so and so.”

So it is kind of the people you know category. And we were already pretty aware of what the problems were in SalesForce.com relative to this lead to account matching issue because everybody had experienced it firsthand like myself. And therein lies kind of the, “Hey we have developed this company to address this pain, are you guys feeling this kind of scenario?” “Yeah, what is you approach to it?”

So we got those first dozen. The second dozen I think was a bit more difficult but went very quickly. We set up our own target accounts. We basically said our target market is probably going to be people that have resources but don’t have enough, they’ve got a certain amount of inbound lead volume, they have a target account selling approach to their business or want to sell to particular types of ideal candidates or ideal profiles.

This is very much in an Aaron Ross predictable revenue fashion and built an inside sales team. And marketing’s role was kind of more like a sales enablement role. Which is help them with the presentations, the data sheets, getting them the talking points and how to manage the conversation and what questions to ask to qualify them.

And it was basically setting loose these inside sales guys calling in to demand generation, marketing operations, sales operations people and saying, “Hey, we have developed a solution for dealing with this issue. How are you guys addressing this problem in your company?”

And a very solution oriented kind of thing. And then kept the price points fairly low initially now we are getting up there a bit because now we have got passed that first dozen. So it is getting those trials, they weren’t really trails, people where buying annual licenses. Getting it in, spending a lot of time getting their feedback. “How do you see this work and how do we help other people in your company learn about it?”

Being really hands on with our customer success team and our customer and our sales people and just grow them from there.

Trent:
So there is two details that I want to dive deeper on. One of them is you talked about you built a list. So can you talk a little bit about the specifics of how did you build the list and how many were on the list and how you kept track of it?

Dan:
Okay so we probably had about 800 to 1000 accounts on the list. I would say initially, probably earlier this year there was like 250 accounts. So I’d say now it is about a thousand. We built that list just going through a standard company list serving things. There are all kinds of companies out there. We just wanted to get the company name and annual revenue and number of employees.

Those lists I think we probably paid about $1000 or $1500. It was about $2 a company name per say to meet our target and get base demographics. From there what we did is we used some outsource services to build the contact names that we wanted for those lists. And then so we enabled the sales people with, “Okay, here is our target list, here are the names of the people to start with and then here is the talking points and the sales process that we want to walk you through.”

So it was pretty well set up in terms of like “this is going to be the strategy to get those.” Now the ideal candidates, the people who made the lists as you noted earlier they fit into a particular revenue scheme; they have a certain amount of employees. So we kind of know and so we also wanted their B2B high tech software and hardware companies and those were the companies that met our specific demographic or ideal candidates.

Trent:
So your process isn’t any different than mine for that. That second thing that you said is you called in. So did you guys just pick up the phones and start cold calling or did you use the predictable revenue model or did you send in cold emails with “appropriate person” in the subject line? How did you make the contact?

Dan:
Yeah, so kind of a combination of that so it generally was an email followed up by voicemail or vice versa in most situations. Now we also had a light amount of inbound stuff, we did go to some trade shows, started to build up a little bit as you see with the blog and some other social marketing things. The idea with building some of that content was so that they could email in there and start with the thought leadership approach.

“If you solve this problem for your company, what would that mean to you from a sales and marketing stand point?” And started to help them with that discussion so it wasn’t to product oriented but trying to get to the root cause of “if we solve this, what would that mean for your business?

It was very much picking up the phone and asking people for that conversation.

Trent:
Interesting, so in other words you took the approach of trying to be helpful rather than trying to sell so that you could get conversations happening with people that are on your list and then you would transition those conversations once rapport was built to, “Hey we actually have a solution for this”?

Dan:
Yes that is right.

Trent:
Okay, one of the things that I think people who have used a CRM system, either Sales Force or what have you. Oh you know what hold that thought, something I wanted to share with the folks here. On the list building side game,
I am helping Hubspot on a beta program. They are working on a product that allows you to just go to a company’s website and just click a button and you get company revenue and number of employees.

