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So What? Analytics for Sales

So What? Marketing Analytics and Insights Live

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In this week’s episode of So What? we go through analytics for sales. From the ideal customer profile and how to build it, and how to make sure you don’t make the one big mistake when it comes to pitching your business.

Catch the replay here:

So What? Analytics for Sales


In this episode you’ll learn: 

  • What separates your early customers from the mass market
  • The importance of an accurate ideal customer profile and how to build one
  • What’s the most common pitch mistake and how to avoid it

Upcoming Episodes:

  • TBD


Have a question or topic you’d like to see us cover? Reach out here:

Please note that the following transcript is AI-generated and may not be entirely accurate:

Katie Robbert 0:21
Well, hey, how are you everyone? Happy Thursday. Welcome to so what the marketing analytics and insights live show. I’m Katie, I’m joined by John.

Katie Robbert 0:42
Last week, John and I talked about sales strategies for sponsorships. And John, towards the end of the episode, you said, I wish we had more time to actually get into the sales, you know, analytics and sales piece of it. And I was like, great. That’s part two. So here we are, one week later. Part two, talking about analytics for sales. What separates your early customers from the mass market, the importance of an accurate ideal customer profile? And how to build one? And what’s the most common pitch mistake and how to avoid it? These are all things that, you know, I know, I need to get better about I am maybe the world’s worst person to put together a pitch. I’m like, Hey, you, you want to buy it? And they’re like, hey, no, block spam.

John Wall 1:31
That’s you are, you know, with 98% of the world, that’s how most people sell? And, yeah, there’s a bunch of stuff we can dig into that. Yeah. So

Katie Robbert 1:39
Well, I mean, you’re so for those of you who don’t know, John, is our illustrious business partner, he is the head of business development. We’d like to call him the chief statistician, because he’s the only one of us who actually passed a stats class, ironically. But So John, where, where in this conversation, would you like to start? Yeah,

John Wall 2:03
the big thing with this is, you know, with last week, what we did, I was just kind of taking for granted that people had a lot of the foundational stuff about sales. And then as I stopped and realized, like, oh, there’s actually a whole ton of stuff, like, if you haven’t managed sales and gone through that whole, you know, realm of hell, then it’s better if you can get a little bit more of an overview as far as Okay, here’s how this stuff fits together. Because ICP fits into it. There’s lead qualification, and then there’s even you know, the whole process and CRM side of it. And all the way to psychology of what you talked about, like that’s just the classic pitches, somebody comes in, and like, Hey, this is the thing. And that’s actually backwards, like that usually gets you in trouble. And so we can talk about how that works. I think a good place to start is to talk about the spectrum of sales, because it’s very different depending on what the product is and how people buy. And the easy way to think about it. Is that one end of the spectrum, you’ve got basically me getting water at my house, right? Like, if I want the utility hooked up, how do I buy that? Well, it’s a monopoly, nobody cares, I don’t have any other choices. So that becomes it’s really just a customer service function, there’s really no sales happening there whatsoever, right? The only sales that comes into a situation like that is it is in everybody’s best interest for it to be frictionless for me to be, you know, to get started immediately and start paying today, and kind of get everything out of it. And so you see, there’s a whole realm of products that are over there in that bridge, online courses, stuff you buy on Amazon. And a lot of people talk frankly, about race to the bottom, those things are all a race to the bottom, it’s who can do it cheaper, who can do it faster. And profitability is always a problem with those things. Because it’s just there’s, there’s no value there, everybody’s beating every nickel of value out of that. And even you know, once people start competing on price, it just gets worse. So that’s one end of the spectrum. The other end of the spectrum would be something like pitching your business to a venture capitalist, you know, you basically have nothing, there is no product there is no value is nothing but a story. And you need to sell this story to someone to get them on board. And, you know, get them to jump in and work with your product and throw you some money. So that’s the spectrum. And the techniques change and pivot in different directions. They basically kind of become opposites as you move along that whole band. But we should stop there and make sure we’re good with that. I mean, Does that all make sense is are there any questions as far as laying that out?

Katie Robbert 4:41
No, it makes sense. So it sounds like you’re saying at one end of the spectrum, there’s things that we as humans and as consumers, just organically need and they kind of sell themselves like water utilities. You know, every once in a while I’ll see these posts on Instagram of people You know, satirically saying like, I don’t know why cheese companies have marketing departments and sales departments, I’m going to buy cheese, you don’t need to remind me. Because, you know, and it’s like, it’s one of those things that like the product sells itself, there’s, you know, certain necessities that, you know, like toothpaste and toothbrushes, sir, sure, there’s like competitors of like, who has the best one, but at the end of the day, like, it’s the thing we need, so we’re gonna buy something. Whereas, you know, to your point, sort of the, if I’m understanding the other side of the spectrum, is the stuff that like, you really have to work hard to convince people that they want to pay attention to. And that’s where a lot of us I feel like are stuck. We don’t have we think we have the necessities and the things that people need. But really, these are all luxuries that, you know, we’ve created as companies. And we’re like, no, but it’s a necessity. And they’re like, I don’t really need that marketing mix model. It’s a nice to have. So our job becomes exponentially harder. Because we then have to say, no, no, you really, really need it, it’s going to be life changing. Here’s why. And now can I have a bag of money? Please? Yeah,

