The Infinite Value of Feedback Loops
Evaluating the feedback loops in your business will help you make smaller and more manageable corrections over time that lead to maximizing your revenues.
Hosted by Kevin Dieny
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[00:00:00] Kevin Dieny: Hello, welcome to the Close The Loop podcast. I’m joined by two of my cohosts, Matt and Ronn. Today, we are going to be talking about turning more leads into appointments. A very, I would say important topic for the handoff between marketing and sales. I am joined by Matt Widmyer, the sales development manager at CallSource.
[00:00:27] Kevin Dieny: He oversees the ever-growing sales development division here while working as a liaison between marketing and sales departments, whether there is an individual or team operational gap, he will roll up his sleeves and go to work. He is a problem solver. He’s a mentor and he’s a coach all rolled into one. Matt has a wife and daughter and loves all things outdoors.
[00:00:49] Kevin Dieny: So welcome, Matt.
[00:00:50] Matt Widmyer: Thanks for having me.
[00:00:53] Kevin Dieny: Also joined by Ronn Burner, an independent marketing strategy consultant, applies his marketing MBA with his marketing automation experience to help organizations design, execute, and measure their marketing strategies. When he is not designing programs, Ronn’s time is spent as an avid sports and fitness fanatic, and can be spotted with his 11 year old son at Disneyland on any given weekend, literally! Welcome Ronn.
[00:01:19] Ronn Burner: Thanks guys. Happy to be back.
[00:01:22] Kevin Dieny: This is a really interesting topic. This is probably Matt’s bread and butter topic, because every business is trying to transform leads are trying to transform, you know, the chance they have with a perspective future customer, to turn them into an actual customer. There’s a couple steps in between, a lead and the sale.
[00:01:44] Kevin Dieny: Typically a business will have a couple of steps between that. They have to get them there. They have to show their offerings. They have to even be in the availability of that when that lead wants to do business with that business. So when you’re thinking about this conversation, I think that a lot of this is going to come down to process.
[00:02:05] Kevin Dieny: So let’s just. Kick this off, I’ll start with a little bit of defining all this, so we are all on the same page. Not every business may use the term leads. We’ve run into this quite a bit. Basically a lead is like, I said, it’s a prospective, it could be an entity, a person, a business, something think about your business and who is not yet a customer.
[00:02:28] Kevin Dieny: But a lead in a sense is someone that you have an opportunity to influence so they could be in your CRM, that could be in your store. They could be standing outside your store. They could be on the phone with you, things like that. You have a moment to influence them. Let’s define that as, that’s our lead, and between that person and your ability to influence them.
[00:02:51] Kevin Dieny: And then get an appointment, they have decided to work with you, but maybe not yet have purchased. So between you can influence them, and now their coming to your store, they’re ordering, they’re trying you out, they’re putting on the shoes. They’re, setting a scheduled time to come in or for you to go there.
[00:03:10] Kevin Dieny: There’s a lot that happens in between those two things. So we’ll get right into it. I have a question and I’ll pose it… I’ll kick it right over to you, Matt. So here we go. Why is turning leads into appointments so difficult?
[00:03:24] Kevin Dieny: Why is it so hard?
[00:03:26] Matt Widmyer: Yeah, sure.
[00:03:27] Matt Widmyer: It’s something that just takes a lot. There’s a lot of trial and error involved, right? It depends on the audience, obviously. It depends on the person or people involved in the initiative. It’s time of day. You have to think about like it’s not, everything is on our watch. It’s on the customer’s watch or the, in this case, the potential customers watch.
[00:03:51] Matt Widmyer: What is important to us isn’t always just as important to the other person. Right? The whole point of getting an appointment is to get a sale and it just really depends on where they’re at. The reason why it’s so difficult, because there’s just such a wide spectrum of where they can be, in terms of how good of a fit they are versus how interested if at all they are to hear about what it is that we have to say.
[00:04:17] Kevin Dieny: Let’s break it down even a little bit more because there’s a couple elements of a lead that let’s say makeup it’s quality.
[00:04:25] Kevin Dieny: Marketing is the one generating leads, or let’s say an agency you’re paying an agency as a small business to generate leads for you. Maybe you’re paying someone to come in and help do the marketing, right. That lead gen or something like that. So that’s done prior to the lead getting there.
[00:04:42] Kevin Dieny: And so when leads show up for you to be able to influence them. They come in all different types of quality. Right? So again, Matt, what are the things that make up, the quality that may influence how difficult it is to turn that lead into an appointment?
[00:04:58] Matt Widmyer: Yeah. So again, unless you’re putting a gate on wherever they’re submitting your information, sometimes you get fake phone numbers, sometimes your, get numbers and letters, transposed in whatever they’re submitting.
