Podcast

The Art of Outbounding – Skip Miller

In today’s episode on Sales Lead Dog, we are joined again by ​our guest, Skip Miller. Skip is the President of M3 Learning, a ProActive Sales Management and Sales Training Company based in the heart of Silicon Valley and has already trained hundreds of companies in over 35 countries.

Skip discusses his new book, Outbounding. He will talk about outbound sales and how to become successful through outbounding, how inbound and outbound sales differ from each other, and the right ways to do outbound calls and messagings.

Most companies and businesses are hooked on inbound sales, relying more on inbound leads, and not taking risks or emphasis on doing outbound with the fear of losing potential customers. Tune in to this week’s episode to learn why outbounding sales is so important to your business!

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Transcript:

Wed, 3/31 1:59PM • 45:49 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS 
outbound, inbound, people, problem, line, sales, vendors, number, talk, cadences, book, cio, measure, gartner group, customer, atl, email, buyer, prospects, process 

SPEAKERS 
Skip Miller, Christopher Smith 

Intro 
Welcome to the Sales Lead Dog Podcast hosted by CRM technology and sales process expert Christopher Smith, talking with sales leaders that have separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Listen to find out how the best of the best achieve success with their team and CRM technology. And remember, unless you are the lead dog, the view never changes. 

Christopher Smith   
Welcome to Sales Lead Dog. Today, this is an episode I’ve been waiting for for a while, we are welcoming back to Sales Lead Dog Skip Miller. Skip, it’s great to see you again. 

Skip Miller   
Always a pleasure. Always a pleasure. Thanks for having us. 

Christopher Smith   
So I wanted to have Skip back on the show to talk about his most recent book, “Outbounding,” because it is, I think the timing on this book is incredibly good. It’s so needed. And I think it’s so important these days, especially for any of us on LinkedIn, you’re experiencing forms of outbounding, and we’re gonna dive into that here today. But Skip, tell me about your inspiration for the book “Outbounding.” 

Skip Miller   
Sure. I’ve written a number of books, right, and I hate writing books, because I gotta get up at four in the morning to do it, that’s my, my book writing time, I think five in the afternoon is more like Miller time. So I was talking to some outbounding people before COVID. And it was, “How’s that outbounding going?” “Oh good, good, good.” “Can you make your number?” “Eh, I’ll be I’ll be tight.” “Well, how’s your outbounding efforts going?” “Well if I think that you know I can get 80, 90% of my number I will have to do some outbounding.” “Well how’s that going?” “Well I sent in a guy an email last week, I’m waiting to hear back.” That’s it? That’s your, everybody hates the outbound. Prospect, cold call, I don’t care what you call it. People hate to do it. And because of the last four or five years where we’ve done such a good job of driving inbound leads, we haven’t, we had to work that skill. Well now we have to work that skill, and people are terrible at it. So I’m like, okay guys, if you’re not an inbound expert, and you got to actually outbound, you probably have not worked those skills in a while, I probably need to write a book, so that’s how it came about. 

Christopher Smith   
Yeah, I love it because it’s really clear, I mean, everyone listening to this, you get inbound, or you get these outbound emails coming to you. And I actually started a collection of these to try to like what not to do. You know, so I make sure I don’t make those mistakes. But there’s a huge difference between the educated, motivated inbound lead and the outbound lead. Let’s just jump right in. Talk to us about that difference and the differences you need to understand if you’re going to start outbounding. Let’s talk about that. 