John Wall 6:11
that’s a lot of that all that stuff is product market fit, right. And that’s really in the realm of marketing, which, which is why we end up talking about this stuff. And why there’s so much overlap is if you can get something that is just plainly obvious to the prospect or the customer that they need that, then the sale happens, right, you don’t need to get involved. And there’s been this massive transfer over the past two decades, which we’re not going to dive into entirely. But basically, the fact that, you know, in the old days, the seller had all the buyer information, they had the power in the in the relationship for making the sale happen. It was you know, there used to be a time when if you wanted to buy a computer, you had to go talk to a specific person and get pricing like you couldn’t get pricing anywhere else. And that’s been completely destroyed. Now, everything is shared on the internet, everybody knows, you know, what everything costs, and all that stuff. So a huge chunk of sales has been eaten by marketing. Because you can do product market fit with your marketing, you know, you can do marketing will get the ideal customer profile, they can figure out who’s got budget, authority, all that kind of stuff. And a lot of it has shifted away from that hands on sales guy, you know, the guy with the polyester blazer, trying to make things happen. That’s kind of dried up. And that is another, I wanted to take an aside on that one too, just to lay down. If you deal with sales, and you’re working with sales, one of the most important things is Glengarry Glen Ross, the David Mamet play, which was made into a movie, there are so many tropes and memes about that movie, that if you’re gonna hang out with salespeople, it’s a good idea to get familiar with that, just so you know, some of the jokes in there, because otherwise stuff will be going, people will talk about ABC always be closing, right like that, that comes up over and over again. And yeah, and it’s just funny, because that movie does show the full spectrum of kind of sales, attitudes and how people work. And they’re each one of those people is a trope, you know, there’s the guy begging for the business. There’s the guy who’s the mystic who’s preaching who’s, you know, gathering the converted the cult leader, and those are all different approaches that work. But yeah, I think so I wanted to make sure we laid that out there too, because that’s part of understanding, you know, kind of how this this goes, especially at that far end of the spectrum, the VC pitching the vision, that’s a that’s a whole different thing and another set of challenges. So that’s a one place to start. Another thing to define to to get straight with is we talked about bank, ba, and t, for lead qualification, so banded budget, authority, need and timeline, those are the three things that have to be there for, depending on how your CRM system is set up. A lot of people set that up as like, that’s the definition of a lead, like you don’t commit to, hey, we’ve got a shot at getting this money until all of those are there. And the thing is, nowadays, when you look at that more closely, you know, so you’ve got budget, you know, do they have the cash? Or do they have the free money because like right now we’re in a down cycle and martech where people just don’t even have the money, they’re laying off people. So they’re not going to buy your stuff, like that’s just not even going to happen. So you’re automatically lost their authority is there’s a difference between the person has authority and the champion, the person who has the authority is the one who can sign the contract and actually make the transaction happen. And a lot of times you won’t deal with those, you know, in larger orgs and B2B sales, there’s whole realms of gatekeepers who are you know, you have to get through them to get access to the person that has the authority to sign the deal. And so many deals in our space for us get killed by somebody’s inquiring they chew up a bunch of time they make it sound like they have the authority and then when the contract comes out, you know oh, well actually I need a VP or somebody else to get this and we you know in VP is like the classic misnomer to we’ve had there’s one that out you know, we can’t we’ll not name the guilty but There have been more than one VP where you know, you deal with them for six months to get through their purchasing process. And you find out that that’s just the crazy VP over in the corner that everybody ignores. And yet now, now you’re approved to be a vendor, but nobody’s ever going to listen to this guy, so you’re never gonna sell anything. So so those are from hell need is the one that you do have control over, right, that’s the product market fit is what you’re selling what they need. And so that’s critical. And timeline is the last one, there’s a lot of people who shop but if they don’t have a critical Timeline Item, if there’s not, you know, something’s going to happen, if they don’t do it by x date, then you can be caught in this thing, where you’re just going to talk to somebody forever, and they’re never gonna do anything. And so when you step back and look at that, you know, from a more Zen approach, you really only have control of one of the four, you know, you only control 25% of your destiny, like you can put the best product you’ve got out there. And everything else is just okay, do the people coming to you have the ability to make the deal happen. And there’s a lot of stuff. And this is where we kind of get into ideal customer profile, right? Because that is critical, because that gets into need, it gets into product market fit, it helps you kind of dial in on that. But it also does help you dial in on the other three as far as, okay, these types of people tend to have budget, and they tend that the authority, and so you can increase your odds over there.

Katie Robbert 11:24
Before we get into the ideal customer profile, I want to go back to something you started talking about when you were when you were identifying, you know, banned the ba n t, and that a lot of sales teams and CRMs. Unless you have those boxes checked, they’re not a lead. I’ve seen a lot of misunderstanding of what a lead actually is. And so I want to you know, talk about that for a minute. Because I feel like there’s people who misunderstand, like, if somebody signs up for the Trust Insights, newsletter, inbox insights, that’s not a lead. They’re not someone who would necessarily want to go full court press because they haven’t identified a need a budget, you know, authority or a timeline, they haven’t done any of those things. All they’ve said is, Hey, I like your newsletter, I want to sign up for it. And so what is your thoughts on using, you know, that? Like, the different phases? I guess what I’m asking is of like, the sales funnel? So you know, do you bother separating contacts from prospects from leads, you know, marketing, qualified leads, sales, qualified leads, whatever want to call them, but like, so, you know, in this example, let’s say somebody signs up for the newsletter, or somebody clicks on a link, does that make them a lead? Or is there more work to be done before you can sell something to them?