[00:05:09] Matt Widmyer: So sometimes a lot of people don’t like putting their real email address. Maybe they’re just strictly seeking information, not necessarily inquiring about our services. I’m going to stick with the original answer. It was just the vast, realm that they can all fall within.
[00:05:25] Matt Widmyer: It’s too ambiguous. People, myself included, we have a tendency to just get through this form. Let’s just bypass these things, a blank field wherever I see it’s not required.
[00:05:36] Matt Widmyer: And, unfortunately for other people, on the other side of things, it makes it a little more difficult. A little bit more research you have to do upfront just to verify, okay. Is this actually a real person? And if so, does it make sense to have a conversation about, something that we do?
[00:05:51] Matt Widmyer: The less of that you have, the more work you have to do, but there is definitely concerns on the data side of things too. We get people also who are inquiring about things you aren’t necessarily a good fit. Right? You have people who are the example I always use is you have, guys trying to track their girlfriend’s cell phone.
[00:06:09] Matt Widmyer: That’s not a good fit for what we do. It doesn’t matter what info they put there. We’re never going to do business with them. It’s just making sure, whatever they’re seeking, is whatever we were able to deliver to them, but it takes questions and fact finding to be able to determine that.
[00:06:28] Kevin Dieny: Yeah. So I think that’s a good segue into looking at it from, let’s say the other side of that, which is the marketing side, creating gated experiences or creating an experience that makes it so that the prospective lead gets what they need, but at the same time, we’re getting enough information to be able to follow up with them.
[00:06:48] Kevin Dieny: So Ronn you want to little talk a little bit about that side of the coin of generating a quality lead to help with therefore later generating an appointment? What goes into that?
[00:07:00] Ronn Burner: Absolutely. So I had formulated thoughts based on the conversation. And then you segwayed over here to this and now I have to really quickly process.
[00:07:07] Ronn Burner: You don’t really know what level of this call is… at least in my mind.
[00:07:12] Ronn Burner: Right away I was thinking, okay, is this MQL or this SQL, and then again, in the email, which would be my bread and butter more so than this, because this is Matt’s bread and butter, and we both cannot have the same bread, butter. But the email world, there’s a goal. Each email in my mind has a singular goal.
[00:07:31] Ronn Burner: Right? And on a call, I feel like you don’t want to overwhelm. If you’re fortunate enough to get a conversation going, you don’t want to overwhelm with, the information you just want to be as helpful as you can. But again, in my mind, is this cold calling people that simply came in because a form submission, which is a good one to start with.
[00:07:50] Ronn Burner: If it’s cold enough where we haven’t spoken to you previously, but you fill out a form and I know that your business operations there, because I’ve been there previously, the form fills are requesting to speak with sales or they’re requesting to speak with somebody.
[00:08:03] Ronn Burner: So that’s obviously a much more comfortable call right out of the gates because they’re asking to be contacted versus if they download a piece of content, which is still good, there’s still engagement. They’re still interested. They’re profiling themselves, by letting you know that this of all the options of content we have, this is the thing that they chose to download. So that call is not near as warm, but yet it’s better than, a flat cold call from your database. And there’s all kinds of problems with, outdated databases and things of that nature.
[00:08:34] Ronn Burner: I’ve even worked in a situation years ago where we had, through Salesforce, we had a third party, app that could create a calling list. So there was an autodialer. Dialing specific to the persona or specific to whatever it was that we wanted. And then we of course, had a script ready for that for our SDRs to make those outbound calls.
[00:08:56] Ronn Burner: I think the hardest part is just getting somebody on the phone and having a conversation, whether they’re ice cold or warm it’s just getting on the phone and trying to start the dialogue.
[00:09:06] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, that’s really good. The interesting thing you made me think about from that was when you put in a lead into the system, someone else is going to take it from there, a handoff between marketing and sales. Right? So when that handoff occurs, is marketing so totally and out of the clear now and done, is their hands wiped, cleaned?
[00:09:27] Kevin Dieny: Not really. The reason is, is when marketing hands over these leads, they need to know from sales or from whoever it is next, the store, or the restaurant, or the business, the rep, the tech, whoever it is, that is taking the reins from that point, then, if it didn’t turn into an appointment, why, what happened?
[00:09:46] Kevin Dieny: And is it like Matt said, is it because someone is just not a fit, but they did everything right. Is it that they did nothing right… that information is fake and bogus? What is it exactly? Maybe also a little bit and beyond that would be, what was their reason if they were a fit?