Skip Miller   
Alright, well, first, let’s talk about value proposition, because as you all know, I believe there’s two: one above the line and one below the line. The above the line buyers, the more fiscal buyer, you know I’ve got a $30 million problem, I may need something like this and this and this, you know, I, there’s some pieces of the puzzle I need to help my problem. The below line buyer is the one who’s really interested in what you’re selling. The other one who’s going to take it for a test drive, really compare it to other competitors, you know, spit it through the washing machine, features and functions. Both are important, but typically we get inbounds from below the line. “Hi I’m Bob, I’m the manager of something something something. And we’re looking at something that you may have. We’re looking at three other vendors, here’s what we need, here’s what we’re doing,” and that’s definitely going to drive us to below the line and be commoditized, because you’re going to be on a chart with three or four other vendors and how it’s going to scale out, and that’s effective. It works, right? You got to get in there, it typically costs your margin at the end of the sale because you got a discount. You know it’s typically they’re driving the buy process and not us, and that’s fine, it works. Outbound if you go outbound to the below the line buyer, right, well they don’t know anything that’s going on, they haven’t been given instructions from above the line so they may have the title you want, let’s say you sell a SAS analytical program, and you’re going after the Manager of IT Analytics, that’s a good title, even Senior Manager  IT Analytics, but unless the CIO says, “Oh we got a problem here. Alright, yeah we got to do something here,” the Senior Manager of IT Analytics isn’t going to have the turn on of let’s go. So, if you’re going to outbound, you probably want to start with the above the line buyer, which most people are nervous about, they’re fearful about, and they don’t know what to say. So, that’s kind of like the difference. You know, good luck with the inbounds, that’s great and we have to work our way up to the more senior level buyer. But when you outbound, please make sure you know the audience, you can outbound to both, but the messaging is very different. 

Christopher Smith   
Right. So is the sales process, you talk about that very early on in the book, you need two different sales processes, could you talk about that? 

Skip Miller   
Sure, the sales process for an inbound is there 5, 10, 20, 40, 50, 80% through their cycle. They’ve already number one said, “We didn’t make a change, we’re doing something, different we made a change.  

Christopher Smith   
Yep.  

Skip Miller   
Okay, what’s the scope of that change. Okay, let’s go look at vendors. So, now you’re two thirds of the way through the buy process, it’s now about, you know, testing people out and looking for vendors. In outbound, it’s “Hi. Are you thinking about changing some stuff, because you know as well as I do what you’re doing today is not good enough where you need to be tomorrow? So, what are some of the changes you’re thinking of, and what are the outcomes you want for that change? Well if those are things you need to change and those are your outcomes, well then maybe we could help,” and it gets you totally out of that vendor vendor vendor thing because you’re working with your customer on holding their hands, example, Right, we’re dealing with, with a customer who wants to eliminate ramping time in their sales team. They’re taking three to four months to ramp their sales team, and when you’re going to ramp 40, 50, 60 people times three or four months, that’s a lot. So the goal is to get them fully productive within two weeks. Now, am I got to be everything? No. Can I be a piece of that? Oh yeah, but they also want to make sure their hiring practices are correct, they got to make sure their their learning tactics for those two weeks are pretty intense that people just don’t. So there’s a number of things that have to get going. Their, their LMS has got to be up to speed and so on so forth. But if the outcome is, I got a ramping problem, I can just be a piece of it. Now if I was going to talk to the head of sales training, right, it’s okay, we’re looking at you this vendor this vendor, what do you do here, what do you do there, And I appreciate that, but it’s a different topic than I would have with the CRO. 

Christopher Smith   
What’s wrong with us in the inbound approach to outbound prospects? 

Skip Miller   
Inbound assumes knowledge, right, we know we have a problem. We know we got to fix it. What are the vendors out there? Outbound, they’re thinking that they have to make a change, and that’s about as far down the path as they got. If you out, or, that’d be step one, step two, it could be we know we need to make a change. Step three could be we know we need to make a change, we’re selecting vendors. Step four is we know what we need to make a change, we’re selecting vendors, and we’ve picked one. So you can go anywhere on that whole paradigm. Inbound, it’s we’ve already decided we’re making a change, we’re picking vendors, you’re already a step behind. So, if you’re going to outbound, I’m always going to outbound. Hi, are you looking to make a change in these areas? 2020, you did a whole bunch of stuff just to make sure that you survived. You sure aren’t going to do that in 2021, you’re probably making a practice in your go to mark, and your outbounding efforts to really fulfill your top of funnel, If those are questions you’ve got or issues, we should chat. That’s it, I’m just going after their change not specifics about this, specifics about that. So, inbound, hi, let’s get right to the demo, presentation, proposal, close. Outbound, you could be anywhere on that paradigm. So you’ve got to gauge where you’re at, and the earlier you are, the better chance you have to control the process, 