John Wall 12:52
Yeah, there’s a lot of like, this is the biggest mistake we see where it’s like, oh, they signed up for the newsletter, let’s throw them into, you know, let’s start emailing them every week about everything, and you know, and hammer away at these people. And, yeah, it’s always dynamic, it’s always moving. But in general, you don’t tend to see, you know, suspect prospect lead customer designations, until you’ve got super tight product market fit. And you’ve been able to do enough sales that you actually have variables for those things. So you know, at a more advanced sales, or, you know, at some place like one of the large enterprise software providers, they’re going to know, they’re going to say, okay, this person watched this video and saw these three things, we know that they’re going to buy something in the next six months, you know, barring something going wrong, like them losing budget, or losing their job, or whatever, you build that process where you can then kind of start gating things as far as Okay, here’s where people are. But if you’re earlier in the cycle, then it’s just a matter of, well, you’ve got these people coming and showing some interest. And it’s a matter of just continually putting stuff in front of them. Part of it is the awareness thing, too, right? It’s just, you do want to keep putting things in front of you so that they know that oh, we do this, we do that these are the other offerings we have. But then it’s also Yeah, this is just kind of straight up fishing, right? You’re you’re putting stuff out there and trying to see what people buy that and where they go. So yeah, because for us, it’s all over the place, right? We have people who are interested in the newsletter that could buy a course they do have full band right to spend 500 bucks 750 bucks and buy a course. But there’s no way they’re going to, you know, get a $200,000 project to build a large language model and get it live on the website, you know, so So there’s all kinds of different categories and groups of buckets that you throw people into. But yeah, you just kind of have to work the pile now. And there’s strategies with that, too. Like we have a great one. We actually have this resource on our website that strengthen your LinkedIn profile for job hunting. And so that’s that’s actually a negative qualifier. For us. It’s great. We know that people that are looking at that, right they’re looking To get out of wherever they are right now. So there’s no point in pitching them, you know, Hey, bring us in front of your VP, because we know that they would prefer to get the hell out of there. They’re not even interested in working there. So stuff like that can help you get through the pile. But yeah, it’s interesting, like another organization that I’d worked with a cybersecurity group had done a video with John Cleese, you know, they ponied up and spent a half million dollars to get this 30 minute funny video made. And they found that it generated, you know, a quarter million interested people a year, but it was almost not worth doing. Because it’s like, they had to get through the 499,937 of them to find the 60 people, you know, they would have been better laying those 60 people to Napa, California for a week than to dig through that. But that’s, you know, that’s the unfortunate part of the art of all this stuff is that, you know, everything is new, and it’s all human psychology, so the only way to do it is experiment and get out and play with it.

Katie Robbert 16:00
Okay, so go ahead. Well,

John Wall 16:02
I’ll just say other questions about setting up those mileposts. And, you know, building structure on?

Katie Robbert 16:09
Well, you know, it’s interesting, like, as you’re describing it, it’s, you know, sales is not a new profession, it’s not a new discipline. But for some reason, we keep trying to reinvent the wheel with every new digital tool, or gadget or whatever. But, you know, it strikes me as, you know, I mean, this is, you walk into a brick and mortar store, and you have somebody there saying, you know, Hey, can I help you? Can I answer any questions today? And you, as the consumer, give them that signal right away of, yes, I have questions meaning, like, I’m likely gonna buy something today, or no, I’m just looking, giving the indication of like, I got this, I might buy something I might not. But I really don’t want you breathing down my neck in order to do so. And the, I feel like, that is a really good gauge. But it’s also like, you can see the person you can sort of like understand like the body language, and you know, the tone and the words that they’re saying. And it it’s so simplistic, because somebody walks into your store, that sort of the equivalent, the digital equivalent of somebody signing up for the newsletter, they’re interested in learning more, they may or may not buy something. And so you as the salesperson, your job is to say, Hey, I’m here to answer any questions. And they either say, Yeah, give me more of your stuff I have, you know, I’m gonna raise my hand or they’re like, no, okay, I’m just looking. And I guess the, the thought the point that I’m trying to get to is that I, it’s, that seems like such a simple flow that I don’t know why we don’t use that same respectful tactic, with, you know, our digital customers like, Okay, we’ve asked them, Hey, can I help you? And they’re like, No, I’m good. We’re like, great. So here’s 5000 emails, I know, you didn’t ask for them, but maybe something’s gonna resonate. But we don’t do that when we’re actually, you know, live in person with them, or, and the people who do get shut down pretty quickly.