And you can very easily get hold of contacts and email addresses for the people. Not all of them but often times the ones that you need just by clicking this little browser extension button when you are on the company’s website so it makes it very easy to get the information that you need.

Dan:
Yeah that is very cool. The other thing that I would suggest people using outsource services like Odesk or Elance or whatever. So when you have a particular set of accounts. Or bring in interns is another thing that we do for the summer, have them spend a bit of time because it is good to pull that; doing a second level validation will help save your more expensive reps time by giving them “Hey I verified that this person is there.”

Trent:
And so how do you guys do this second level validation?

Dan:
So, you would have those interns look them up on LinkedIn; potentially have them send a little intro thought leadership email, “Hey, I thought this might be important for you if you are focused on this part of your business, if you would like to learn more about how we help companies in this scenario please let us know.”

If the email bounces then you start to learn something or voicemail. It is just a good practice to kind of get the name in front of people in a really constructive manner.

Trent:
And did you ever have any problems getting the right phone number? Or do you just call in and you know most automated attendants say punch in the person’s spelling of their name and then they route you to them.

Dan:
Yeah, that is what we have, we have a frontline SDR team and then the other sales people behind that. So yeah that is what they’re doing. And we also used some interns this summer. They are college kids trying to learn about sales and marketing. They come in at a fairly good rate. They are eager, they can start calling very early in the morning and help us to collect that info or test that info pretty quickly.

On the email side we use obviously a marketing automation system. So if you have collected emails or got them from some other source we combine those with our house lists in a fashion. Because one of the things that marketers often don’t realise, like you buy those lists, if the emails are bad you can get blacklisted very quickly if there is too many wrong emails in the list that you blast out.

So what you want to do if you source another list is use a portion of that with your good list and then that will only drop your percentage down a bit because if ten percent of your email bounces that could send a flag to your ISP that you are a spamming problem.

Trent:
Are there any tools or services or anything that you guys have had success with in validating email addresses?

Dan:
Not outside of our marketing automation system, no. I haven’t spent a lot of time with some of those other services.

Trent:
Okay, if you are doing this on a one on one basis or even if you want to have your VA do it there is a plug-in called Rapportive which works in Gmail and as long as they have LinkedIn account, if you roll over their email address it will pop up whatever info they have associated with that email address.

And typically it is their headshot and some of the information about them. That is one very easy way to validate whether the email address works but obviously if you are doing this at scale that becomes a little bit more challenging.

Dan:
That is good info.

Trent:
So the question that I interrupted myself from asking a few minutes ago was, for companies that are using CRM, what are some ideas that you have for how they can better use their CRM, be it Sales Force or whatever it is they are using?

Dan:
Yeah, the first thing is if they are in an account based selling strategy or account based marketing strategy which I am interested in asking you Trent. Do you feel like most people are trying to do that or wanting to move to that type of method of selling and marketing?

Trent:
To an account based style?

Dan:
Yeah:

Trent:
I think it really depends on who you are asking that question to. How big of a company are they with? A lot of people for example that listen to one of my shows are small marketing agencies and marketing consultants, are they doing that? I don’t know that they are, they probably should be. I know that we are. Our process is very similar to yours, we have a named list, we have target accounts, and we go after them. It is very methodical, it is a multi step process, there is eight steps in the process bla bla bla. So the answer to your question is it depends.

Dan:
Okay so for those that are and of course we see that mostly in the companies that are in the B2B sales and marketing area that are doing north of ten million in revenue, even sometimes lower than that. The first thing the people need to do better is mapping this inbound lead traction with their target accounts.

If I come and say to you we had our biggest lead volume month ever, we had 2000 leads last month; sometimes people will say this is really what they are tracking. Or this PPC program is starting to kill it or we went to this great trade shows. It is a very different dimension when I say sure so show me the traction of those leads in our target accounts.

So if that for example wiped out 60 or 70 percent of the leads that came in, now what we are talking about is say of the 2000 in this example now what we are talking about is 600 leads. So it is not 2000 so it is about potentially 600. For those 600 where those net new or were those new names and accounts that we have nothing going on?