Christopher Smith   
Right. As a sales leader. I think a lot of them, especially the ones I talked to on the podcast and others I’ve talked to, there is a huge emphasis on inbound, because it is easier in some regards. What’s wrong with that perspective of, you know that I’m so focused on inbound that I’m not doing much with outbound? 

Skip Miller   
So if you call above the line to the more senior level managers, your deal size increases, your sales cycle time gets cut almost in half. Inbound, you’re going to be dealing with below line people. And then when you go above the line going, “I’m dealing with Bob, he’s a super guy. What do you want from our stuff?” and the above the line person goes, “Well Bob’s my guy. Why are you bugging me?” Well that’s asking above the line question, below the line questions. Chris if you remember, we talked about it like the kids table on adult table, right? You know I have a big family, when we got together for Thanksgiving or holidays, there so many people you have a kid table and adult table. The kids loved it because they get to speak kid talk, the adults love it cuz they don’t have to speak kid talk. So, we learn really good kid talk. And then all of a sudden we get a chance to go above the line, we give an executive overview of kid talk, which the above the line person doesn’t care. It’s a totally different issue. So using those same tactics and tools that we’ve got for the inbound. “Hi before I give you a demonstration, right? You know, why don’t we do this and this and this, give me your data. Hi, I’m gonna give you a three day log on and then let’s talk about…” Those are all things we do with inbound. I couldn’t imagine use those for outbound, I mean it’s a totally different paradigm. So if we don’t treat them as different, your success rates gonna be a lot lower, and you’re going to be basically selling to the kid demo. 

Christopher Smith   
Right. You’ve touched on this a little bit. What is important to understand about the prospect when you engage in the outbound model? 

Skip Miller   
What do you mean, give me some… 

Christopher Smith   
Well in terms of you mentioned a little bit, you know, they could be anywhere in their, in their cycle. 

Skip Miller   
Yeah. 

Christopher Smith   
So, you know, for me as a sales leader, and I’m trying to build these processes for outbound, what should I understand or what should I be thinking about in terms of the customer? 

Skip Miller   
As a sales leader outbounding, right, I’ve got a simple question. What’s the size of the problem? It doesn’t get easier than that. They’ve got to have a problem, because you want to be an aspirin, not a vitamin. And they’ve got to be able to quantify it. This is a huge initiative, it’s a key initiative. This is worth a ton. Well, you’re not selling a time and for your 40 grand. I could imagine that person going to the CFO going, “Listen, I want to buy this thing for 40 grand cuz it means a ton to me.” The CFO’s gonna laugh you out of his office. So early on, especially outbounding, “Okay, why are you thinking about making a change? What’s the outcome you want for those change? Have you quantified the problem?” Not, “Do you have a budget,” don’t even know they have a problem yet, you’re asking about budget. So when you outbound, it’s all about being curious. I think Chris one of the natural curiosities, one of the, one of the great sales tools that salespeople can have is a natural curiosity.  

Christopher Smith   
Right. 

Skip Miller   
And not fake, I mean just dive in. “Why are you guys doing that, why you think about doing that? If you guys are making a change and you’re going to buy us in 40 grand, what’s the size of the problem?” “Well we don’t know,” “Well, somebody knows, let’s get to that person early.” 

Christopher Smith   
Yeah. Yep. You talk about that, the early on that about you need, as a sales leader I need an outbound process that I can measure. You specifically use the term no more donut drops which I love. Can you talk about like early on in outbound, you know, you mentioned that the, the importance is really at that those early stages, that first stage when you’re qualifying? 