John Wall 18:14
Yeah, and it really comes down to just the fact that the email inbox is just kind of this slot machine, right? You know, you just throw stuff into it. And if somebody happens to be reading, you know, feels like reading your message today, you could have a hit. And so at these bigger orcs, they just know that, okay, we’re gonna send half a million messages, and we’re going to hit on 1% of them. And, you know, that can be a business model, you know, you can survive and make money on that. But yeah, as you get kind of to the other end of the spectrum of bigger deals and bigger sales. Yeah, you don’t want to have to live like that, right? That’s just horrible. The idea of doing something that bothers 100 people to get one or two to raise their hand, like, that’s just not. And what you find is you basically bleed humanity out of that model to like, you don’t have people doing that. You’re just building processes and firing, and that’s fine. But that’s a different thing. That’s the race to the bottom. You know, as it goes, that’s really not getting there. Yeah, one other thing, too, that I wanted to lay down to kick around because we had touched on a little bit last week. And this is the first bullet right, separating the early customers from the mass market. This all goes to Jeffrey Morris Crossing the Chasm. He is a tech consultant and a guy who just understands how tech works. And he came up with this whole idea that tech is really interesting in the way that there’s two stages to tech being bought any tech that comes out when it’s brand new, it gets picked up by early adopters and innovators. And these are unique customers because they’re willing to put up with some pain, you know, they will install a piece of software and if it doesn’t work, they’ll reinstall it. Or if it, you know, sends out a broken email message. That’s fine. They’ll go back and fix it and apologize because they want to be the early adopters. They want to get there fast and there’s usually huge financial gain, right like if you were the first company Need to start using email to go after your vertical, that was a huge advantage to you over the rest of the world. And we see it now we see it with AI, right, the companies that have the guts to try and implement AI, some of them crash and burn, some of them are using it to their advantage and you know, seeing 2540 50% gains, because they jump on that. So that’s one segment of the market. And so the whole key to your sales cycle there is you need to identify those early adopters and innovators, you have to find the crazy people. And so they have certain things that they do they go to the events for, you know, folks that the average public doesn’t want to be bothered with, they usually hang out in Discord servers and things like that, you know, they have places they go. But so that’s pre chasm. But then there’s this drop off, so your product keeps improving. But the mass market, the people that you know, the big when you’re showing off to VCs, how you’re going to hit the mass market now 40% of the market is going to buy, things have to be idiot proof for that segment of the market, like they want no headache. And in fact, on the back half of that curve are the bureaucrats at Fortune 500 companies that they don’t even care if it works, they just don’t want any risk, right? They don’t want to be fired because they bought this thing and it doesn’t work right. Or, you know, you’re stirring up trouble in the org for them. Like that’s the problem. So that’s the real separation between the early customers in the mass market, the early customers are willing to put up with some craziness for competitive advantage and for early access. But if you want to access the mass market, that takes a whole different approach of the product has to be idiot proof. You know, literally, you can show up with like, here’s what the box is, you pay this, you get this box, you can do XYZ. And Oren Klaff has a whole bunch of things talking about plain vanilla, like those people only want plain vanilla, it’s always the same. It’s never different. We’ve done this 10 million times, it never goes wrong, we show up with the thing you buy it, that’s how it works. So that’s really critical when you’re looking at your sales product, you know, where are you in the chasm is, are the rough edges gone? And are you ready for the mass market? Or are you still in this kind of wild west where you’re gonna have to keep these early adopters happy. And the crazy thing in that space, usually the early adopters will become your champions. You know, I’ve seen so many software companies where you get somebody in early, and that person is actually doing keynotes and running your user groups and doing all this stuff. And they’re thrilled to be the pioneer. But it’s very different than when you’re got something the rest of the world is ready to buy.

Katie Robbert 22:24
So you know, you’re talking about the mass market, I assume this is where you would want to start to more clearly define your ideal customer profile, because you can’t, you can market to everybody, but it’s probably a better bet to find to narrow down who exactly your customer is. And so we did this, a few episodes back, if you want to catch our live stream on how we put together the ideal customer profile using generative AI, you can find it on our YouTube channel, go to the sowhat playlist and the episode will be there. So let’s talk about how, okay, so you have your product, you’ve gotten the early adopters, the you know, the crazy people, as you’re saying who are willing, you know, to take the beta version, essentially to say, I’ll help you kick the tires and make sure that it’s ready for the rest of your customer base. But you still need to know who your customer base is. So how do we get to defining the ideal customer profile and then selling to them?

John Wall 23:28
Yeah, and this is something you talked about our video on that. So you know, in the old days, you would just grab all your customers and start doing demographic surveying, behavioral surveying, you know, like, where do they hit? Like, they may not have characteristics in common, but maybe they do specific things that other people don’t do. You know, you can go by behavior. But yeah, there’s kind of a whole science and surveying science, to getting into your customers to figure out who they are, what they do, where they hang out. And the the huge win with that is once you have an ideal customer profile that solves a bunch of the problems we’re just talking about, like, right, okay, so you run the John Cleese campaign and get your 500,000 leads pouring in the door, well, you can just do a database query against your CRM and say, Okay, if they don’t have, you know, five of the seven or whatever you have in your ICP, then we just don’t even bother with them. For now, we start with the people that have seven of seven and we start working our way down. And so it’s a huge tool for your sales process, because it allows you to categorize and prioritize the work because you’ve got limited resources. So that gets you on the mark. The interesting thing with that is we’ve been doing a bunch of stuff you and Chris have put a bunch of stuff together as far as having generative AI put that together for you. Having the entire internet there to scour and determine what the common factors are on people who are normally your customers is an entirely different angle and approach instead of information that’s never been accessible before. I mean, even think about that. You’re handcuffed by you survey all your customers. And what they’re doing and what they’re willing to tell you. But if you could get access to all of the stuff on the web, written by people who are like those people, you’re actually going beyond the customer profile, right? You’re you’ve got your group that you can run the report against. And then you can say, Okay, now find everybody on the web that matches this profile. And tell me about that cohort. And it’s just a huge advantage for finding new areas to mind, maybe you’ll find variables that you had not been, you know, we’re not visible in your data set, but are now accessible through the whole thing. So yeah, and we have to just like give plate and flat out plug to were looking for two or three folks to kind of do some additional testing on the stuff with us. And so if you are Yeah, there we go. Trust Insights, steady eye contact, can give us a yell, because our idea is to have this just as an affordable package, like you just come in, we sign the NDA so we can get some customer data and make a profile. And then we deliver an ICP that gives you access and insight that you’ve never had. So yeah, that’s what we’re getting into the hardcore plug. But for those that have the, again, the guts and the boldness to give this a shot, it’s you get the Early advantage and leap over your competition with this.

