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The Scale Your Agency Podcast | Bright Ideas

Mar 2, 2021

Episode Highlights 

[3:27] —
Max’s background on B2B sales

  • Max joined the sales side of Udemy, an online education marketplace.
  • He wondered how he could generate more revenue with fewer resources, which became the sales hacking foundation.
  • Max started his company, Sales Hacker, which grew from 0 to 80,000 subscribers.
  • In 2018, Sales Hacker was acquired by Outreach, where he took over as the VP of Marketing for Outreach and then transitioned to the VP of Sales Engagement.

[5:53] —
Why sales have become more difficult through the years 

  • The number of companies selling keeps growing. 
  • There are now a lot of channels for people to sell on.
  • Sales became more competitive when SaaS companies started to blow up.
  • When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, businesses became limited to online channels of selling. This means that the market has become saturated. 
  • If they want to survive in the competitive environment of sales, businesses must know how to experiment and adapt using A/B testing.

[8:39] —
Strategies to grow SaaS sales

  • Upsell your current base.
  • Get a list or database of your target market.
  • From that database, find trends that you can use for lead scoring.
  • Think about how to reach the different cohorts of that database.
  • Gather good reviews from supporting customers to help attract future customers.
  • Collect important information from potential customers like their needs, interests, and resources.  

[17:18] —
Scaling up your business and building a team 

  • Sales are not one-size-fits-all. Try experimenting, see what works, and iterate on that.
  • Understand your customers’ day-to-day. Then design a process for reaching out to them.
  • Make sure that you are seen as a trusted consultant, not as a salesperson.

[22:29] —
How to design your outreach campaign for desktop emails and mobile emails

  • You can do longer subject lines for emails your customers will view on a desktop. You can also get creative and send PDFs or images.
  • For mobile emails, do shorter and more conversational subject lines. 
  • Think about the process of closing a deal step-by-step.

[26:28] —
A product-led growth strategy can impact your messaging approach

  • In product-led growth, there’s no need to employ as many salespeople. This can mean lower costs compared to sales-led growth.
  • Sales become more transactional rather than conversational.
  • You’ll still want to highlight the benefits of your product.
  • Whether you employ a product-led growth strategy or a sales-led growth strategy, you'll still need to hire salespeople or support to ensure your product's success.  

[29:35] —
Other mistakes that people make in their B2B sales efforts

  • The silver bullet strategy doesn’t allow you to apply the appropriate marketing methods to some of your customers.
  • False attribution or tying attribution to the wrong metric can mean that you can't accurately measure your progress. 

[31:46] — Max’s favorite sales hacking training resources

  • In 2015, Max wrote a book called Hacking Sales, which goes over many sales tools and technologies. 
  • Max’s latest book, Sales Engagement, is about engaging with companies in this ever-changing world.
  • Other books that Max likes include Chris Voss’s Never Split the Difference, Mark Roberge’s The Sales Acceleration Formula, Trish Bertuzzi’s The Sales Development Playbook, Keenan’s Gap Selling, and books by Anthony Iannarino and Jeb Blount.
  • Max also uses the Outreach software as his sales engagement platform.   
  • He also recommends having net new data sources from companies like LeadIQ, Seamless.AI, and Dun & Bradstreet.
  • Having software like Bambora, Terminus, Demandbase, and Sixth Sense will tell you which companies you should target. 

[34:39] —
Sentiment tracking by Outreach 

  • Reply rates as a metric of success isn’t enough. 
  • It's also essential to analyze reply intent, such as positive replies, objections, and unsubscribes. 
  • Outreach has recently released a sentiment tracking tool that better measures your success using a reply intent metric.
  • This tool enables companies to understand if certain email sequences are truly working or not.