Trent:
Let me interrupt you because I am missing something. And I want to make sure the audience isn’t missing it either. How do we go from 2000 leads to 600 leads? What happened to the other 1400?

Dan:
The 1400 because those did not map into any of the target accounts that you are working on, so one was just the total lead volume.

Trent:
Okay, got it.

Dan:
60 to 70 percent of those leads are not target account leads, then why are we talking about them? Are we considering that as we got 2000 leads this month?

Trent:
Got it.

Dan:
If we only care about the target accounts that is what we care about. So for where we are really trying to help people and even help ourselves in our own company because we do the same types of things. Rather than me walking over to the sales team say, “Hey look at this great generation”, there is two things that basically have happened. Marketing talks about leads and sales never follows up on anything that marketing does. We are trying to get at the heart of that.

It is like, “Wait a second here, what if I showed you the traction of those leads and the accounts that you care about the most.”
“Okay great now show me that, I’d be interested in knowing that.”

And so that is generally how I feel that people could better be using SalesForce.com and CRM systems in general. Because it is very difficult to report back because of some inner technology in Sales Force that make that hard.
But it can be done, it can be done with us or if you want to choose to try to do the reporting yourselves it is going to be a bunch of pivot tables and a lot of analyses to get there.

But in the end of the day I would be much more comfortable walking in to the chief revenue officer and rather than 2000 saying, “hey we generated 600 leads in the target accounts that you care about most and by the way of these 600, 100 of them were existing customers that you do not have any opportunities going on right now. These other 500, that breaks down into a certain amount of them have active opportunities and some.”

When I talk to the chief revenue officer I want to come back to you in a month’s time and make sure that your team is following up on that. If you do not have a sales leader that is going to say, “Yeah I want to know if this is moving the needle for us because you’re doing exactly what I am asking or what I would expect marketing to do.” Now the onus is on us to follow up on those things and to tell you whether or not they were good or not; or what could be done better. Were they the right titles, right people, right interactions.

It is very interesting study that we are approaching with this to redo this alignment and it’s not a matter of just passing the buck or knocking the ball over the fence. To me this is a major alignment issue of marketing mapping their efforts to the target account traction. In particularly what sales wants to know is, “what sourced because of that?”

Does that all make sense Trent?

Trent:
It does yes. It only makes sense of you have a target account based selling approach. Like in your company’s example I think you said you had 1000 names on your list. Does that mean to say that if you guys get a lead from someone that is not on that target account list you just really don’t care?

Dan:
I would say we will certainly opportunistically look at those things and the other thing is it may be a target account for example, six months ago when we were pulling these lists they just weren’t on the radar. They have maybe grown very fast and we should add them. Certainly there is an opportunity to take the non targeted leads and take it in there.

I think that we are very interested in following to see whether or not more companies are moving towards this target account strategy. We have heard from studies, like there is a study with the Altair group that says 90% of marketers think that account based marketing delivers a higher ROI to them than other marketing strategies such as say a territory or industry based.

They also believe that through the use of account based marketing they can help retain or expand customer relationships. So 84 % of marketers say that on that part; the helping to retain or expand client relationships.

What we find that is actually more interesting that is kind of a joke which is a serious joke about sales not following up on leads. A lot of times sales people will get leads say working an account they have an active opportunity in and a lead comes in against it. The worst thing that can happen is somebody spends a bunch of time trying to qualify it versus just handing it over to the sales reps so they can deal with it.

They may say, “Oh yeah I met this guy at the last meeting. He was just kind of curious about what we were doing.
He may end up being a user of the product.” He is not going to be a buyer he is not one of the people the valuation team. The fact that they went back to the website and downloaded this white paper, that is awesome information. I am glad that they are engaged and it is good to have their information in the system.

There isn’t an action for the sales person to take at that point. That is just their inherent knowledge of that account. And how they want to manage that situation; so this is back to that not all leads are created equal. You have got to get the information to the people that care about it the most. And then let them make the more sturdy decisions on like “yes I need to follow up on this person or no I don’t.”