Katie Robbert 26:09
Well, and I think one of the challenges, I know when I started working professionally, like I was introduced to personas and personas are sort of how marketers and sales and sales professionals start to break down the segments, but they’re challenging. And the idea of personas in some ways is kind of antiquated, because it’s so general. And I remember seeing this article, I wish I could credit who put it together. But basically, it was like, you know, personas are outdated, because it’s like these five demographic points. And it was like I think it gave like, you know, geographic location, the UK age, like 70 to 80 lives in a castle has, you know, a million dollars and it you had Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne side by side. And they were like these two people. Yes, they both fit into this quote, unquote, persona. But they’re going to have very wildly different needs and hobbies, and whatever things. So basically, what it was stating was, that’s the problem with the old way of thinking with personas. And so now, hopefully, with the assistance of generative AI, but you don’t even it’s not a necessary tool. But hopefully what you’re doing as a sales organization is going deeper into this ideal customer profile and really outlining not, it’s not enough to just say, you know, like, it’s a 24 year old, you know, female identifying person who lives in Massachusetts, like, that tells you nothing, you need to get into, like, what are the pain points? What are the problems they’re trying to solve? What keeps them up at night? What are their motivations? What are their goals, those are the things that now in modern day sales and marketing, are going to resonate, because we as consumers, we’re so inundated with information, 24/7, we’re never not connected, you know, this, we’ve moved well beyond the Mad Men days of you know, have a catchy jingle, and you’re going to sell a million units of whatever you have, like, you have to stand out and you have to hyper personalize, we, as consumers expect a personalized approach. Every single time we open a web browser, we open a social media platform, but with the caveat that we don’t want to tell you anything about us. So you as a marketer and a salesperson. You have to figure out how to get there without asking people the question. What say you John? Yeah,

John Wall 28:51
no, that’s that’s such, the kind of the running joke amongst us people is that, you know, old school personas were just layering bias upon bias, right? It was, because it’s one thing if they had done a bunch of customer surveys and had found some data out, but a lot of times it was just a brainstorming session of marketing execs sitting in a room and they’re like, Okay, Steven is our ideal customer. He’s a 24 year old skateboarder, you know, and they just come up with these random stories. And then yeah, there’s, there’s the cult factor of it, you know, so now they’re walking around the office, they’re like, Well, what would Steven think of this? Steven wouldn’t like you know, and so that’s, I’ve been there. Yeah, we’ve all seen this anybody in the agency world or that has been part of a large especially B2C branding. You know, if you’re making any of the conglomerates, making soap or dish soap or any of those things that’s that’s right up the

Katie Robbert 29:40
road, Jennifer react to this. She’s, she’s a middle aged mom with three kids in school. And you know, she has aspirations to go back to work at some point, but right now, she’s running the household. What would Jennifer say about this dish soap,

John Wall 29:55
right? Yeah, and her 2.4 children right Jennifer always says 2.4 Children always

Katie Robbert 29:59
like but it. Yeah, I don’t understand the point for child like this poor child with no limbs.

John Wall 30:04
It’s Yes, partial child. So yeah, that’s like the classic thing. And, you know, even I mean, generative AI can help with this. But even machine learning is part of this too, right? I mean, this is what machine learning is classic for in identifying these unique variables. And, yeah, we have, I mean, yeah, actually, we haven’t told the story in a while. But like, this is a classic one for us that we had found, Chris had dug in on some data. You know, we were doing some stuff with a client that was running a church, and there was this weird correlation, and that dog owners were the right community for this. So you could go advertise against dog owners, and your odds were, you know, significantly higher of getting better leads and qualified people. Because for some reason, the people that like dogs also like to go to church in this area. And so it’s that kind of stuff, it’s part of your profile that you wouldn’t make it up. And of course, we’re seeing a ton of stuff. I don’t know, it’s just insane. Now, all this stuff going on with Google and meta, where they’re doing all this, but it’s all behind the scenes, we don’t get to see any of this stuff anymore, you know, their AI powered advertising is driving these correlations and driving ad results. And we have no clue with what’s happening behind, you know, behind the curtain. But that’s just the way that thing works.

Katie Robbert 31:13
Or something that Chris and I were talking about earlier this week, I was asking him, you know, with generative AI, how much data do people actually have to have on their customers? So historically, prior, so, you know, I’m sort of dividing the sales, the sales and marketing process into pre and post generative AI. So pre generative AI, we’re doing market research, we’re asking people questions, we’re begging them to give us any information. And then, you know, we have this whole conversation about the cookieless future, where you can’t capture that data anymore, without people’s permission, and people aren’t willing to give up this information. And so you’re sort of you’re you’re stuck in how do I know who my customers are, if they’re not willing to tell me post generative AI, customers are still not willing to tell you, but people are giving up information left and right to generative AI, whether or not they realize it. And generative AI and machine learning are putting together this synthetic data that you can access as a marketer and a salesperson and say, I don’t need to talk to my customers, or my customers aren’t willing to talk to me. So how can I infer all of this information through imputation through synthetic data, and still get to the same result, and I feel like it’s, as of right now, it’s underutilized. But hopefully, as people start to catch on, or you know, as they want to, you know, learn more about how it can work, you can get to a really deep and detailed, ideal customer profile, multiple versions of your ideal customer profile, depending on, you know, income and demographics and industries, and, you know, verticals and all the different things. But it’s just it’s in, in, and I don’t mean that it’s going to replace actually talking to customers, you should still talk to your customers. But I know, as a consumer, I don’t want to spend my time giving up all of my interests and information to a salesperson. Like I just don’t want to. But I still want that personalized experience.