Skip Miller   
Right. Yeah. How do you measure success? I’m a huge fan of measuring energy. All right, if somebody knows they have a problem, and they’ve sized the problem, that’s a ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. That’s big. If they know that you have to make a change, and don’t know their outcome yet, that’s still really good. If they know they have to make a change about something and know their outcome, but haven’t figured out what the size of the problem is, that’s still fine, but to sit there and go, “Listen, here’s what we do, here’s what we’ve done for a lot of folks, are you interested in what we do?” That is such a wrong approach. I mean, jeez, I didn’t, I didn’t know I needed a set of pliers and a hammer, I mean, geez, I didn’t know, I, I just have a problem my house, I got to the point yet where I need a new hammer and a pair of pliers yet, right. So, by going after outbounding and pitching is probably the wrong thing. The whole thing about outbounding is kicking that natural curiosity. And the way you measure it, number one, do they have a size of a problem identified? Is at least 50% of your outbound activity, at least 50%, to the ATL and not the BTL? Do we have referenceable ATL things? For example, one of the best ways to get ahold of an ATL is referral. “Hi John, Mary told me to talk to you.” Even better, is when you outbound to John. “Hi John, Mary told me to talk to you.” Make sure you CC Mary, because now John will really pay attention, right, just because you were able to use Mary’s name is fine, but if all of a sudden, he sees that Mary’s name is there too. This has got some credibility to it, but we never think of doing that. It’s those type of little things to use to get us to the ATL, I’m going to measure, do we have referrals, are we at ATL, you know, do we have 25 cadences going 25 people in a cadence in a two week cadence doing 10 touches? So, so what are the things we’re doing? They’re very measurable. 

Christopher Smith   
Right, right. And you talk about not just being measurable, but you want quality. It’s not about quantity, but it’s about quality. Can you talk about that? 

Skip Miller   
Sure, quality again has got to go under review, right? Some basic rules. Number one, emails over 120 words are never read. You and I, before we got on this podcast looked at an email to somebody who thought they were really it was solid. They said, I think, I believe that I want about seven times, right? And the thing was probably 180, 190 words, and you even said I would never even read that, then we rewrote it really simple and you’re like wow, look at that, look there.  

Christopher Smith   
Oh yeah. 

Skip Miller   
Things changed. 

Christopher Smith   
Big time, to get there were things too, too, that I can really focus on because when I read an email, I scan if it’s coming for someone I don’t know.  

Skip Miller   
Everybody does. 

Christopher Smith   
Right, it’s like, is there something in here of value? If not, I’m gonna give you about three to five seconds and then I’m moving on. And so you better have something that’s going to grab me and your rewrite, it started off at the very strong word. And so immediately I’m like okay I’m willing to read the rest of that sentence. 

Skip Miller   
Right, and it’s not hard to do, right, so those are some of the coaching things that you’ve got to, I mean, I’m writing an article with a company, and you could have all the cadences and sequences, and you can have all the sales enablement process tools like outreach sells, right. But you got to have good messaging. What is good messaging? And that was probably at least a third of my book, is you know, here’s what really works and here’s what kind of doesn’t work. Number one, no more than 120 words, alright. 70% are opened up on mobile devices. If 70% of emails are up on a mobile devices, why don’t you write your email on your mobile device? You’ll form factor it the way somebody wants to read it, rather than to sit your laptop, write a novel, and then expect it to look good on a phone, it doesn’t work that way.  

Christopher Smith   
Right.  

Skip Miller   
So those are two just, you know, great tools and tips right there to make sure that we’re out bounding correctly with the right messaging. 

Christopher Smith   
Yep, I love that. If as a sales leader I know, you know, hey, I need to get on outbounding, how should I start outbounding? 