But not just qualifying leads for the purpose of qualifying them. Does that make sense to you?

Trent:
It does. Just a sidebar, there is some background noise of some papers being flicked around, is that you?

Dan:
No.

Trent:
Weird.

Dan:
I did pick up a piece of paper.

Trent:
No it sounds like somebody is shuffling papers. Any way if we can’t figure out where that is coming from we’ll just move on.

It does make sense to me. The reason that we use the target account based selling model is because number one as
I try to teach people in my blog and my courses, it is really important to pick a specific niche, in the beginning especially so you can get some traction and get some case studies because when you get the customer wins, wins beget more wins. And we live in a time where it is really hard to get people’s attention. It is almost harder to get their attention than to get their money.

So if you do not have a finite list that you are repeatedly being in touch with (and not in a badgering kind of way) in a helpful way. You are sending them articles that you think are going to be helpful, you asking them question and you are trying to engage them in a discussion. I just think that that is a very very good way of selling.

Versus, I remember when I started my career in sales, the sales manager walked in, he chucked the white pages on my desk and he said, “Have fun.” I don’t think that is a very good approach. Because if you have 5000 people on your list you are only ever going to touch each one of them once and the odds of you succeeding with one touch are infinitesimally small.

Dan:
Yeah, you know it is another interesting scenario. We see, companies are implementing what they call a Round
Robin inside sales team. They may be doing some level of outbound targeting but when new leads are coming in; they round robin to whoever get the last one. The next lead that comes in goes to the next person in the rotation.

It is a good method in terms of making it fair and equitable across the team. It is challenging when multiple leads are starting to come in from the same company. We call these immerging opportunities or related leads is a great down to earth term on it. But what it means is any one of these leads on its own may not have any effectual thing on its own. They might be managers or coordinators or lower level people or maybe one is a senior manager or even a director.

And on its own it doesn’t seem like much is going on. But when you start aggregating, five people have hit the website over the last quarter from this company, maybe there is no account created for this or hasn’t been added to target accounts, this is kind of a “what’s going on?” We have another method in our products which basically helps to flag this.

And we have seen some really interesting up take with this. And it allows companies to create accounts faster but also it aggregates or basically says, well if I were to look at this one lead that doesn’t have an account, are there any other associated leads with it? And so it is not quite account based scoring per se, but we may get there at some point.

It is basically telling a company any one of these are not effectual, you aggregate, you have three or four people from the same company calling and downloading information about you, it is like something is going on here. You might want to have a higher level person get involved, evaluate this, maybe find out who the decision maker might be for that group and start using that information more effectively.

And that is what we call maybe uncovering a hidden opportunity or an emerging opportunity.

Trent:
Absolutely, by the way, roughly what does your stuff cost? Maybe somebody out there is using SalesForce.com and they are going, “Yeah yeah I get this, I want that tool that allows me to make sure that we associate our leads with our account.” Which one is that? Is that your Router or your View?

Dan:
Yeah so just looking at them that is the View product. Then we have the Router which is basically an automated way of getting the lead to the right account owner, which again is very difficult to do. And then we have some reporting methods and stuff. And so it ranges from about $10,000 to $25,000 a year for our product and so we based that off of their needs and what is the biggest pain that they want to deal with.

Do they want to start with all of it or a portion of it and we can also help them with their target accounts selling and target accounts setups. We have a lot of companies come tell us and say, “Hey this is great but our target account setup and sales force are kind of a mess right now.”

We can basically help them move from the list that may be in Excel or some other worksheet and get that into Sales Force and get that more formalized. That might be something that we might do to help them get kicked off as we know the data really well. And we know how it is supposed to be set up in Sales Force.

Trent:
Okay, so Dan let’s wrap up here, before we do, is there any questions that I haven’t asked you that you think this interview would be a little bit better if we talked about it or if I asked?