John Wall 33:36
Yeah, no, you this is and this is learning for every marketing person, right? Like because yeah, it seems to make sense. You’re like, well, let’s just go talk to our customers get all this info. And there was an early project that I’ve worked on where we were trying to do this gather this data. And yeah, we, you know, we found that 80% of the customer didn’t want to talk to us, you know, they bought the software, they were good. And the idea of the software is to make the pain go away. But the thing that was the backbreaker for me, was we were like, Okay, we’ve done this 300 We got like 40 Done. And the CEO is like Well, let me give it a shot. And they didn’t even want to hear from the CEO, like the CEO was like, hey, you know, I’m the CEO, we love our customers, blah, blah, blah. They wouldn’t return his voice messages. They don’t want to hear him. So yeah, you’ve nailed that is that you just can’t get to the data and so many circumstances and and then there’s a whole nother realm of Yeah, well, you think you can buy the data, you know, you can Hey, enter this contest, enter this, you know, get a free $20 gift card for answering these questions are all well, all those things that again, is layering bias. There’s people who are just going to game that to get the 20 bucks, they’re not going to give you a course the truth. You know, that’s all a mess. So yeah, there’s a lot in there. And then I think the other thing that’s just really resonated with me is that we are you know, we talked about that pre chasm thing. Chris has seen some stuff where it’s been this way now where we generate some data about a certain thing we want to see one model can’t do it, but the latest version None of this one here can. And that’s just been ridiculous to see kind of like, okay, you want to categorize these, you know, 35 things that happened and forecast what the next seven are gonna be based on those variables. And yeah, there are models that can do that. And so it’s, you know, knowing which one to pick and where to go. That’s a whole. This is why Chris is on an airplane and keynoting this weekend last week, because you know, everybody wants to hear about this stuff. Because the craziest stuff going on. Yeah, he’s, he’s on board with it.

Katie Robbert 35:27
Well, and you know, again, sort of, we would be remiss if we didn’t just a quick pitch, if you want, Chris to, you know, totally blow the minds of your team. You know, but he is he’s staying up to date on the latest and greatest of everything that’s going on in generative AI, and he’s doing a lot of education, you can contact us at trust to Trust Insights at AI slash contact, to see how you can get Chris now, one of the things that, you know, so to bring it back to sales, and to bring it back to how do we find these ideal customers? Or once we find them? What do we do? You know, and so I think that’s also a huge gap in understanding with modern sales is Okay, so let’s say I’ve gone through, I’ve identified my ideal customer profile, maybe I have like four different versions of it, depending on the situation, or the product, I have my product fit. How do I pitch these people? Because there are so many bad pitchers, there’s one that keeps making the rounds. And I feel like it’s the same, it’s probably the same spammy hub, but it just comes through his different emails. And it’s like, Hey, first name, last name. Just kidding. I’m human, too. We’re all part of the matrix. Like, if you’re watching this, and you’ve gotten that spam pitch, please leave a comment. So like, we know that we’re not alone. But John, and I get that one all the time.

John Wall 36:54
Yeah, no, there’s a bunch of horrible pitches. And this is good, because we were talking about, you know, the most common pitch mistake and how to avoid it. And the biggest mistake is basically that marketers are excited about their product, right? They want to pitch their product, they want to talk about, hey, this is the thing, this is what we’ve done, or this is what my clients doing. This is why you need to be interested. And the problem is, you know, that’s higher brain functioning, right? That’s the marketer talking about their product in a very calculated and understanding fashion. And, you know, putting their whole mind behind what the story is and explaining what they’re doing. Well, buyers don’t approach it from that way. Right? They’re being blindsided, right, they’re not expecting to get this. And so your pitch is met with the lizard brain, right? You know, you’re you’re crafting these pitches that, you know, 50,000 years of human evolution have put together and are writing down. And the reality is you’re hitting a dinosaur, you know, you’re hitting the lizard brain. And there’s a couple of things about the lizard brain. So when the pitch gets there, one, if it’s not dangerous, ignore it. Right? If it’s not new and exciting, ignore it. If it’s complicated, it goes to the fear center, it gets destroyed, and you move on. And you don’t want anything to trip any of these large, I’ve totally stolen all this stuff from Oren Klaff, right? This is part of his percent persuade win framework, and his book is just totally ridiculous. It completely blows away a bunch of stuff, you’d think about how to make an effective pitch. But the short version of what he’s talking about is, it’s definitely not about the details, if you’re getting into the details of your thing, you’ve already lost the war, right? Because the lizard brain cannot handle the details, the lizard brain is there to like, pick the details and use that as an excuse to get rid of your pitch. So the big thing is, it’s gotta be it new and exciting, you know, it’s got to be something that they want, they want to get involved in. And then there’s a whole art and a bunch of things that are built around called setting the frame Klaff talks about setting the frame. The idea is that you position what you’re seeing out there, and anytime an idea or a position or a frame gets out there, it will collide with the other person’s frame. And these frames will always be out there and they always one of them them always gets destroyed. So most of the time, it’s your pitch goes out via email, the person sitting at their desk says I don’t have time for this boom, your pitches destroyed, it goes in the trash. So unless you can come, you know, find a way to break through and get them to be interested in what that pitch is. And so the biggest weakness in all these pitches is instead of making it about the buyer, they make it about the product, but it’s got to be about the buyer the pitches to the buyers, like hey, here’s why you should be interested in this. You know, what would your day be like if I told you X and it’s actually interesting to I gotta share this up even because we were going I was digging through and one of the things he talks about is the idea induction pattern that he has, he has a framework for how you can pitch something to get it to you know to stick and buy in and here let me grab this because yeah, when you see this you Are you gonna laugh because it’s right on the mark. I didn’t have time to throw this into a slide. But I mean, you’re gonna see a very familiar framework here of it’s for X, who are dissatisfied with why. My idea product is a new thing that provides x, unlike my idea, and it’s just, it’s just I was like, Oh, my God, this is like a flavor of five peas. Like, this is just the same thing. You’re plugging in your whole product pitch and framing it. From their perspective, though, so you know, they get an idea of who this is for? Well, it’s for you, that’s why I’m talking to you. And hey, aren’t you know, do you notice that you have a problem with x? Well, our product here solves that. And like, even last year, the competing products like you don’t even need to get in there. If you’ve got something that’s novel, and you’re in a new space. But if you are facing competition, then you would also plant those landmines right from the start. But you’re taking some kind of framework like this, whether it’s this or five piece, this is the most important part of your pitch, right, you need to come up with the story for someone who knows nothing about you, is maybe going to give you two seconds. And then hopefully, there’s that whole other layer of work of, you’re only putting this in front of people that it’s relevant to right, you’re not just to the world. Because you can dial up, you’re basically dialing up the hit rate, the more you can focus this, you know, if you could send this to half a million people and great, you’d have that classic 2% hit rate. But if you could dial it in, so you’re only sending it to people that you know, are already interested in this stuff, then you start to get into the 30 40% hit range. And you know, kind of everything changes, your activities get more focused, you get more leads, everything kind of gets to where it wants to be?