Skip Miller   
First, read the book. Sorry, buy my book. No, how do outbound, right. Lists are important, everything is important, right? In my opinion, right, number one, target some golden nugget accounts. These are 25 accounts,we’re going to go after. Number two, really work on your messaging. I love trumpeting. Trumpeting is a way to just get the top level executives and say, “Hi, we’re coming at you, just want to put you on notice.” And that’s all it’s doing. It’s another touch right, keep them very simple and business-like. The more homework you can do on the company, the more referrals you can get to get into the company, you’ll get the AT on the phone, you got the AT on the phone, please make sure it’s all about them and not about us. I am still shocked, shocked when I listened to people’s calls on how much they want to sit back and say, well quickly, “What do you know about us? Because let me tell you what we do and we’re all about, you know if I can take everything in my head and putting your head, you’d see we’ll want to talk.” Jeez that’s the wrong approach. You know, it didn’t help me when I was looking for my girlfriend/wife, it’s not gonna help you trying to find your prospects, you got to make sure it’s a two way conversation and it’s not all about you. 

Christopher Smith   
Right, right, what help do prospects want in an outbound buying process? 

Skip Miller   
In my opinion, that I want help. They don’t need help, okay. They want to be heard. “So, If I can take some time and bounce some stuff off you,” or really just sit back and say, “Here’s what I’m doing, what do you think?” It’s a totally different. Don’t you love the prospecting email. “Hi, I’m so and so, what we do is this, I love to help.” I don’t even, I don’t even know you. I don’t even, you don’t even know me. How do you know you can help me. I’m glad you’d love to help. But you don’t even know what my problems are, how can you help? This is, it is so ridiculous. Outbounding buyers want to be heard. They’ll take your call, because they’ve got a problem, and it’s probably about 80% okay, but that extra 20% is going to give them big results. So if they could just outline what they’ve got going and what they’re thinking about and if you can be a piece of the puzzle, I’ll talk to you. But guys, the number one thing to do is make sure buyers feel heard, there is no senior level executive who ever agreed to meet with you, because they want to hear what you have to say. They will agree to meet with you, because they have a thought on their process and their brand they want to talk about. Get that out first, then you can start talking about yourself. 

Christopher Smith   
Yep, yep. 

Skip Miller   
Isn’t this, isn’t this just kind of common sense? 

Christopher Smith   
Oh it is. But it’s not easy common sense, you know, it takes work. And that’s the next question I have for you is you talk a lot about homework and preparation as part of outbounding. Can we dive into that?  

Skip Miller   
Sure. I’m a homework buck. Why? Because it’s got to be mutually beneficial. This is not a give, give, give, give, give, give, give, for example, many of your listeners have got a presentation or a demonstration scheduled the next three, four or five days. Big presentation, four people are coming or demo, things are all looking good right, the whole bit. The day or two before the demo or the presentation, write the following email. “Hi guys, looking forward to the presentation on Thursday. Here’s the five or six things we’re going to cover, could you circle, star, highlight the two or three that are most important, so we can make sure we maximize your time?”  

Christopher Smith   
Right. 

Skip Miller   
If they don’t respond to that email, what’s that telling you? 

Christopher Smith   
Oh yeah, forget the demo, you’re not getting anywhere. 

Skip Miller   
That’s exactly. Why wouldn’t people just take a second or two to say, “Well, here’s what I want to talk about,” so they maximize their time, and they don’t have to sit here. What slays me is most sales people won’t do it. Hey, I’m lucky to have him in that meeting, I’m not gonna push it. No, no, no. You’ve got to have them put some sweat equity into this thing. Because without it, I mean what’s the point. So, I’m a huge fan of homework as long as it’s mutually beneficial. It’s not a trick, right but I’ve got probably 7, 6, 7 2021 business plans. I talked to the CRO and I go, “Listen, you know, you’re probably putting together your business plan for 2021. Why don’t you send me that, you know the presentation you’re gonna make to the executive team, so at least I can understand?” The last one I got 94 slides, I had to review 94 slides. Now, it was beneficial, I understood what they want. We had a much beneficial conversation, there was areas I could help, areas I couldn’t help, and that was great. But I mean I had to read 94 slides, but I got something with value so we’re able to talk on a better plane. Just ask for the presentation deck. Now the below the line people, “Oh no, do you have an NDA? We’re not sending you that, no we can’t.” The above the line person, “Yeah sure, yeah I’ll said it to you.” I got six or seven of them right now.  