Dan:
The only thing that seems to come up and I am curious about your thoughts and experiences which is, do you think that marketers are getting pretty overwhelmed with all the offerings and technology that is available to them today? I mean the digital world that is very heavy for the marketing operations and the CRM area? It is pretty heavy content marketing. Do you feel like marketers are just almost getting overwhelmed by it? They don’t know what to do?

Trent:
Well it is not like I have them calling me, “Hey Trent, I’m overwhelmed.” But I think that there is a lot of things that people need to understand today. Be it technology, content marketing, marketing automation, social media; there is so many things that you have to be good at to be able to actually get leads. Yeah, I think it is probably not a huge stretch of the imagination to think that some people are overwhelmed.

Especially in organizations where resources are constrained which is a lot of the smaller ones. And you have to wear so many hats. I know in our prospecting efforts and the people that we talk to, that is not an uncommon response. They are like, “man there is just so much stuff going on, I feel like I could work 27 hours a day and still not be on top of it all.

Dan:
Yeah.

Trent:
So is there a solution to that? Focus and or get a bigger budget and hire more people and delegate.

Dan:
Yeah I think focus is the piece that people need to come to terms with and for us we want to help people drive more sales qualified leads and the other piece which is just reduce the amount of time that it is taking for people to manage things. I feel like people hope that they’re going to do something and it is going to lead to a better result but they can’t prove it.

Somehow or other they were able to invest in it and make it happen or whatever but I don’t know. I feel like people could be using the technology better or potentially using a tighter core of the technology than investing in it too much and be really good at those things than mediocre at a bunch of things.

Trent:
You know it is interesting and I’ll close on this, I am reading the book about the founding of SalesForce.com right now. It is a very interesting book. They talked about Tom Siebel early in the book and his company got acquired by Oracle. And they were, before Sales Force came along Siebel Systems was the gorilla in the CRM market.

The stat that I found most interesting was 65% of Siebel licenses went unused. 65%! Which would suggest to me that there is a lot of tools and technologies that get purchased but they don’t get leveraged to their maximum benefit or they don’t get used at all and that is of course unfortunate.

Dan:
Yeah that is the old 80/20 rule right?

Trent:
Yeah.

Dan:
Using 20% of the technology, I think in a lot of those situations, particularly with Siebel, companies purchasing with like, “Hey you must use this thing.” It is a big issue today; get that buy in, figure how to try things out and get people using it. And Sales Force is dealing with similar types of challenges which is marketers using the marketing side of the system or using marketing automation.

We talked to a lot of sales people and they say, “yeah I only work in opportunities and a little bit in accounts.” They are using it as a pipeline management piece, they don’t see the leads, and they don’t look in the assignment view. They don’t spend a lot of time accounts. For them it is managing opportunities and getting the phone number of the next person they are going to call. And then that is it.

Trent:
Yeah, indeed, alright Dan well thank you very much for making some time to come and chat with me. It’s been a pleasure to have you on, if people want to learn more about your product, your website is LeanDatainc.com. Correct?

Dan:
That is correct.

Trent:
Alright, take care Dan and have a terrific day.

Dan:
Thanks Trent.

Trent:
Alright to get to the show notes for this episode go to GrooveDigitalMarketing.com/18. And if you enjoyed this episode please go to GrooveDigitalMarketing.com/love where there is a tweet awaiting the click of your mouse.
That is it for this episode. I am your host, Trent Dyrsmid. Thank you so very much for tuning in. I look forward to having you back for another episode soon until then, take care. And have a good day. Bye-bye.

About Dan Ziman

Dan Ziman, CMO LeanDataInc.comDan is the CMO at LeanData where he manages the branding, digital marketing, communications, and demand generation programs. Prior to joining LeanData, Dan was VP of Marketing at Lithium where he built the company’s digital, demand gen, corporate events, and marketing communications strategies. During Dan’s tenure, the company grew from 65 to over 340 employees and revenues grew by more than 600%. Dan previously led demand generation and sales enablement at TIBCO and was the creative director for the award-winning “Greg the Architect” campaign.

 

 

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