Katie Robbert 41:43
Well, I guess there’s two things. One is, you know, as we were just talking about having your ideal customer profile dialed in, is important so that you can do this. But what strikes me is humans in general, really only pay attention when things are uncomfortable, or they’re bothered, or they have a problem that they need to solve. Otherwise, they’re like, I’m good. This doesn’t apply to me. And so, you know, the very, the second line here is who are dissatisfied with x. And so that really goes back to your ideal customer profile cast to go beyond, you know, general demographics, but you really need to understand the pain points and the motivations. And so, you know, I’m not going to pay attention to advertisements about cheese. If I have cheese, if I’m not hungry, if I’m lactose intolerant, or whatever the thing is, but the second, I’m hungry, I have a problem. The second my refrigerator does not have cheese in it, I have a problem. So I’m going to be looking for a solution. And so I better be seeing, you know, ads and sales pitches, offering me solutions to my problem, not just you like cheese, here’s some cheese. It’s like, No, I know, I already know this. I already know that. I like cheese. You don’t have to tell me. And so I’m already to your point, like I’m out, like the lizard brain is like, well, this doesn’t apply to me, because I already know that I like cheese. What’s what’s the problem? But if it’s, you don’t have cheese in your refrigerator, you’re like, you know, I don’t that is a problem. Can you help me solve it? It’s like, boom, here’s your solution right here. And so I think part of where pitches go wrong is it’s not clearly articulating the problem. The flip side of that is that a lot of companies that are trying to position the problem, it actually comes across as an as an insult. And so it’s a fine line. And so I get a lot of cold pitches, that are like, Hey, I was looking at the Trust Insights website, and I noticed that you’re not doing the following things. That’s an insult. That’s not telling me that I’m dissatisfied with something or that there’s a problem. You’re telling me that I’m not doing my job. So you have insulted my ego. And I don’t want to work with you, because we’re already off on the wrong foot. And so the different way to approach that is, you know, is to Well, number one, not to insult me, I’m the decision maker, you know, but that’s where again, you have to go into your ideal customer profile. I don’t have a good solution for that. But I’ve already stated, I’m the worst on the team at writing pitches. So how would you like how would you approach that? So let’s say John, you were a, you know, branding agency, and you came across a website that desperately needed branding. And you want it to tell them that you could solve that problem. But how do you walk that line without insulting someone saying, I see you have a problem? I mean, I feel like I’m talking myself into they’re not aware that there’s a problem. They’re still not going to pay attention.