Christopher Smith   
Yeah.  

Skip Miller   
So homework assignments early on are important, but make sure number one, it’s their sweat equity not just yours and two, it’s got to be mutually beneficial. It can’t be I just want them to do work to see if they’re a viable prospect. That doesn’t work. 

Christopher Smith   
No, no, and I love that because I remember going back early on in my career, someone wanted to demo. And I asked that question and they’re like you know what, don’t worry about it, just do your demo. And so I did. And it was, and I learned a lesson that day. It was a waste of time, because I had no idea what they cared about, what even what to focus on, so I was kind of floundering around. And I’ll never forget that. 

Skip Miller   
Well let’s, let’s assume you sell it, you’re selling something for this to the CMO. Well the CMO is not going to do anything without the CRO and the CIO involved as well. “Hey Mary, my guess is on this project you’re going to need input from the CRO or the CIO. If it’s okay, I’d like to talk to them to get their input, so that I can come back to you and really give you an idea of what we’re thinking about.” “No, no, no, I’m in charge, no you can’t talk to anybody.” It’s just ridiculous. I mean, it’s, it’s a logical next step for me to talk to other people that this initiative is going to affect. So let’s talk to them. Yeah, homework assignments are big and the earlier you could do them, you really understand you have a qualified deal or not.  

Christopher Smith   
Yep. The importance of inside prep and knowing your numbers. Talk about that, the, especially the part I thought was really interesting was knowing your numbers. 

Skip Miller   
Inside prep, you got to be prepared, right? Having the right scripts, the right cadences, the right, right sequencing. Knowing your numbers has got to go backwards. Right, let’s just assume that you need five new deals a month or quarter, whatever. Okay, well let’s play the ratio, you’re going to get 20% hit rate of the people that are qualified, so that means you need, you know, Your point two times five means you probably need like 100 Okay, or back that up, 40. So, if that from the 40, right then you got to go back and do 100, so you back up, right, do the math. You know, if I outbound to 100 people, I’m probably gonna get 5% return, right? So do the math, if I need five per week, now I have a 20% hit rate from a qualified lead, right? That means I need at least 20, no, no, that’d be 25, 25, 24, 25. So if I hit 25, that means I need to get to 100 to start my sequence, which means I need to have like 200 in the funnel. So you got to know your numbers. Go backwards from what you need and put those probabilities along the way is the best way to actually go, Whoa, I didn’t know I needed so many. You know, as much as we think and I’ve seen people get 20, 30, 40% response rate from emails, and I’ve seen people get 3 or 4%. So quality in messaging does, you know, is applied for some of that. But in this age right now where everybody and their brother’s emailing and LinkedIn and going crazy. You got to get through the noise. And if you don’t know your numbers, you’re just hoping you win the game without a strategy, and a boy, that doesn’t kind of work too well. 

Christopher Smith   
Right, and you have to work hard to get through the noise. 

Skip Miller   
You know, the way I put it right, my son played my son played quarterback in high school and college, and they always knew the first 20 plays, they always knew the first 20 plays. Now they could change them, but their strategy was here’s the first 20 plays, so I’d see my son a warm up and he goes, “Now Dad. Yeah Dad, you got to see the second play. The second play’s a killer.” So I kind of knew what was going on, right, but the same thing without Bonnie, you got to know your first one, you got to know what your what your first couple of moves are and you’ve got to have a goal. If the goal is three a month, five a month, or whatever, you got to put your numbers backwards. 

Christopher Smith   
So as a sales leader I realized our outbound process is not working or we don’t have one, where do I start in, in the process to begin building an effective and strong outbound process? 

Skip Miller   
First, sit in your customer’s chair, no doubt about it. Okay, I’m after the Chief Executive Officer, I’m after the CIO, I’m after the VP of Digital, I’m after the VP of HR, whoever it is, right, do some research. What keeps a VP of Product up at night? You know, what keeps us CPO awake at night in 2021? Really surround yourself with that vocabulary. You know, I find it funny Gartner Group consistently throws a conference every year, they’re doing it virtual now, regarding CIOs. Here’s what we think of the hottest thing CIOs are going to talk about in 2021. Why wouldn’t you look at their topics because those topics are probably hot the CIOs and then sit there and play off of that. You know the Gartner Group says these are hot topics and if they are with you, maybe we should chat, right? Why guess?  

Christopher Smith   
Right. 

Skip Miller   
So the first thing is do your homework on your customer’s persona in that chair. Number two, do your homework on who knows anybody, if you’re trying to get ahold of the CIO at Nordstrom or the CIO of, you know, Coca Cola or whoever else, who do you know that they might know that they might know, right? You’ve got tons of great customers, you’d be shocked at who knows who knows somebody else. So, let’s do some research on that, even if it’s just Chris a company. “Hi, I see you know a bunch of people at Google, I know a bunch of people as well.” It doesn’t have to be anybody particular, so it can even be by company. Number one, research your persona, sit in the customer chair. Number two, do your research on who knows who knows. And number three, make sure your cadencing and sequencing down. I just got a list of from a customer, saying, “Here’s the way we outbound, okay, so we want, you know, 50% of our target on new logo target prospects and 30 hours a week on new prospects.” My immediate answer is, okay, that’s really good and paper, are they doing that? I, are they really doing this? And my answer is probably gonna be no, because they haven’t backed it up from the end. I need five new deals a month, therefore I gotta do this, I got to do this. They’ve just thrown ideas out and it sounds good. We’re gonna get 30 hours a weekend, nobody’s doing it, stop.  

Christopher Smith   
Right, right.  

Skip Miller   
Yeah, so that’s the best way. Think in the customer chair, and then who knows, who knows. 

Christopher Smith   
I love that. What role does CRM play in the outbound process? 

Skip Miller   
Obviously huge, right, it’s the organization file, it’s the way to do it. Some obviously are better than others, but I mean, you know this as well as I do, I mean we can go into prospecting outbound companies that are really good and their CRM is terrible, and everybody just throwing their hands up going this is nuts. And we go into companies they’ve got good CRM and lousy outbounding, those are easy to fix.  

Christopher Smith   
Yeah. 

Skip Miller   
So it’s almost like taking a car out on out on this road and the road’s all gravelly. My favorite is the road to Hana in Hawaii. 

Christopher Smith   
Oh yeah, it’s awesome. 

Skip Miller   
If you don’t have, if you don’t have a jeep, don’t even, don’t even attempt that. The road’s terrible, the infrastructure is terrible. Yeah, same thing, if you don’t have a good CRM, your infrastructure is gonna be terrible. So, I mean, guys, I mean, I think, CRM has been around forever, everybody’s got it down, they got it covered. And you know as well as I do, they don’t. 

Christopher Smith   
Right, they don’t. And if you don’t have a good CRM, all these things that you were talking about being able to measure, being able to quantify, you’re not gonna be able to do that.  

Skip Miller   
No. 

Christopher Smith   
And you’re not, you don’t have that foundation you, you really need. 

Skip Miller   
All the people are gonna knee jerk. They’re gonna make that attempt for a good month, and then get a few leads, and go “Well we did it,” rather than to keep it going as an ongoing process. I’m sorry, every quarter, you got to look at top of funnel. Every quarter, you got to look at how much you have in the funnel. Every quarter, you got to either clean up or clean out things. I mean, I’m sorry, the way business works. So, if you don’t have a good infrastructure, you’re gonna get stuck in that Ford Taurus on the way to the road to Hana, and you’ll be asking for AAA to tow you out of the mud, yeah in a heartbeat. 

Christopher Smith   
The other thing that I think is pretty common is people trying to use their, their inbound configuration in CRM for outbound, their outbound sales process. Can you talk about that? 

Skip Miller   
Why on earth would you want to do that? 

Christopher Smith   
Right, right. 