John Wall 45:02
Yeah, well, I mean, first of all, we definitely have to hit a hammer on the the big point you made, which is, yeah, they were going right to the lizard brain, right? They were like, Hey, this is dangerous, like you’re in trouble. Any manager or bureaucratic is gonna be like, No, you’re that goes away, I’m deleting that message. You know, it’s like, there’s a problem, I don’t want to hear it. So the, you know, a common pitch craft for that is always to start with, you know, where it could go, what it’s going to happen. And in fact, it usually helps if it’s a bold claim. So a good Yeah, and this is a this is called a Basho. Strategy. This was there’s a whole thing on all this that we can go to. But for that specific case, the pitch would be, what if I told you that we could get you 30% More web traffic in two weeks, based on strategies that we’ve used for these three other customers that we think will work for you? Now? That’s the same thing, right? Like, if you read that deep, you could say, oh, wait a minute, something’s wrong with my website, if I’m not getting that, but we’re not putting that. And this is where you get into the real magic of pitch stuff is the, hey, we have an adventure here that’s going to pay off huge for you Come with us on this trip. Let me show you where you want to go, where you want to work with us. And then that opens up this whole realm of judo of it’s no longer me convincing you that we’re doing something cool, and that this product is good. It’s you saying? Oh, my God, how can I jump on board on this and work with these people? And I mean, it even goes so far, you know, when you get up into the finance world, and the VC people, you know, Klaff talks about doing crazy stuff, like walking into the office, and just like, picking up the apple off the CEOs desk and eating it himself. You know, like, that’s the first thing he does, you know, because these guys are the biggest jerks on earth. And he walks in there and says, I’m not afraid to your apple, that suddenly gives him the keys to talk about whatever he wants to do for the next 10 minutes. You know, and so there’s a whole lot of power plan dynamic that goes into that. But yeah, it’s about turning that thing around, and not saying, Oh, my God, you’re doing something wrong, you’re in trouble, too. Hey, we’ve got somewhere better you can go, we can do something amazing. Come check this out. And, you know, of course, it’s taking for granted that, you know, the customer as well as their, you know, like, I know what Katie’s day is like, because I’ve been there or I’ve done enough, you know, work with similar customers so that I know that this is a legit point, I’m not sending you some point that you don’t want to immediate. You want. It’s okay. If you immediately say, oh, that’s BS. If you’re saying it’s that’s BS, because I don’t think it can be that good. But you don’t want it to be that’s BS, because that’s not possible, or nobody cares about that, like that, that goes in the junk bin. So yeah, there’s a lot of art to kind of making a bold claim. And again, it’s you’re appealing to that dinosaur brain of it’s just like, hey, here’s a cheeseburger. What do you think, right that like that? It’s just like, yeah, you definitely want a bite of that cheese where like, Tell me more, you know, because it’s not done with a pitch. You can’t somebody you can’t just throw this big complicated explanation out there and expect somebody to bite and, you know, ask for more and learn more. It’s really about framing it so that there’s some benefit from there for them. It doesn’t scare them. Yeah, that’s kind of like a crash course on pitch craft. They’re well,

Katie Robbert 48:21
and we only have about a minute left or so. But I just want to sort of touch upon you as sort of, you’re giving that example of, you know, a very aggressive approach where, you know, I’m walking into a room of like, the biggest jerks in the world, and I’m going to show them I’m an even bigger jerk, by biting the apple. Do you think that that aggressive approach is still valid in modern sales?

John Wall 48:48
It depends on the audience. So there’s a whole set of discussion on that. It’s basically called local star power, right? Is everybody has some star power. Now, Jeff Bezos oozing star power, right. But when he goes to take a golf lesson, when he’s in that lesson, the Golf Pro has the power actually, for that 30 minutes, right? The Pro can tell him what to do, and how to do it and where to go. And Jeff Bezos will listen to him because he wants to become a better golfer. So there’s a lot of Yeah, Klaff makes a lot of his money on the fact that you can do all this hard charging crazy stuff. And the reality is, you can only use that when you’re working with hard charging crazy people, which is not right 95% of the market. And in fact, I would go even further and say for a lot of the stuff that we do, that’s all B2B, we’re dealing with bureaucrats who are living in fear, right? So literally, nothing can be frightening, like we do not want to scare them at any point because that they literally will just be like, I’m not going to do this. But there is something to be said for still. One is gaining the star power and two is avoiding beta traps because you’ll like we talked about at the beginning, you know, going through the purchasing process. That’s just Stop being a trap. That’s somebody getting you off their desk today and making you run around on the gerbil wheel for two weeks before you come back with something. And that’s a place where you can deals that go to die, you know, and so staying out of that and saying, Hey, look, do you want to work with us or not like and even in the most fearsome prospects, we still use this all the time. You know, I’m constantly sending emails of hey, it looks like this is not going to come together, shall we? Just, you know, should I just get you back in six months? And half the time? It is? Yeah, you’re right. It’s too busy. But the other half of the time is no, no, we are you serious? It’s just moving slow. And I can’t get this through XYZ or whatever. You are back in the driver’s seat as far as like, Okay, I know where this is going and if it’s going somewhere.

Katie Robbert 50:45
So I feel like we could talk about sales processes, you know, for another couple of hours. So perhaps we’ll put together you know, another series or a part three. But for today, John, how do you want to wrap it up? What are your final thoughts? What are your, you know, takeaways or your what’s your last piece of Glengarry? Glen Ross advice?

John Wall 51:06
I know he’s always be closing ABC always be closing. Or if you’re starting a lab, it’s always be cobbling always be cobbling. Yeah, the big thing I would love people to take away is nick it about the prospect, not about you. Nobody wants to hear about super soft, release 3.7 dot 24. Right, that nobody cares. So please stop sending us those emails. That’s the most important thing. And yeah, I guess it’s just funny that, you know, I’m always worried about like, well, we’ll get enough stuff, but we’re talking about sales. So it’s like the, the talk is infinite, it just can’t be stopped.

Katie Robbert 51:44
Well, you the conversation doesn’t have to stop here. If you want to continue to talk with myself and John about sales or anything else, related or even or unrelated. You can join our free Slack community at trust for marketers. If you want to contact us and find out more about how you can have someone like Chris or myself or John, speak to your team about any of this. Or if you just have general questions, you can reach us at Trust Insights at AI slash contact. And I think that’s going to do it for today. Until next time, John.

John Wall 52:16
That sounds good. High five. I got it. We did it.

Christopher Penn 52:24
Thanks for watching today. Be sure to subscribe to our show wherever you’re watching it. For more resources. And to learn more. Check out the Trust Insights podcast at trust AI podcast and a weekly email newsletter at trust Got questions about what you saw in today’s episode. Join our free analytics for markers slack group at trust for marketers, see you next time.

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