Skip Miller   
I’m serious. No, I mean you tell me more about that, I mean… 

Christopher Smith   
Oh no, it’s because it’s like, “Oh hey, you know, we’ve had great success with inbounding, we’ve already got it all set up that way. Let’s just start, you know, we’ll just keep using, we’ll just keep funneling those same leads through our CRM the way it’s set up now.” 

Skip Miller   
We’re really, really good at checkers, so I must be really good at chess.  

Christopher Smith   
That’s right. 

Skip Miller   
It’s a different game. I’m sorry. Now there are some similarities, they use the same board and stuff, but the differences are just too much. I mean, I’d love to tell you if you’re really good at inbounding, flipping a switch to go outbonding is a piece of cake or it’s, it’s just a natural extension, it’s not. I’m sorry, it’s not.  

Christopher Smith   
Yeah, you have to spend the time to set up separate sales processes, separate dashboards, because you’re measuring different things, you’re looking at different things. 

Skip Miller   
And the best ones do that. The best ones sit there and go we have an outbounding and an inbounding and they’re separate. If we have to overlap them, they know there’s two different processes. But the best ones try to keep them separate, because they are two different animals. 

Christopher Smith   
That’s right, that’s right. Skip, it’s been great talking to you here. 

Skip Miller   
Oh, time’s already gone. Jeez, holy smokes. 

Christopher Smith   
Yeah, we, we blew through our time, is all we, you know as you do, I could sit here and listen to you for a long time. If people want to, you know, I got “Outbound” on Amazon. I highly recommend the book to everybody. It is a really, and what I love about it, you give a lot of great practical examples in the book. I mean there are great tips, it’s not something that, I hate it when people say you need to do this, but they don’t really explain how. 

Skip Miller   
Oh yeah, no I’m not, you know, I love reading Michael Porter, but you know I walk away with more questions and answers. I mean he makes you think and stuff. Being a former VP of Sales, it’s like, here’s the problem, here’s some ways you might want to look at it, there I’m sure there’s a million, but here’s some practical templates and tools and ideas, not you know, buy my second book. Oh and by the way, on my website M3learning.com, we just put Outbounding up for a paid course, but I also have five lessons out there, which are practical tools for free. So I think you go through M3learning.com and go to the online courses, the course where it says you know the five free lessons, jump in, I mean, there’s some good stuff in there. 

Christopher Smith   
That’s awesome. That’s great to hear. If people want to connect with you Skip, what’s the best way? 

Skip Miller   
[email protected], stands for Miller and his three kids, [email protected] You got to name a company something, so it’s like might as well name it that. 

Christopher Smith   
Why not, why not. Well look, thanks again for coming on. It’s been great.  

Skip Miller   
Yeah no, it’s been fun. Thanks, Chris. 

Outro 
As we end this discussion on Sales Lead Dog, be sure to subscribe to catch all our episodes on social media. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Watch the videos on YouTube, and you can also find our episodes on our website at Empellorcrm.com/salesleaddog. Sales Lead Dog is supported by Empellor CRM, delivering objectively better CRM for business guaranteed. 

Quotes

  • “As a sales leader out bounding right, I’ve got a simple question. What’s the size of the problem? It doesn’t get easier than that. They’ve got to have a problem, because you want to be an aspirin, not a vitamin. And they’ve got to be able to quantify it.” (21:19-21:39) 
  • “I thinkone of the natural curiosities, one of the, one of the great sales tools that salespeople can have is a natural curiosity. Right, and not fake, I mean just dive in.” (22:12-22:24
  • “…you could have all the cadences and sequences, and you can have all the sales enablement process tools like outreach sells, right. But you got to have good messaging.” (26:27-26:37) 
  • “You got to get through the noise and if you don’t know your numbers, you’re just hoping you win the game without a strategy and boy, that doesn’t work too well.” (35:42-35:50) 

Links

Skip Miller: LinkedIn
M3Learning: LinkedIn
Outbounding: Book

Empellor CRM LinkedIn
Empellor CRM Website