[00:10:01] Kevin Dieny: What was the reason for the objection and the loss? Because at some point it does start to become a little blurry in between if someone said, “Oh, the price is too high.” Is that marketing’s fault? Maybe, because at that point, was it positioned to be a much lower priced item and then they get there and then all they get all the time is this is way too overpriced or is it the rep trying to learn that objection and handle that pricing objection so that they can translate that. It does get a little blurry and a little gray sometimes.
[00:10:32] Kevin Dieny: And if that’s a repeated offender, right? An objection that comes up a lot. I think it’s both there. It should be both teams looking at, okay, this is happening a lot. Is there something both of us could do? I wouldn’t necessarily say, oh, it’s all the sales or the front office duty to manage that one objection all the time.
[00:10:53] Kevin Dieny: Especially if the marketing is being positioned in a way where it’s like, look at these amazing deals, 80% off. And then when they come in, it’s oh, that only applies on this one day. That really frustrates it pisses off the leads.
[00:11:03] Kevin Dieny: Matt, the next leg of the journey is the influence on the lead. So your leads are coming in of highly variable quality. Just the nature of the beast. How do… businesses, small businesses, with maybe staff doing multiple duties – how are they translating or turning leads into appointments? What are some of the tips or suggestions you’d have there?
[00:11:27] Matt Widmyer: Yeah. So kind of goes back to our last episode where we talked about feedback loops.
[00:11:31] Matt Widmyer: Because I feel like in the grand scheme a feedback loop is necessary. One, it avoids that confrontational conversation between sales and marketing. Sales, telling the marketing people, “These leads suck and then marketing telling the salespeople, “No, you guys, suck, at closing them, it kind of bridges the gap.
[00:11:53] Matt Widmyer: It’s like, Hey, this wasn’t the best lead because of A, B and C. Now, if it’s a one-off thing, it’s a one off thing. It happens. Right? But if it’s repeated, like hey Kevin, here’s what I’m noticing about every single lead that’s coming through. We need to change something then that’s a tweak that’s homework essentially for you to do on your side.
[00:12:12] Matt Widmyer: But if you’re throwing out a different message than what the sales person’s communicating, when they actually get on the phone with the prospect and that’s a problem too, right? Because our message isn’t aligned with how we’re talking to the customer.
[00:12:27] Matt Widmyer: That could be a sales training piece that we have on that end. Maybe it’s a newer rep or maybe they don’t have the negotiating skill or whatever they need further down the line. Usually don’t find out until post conversation until something is definitively a yes or no, it’s usually when it’s easiest to determine. This is why the data’s so important too.
[00:12:46] Matt Widmyer: So you can look back at the ones, every single strikeout and okay, why did this happen? Why did this happen? And then you’ll start to see patterns forming, and being able to readily adjust, and pivot as necessary there. I would say that, most people, in terms of, how they’re want to be contacted, what time of day, preferred contact method. If you’re somebody fills out a form because they want to hop on the demo, that doesn’t mean they want to hop onto it right then and there when you call them. If you’re calling anybody at work, let’s be respectful of their time.
[00:13:18] Matt Widmyer: And then, set something up for somewhere down the road. Yeah, I would just say, perseverance. I mean, they’re coming to us. It’s not like we’re knocking on their door. In some cases we could be, but if marketing is generating the lead they’ve to some degree, raised their hand a little bit, you know?
[00:13:35] Kevin Dieny: Yes. The, the question about objections and codifying them is one way that the feedback loop or the information or data can pass back to marketing.
[00:13:46] Kevin Dieny: And that does mean that there needs to be a landing place somewhere. It’s probably always mentioned like a CRM or something. Having someone say walk over to the marketing team and be like, I just got five calls and all were about this one thing. It is helpful. But in the grand scheme of things, there’s a lot of marketing going on.
[00:14:02] Kevin Dieny: There could be a lot of things going on. So it’s much better usually to have that in a quantifiable, like a coded way. So for instance, you have the lead, you work the lead. And then when there’s a positive thing that happens, an ideal outcome, some kind of status or update is made in the system and everyone knows.
[00:14:20] Kevin Dieny: It’s transparent when something unsatisfactory happens or when something is delayed. Let’s say an objection is raised and the call ends and no appointment is set. Putting that information in a system or database so that everyone can see, okay, these are the leads I generated in the last month.
[00:14:36] Kevin Dieny: What was the main reason why they objected and that’s one way you can get around that, or at least marketing can find out and be like, okay, this objection is happening quite a lot. And obviously if we wait until the end of the month, maybe too late, but if it’s happening so much that it can look at it earlier than those are the kinds of things where the manager may walk over to the other manager or the other team, and be like, this is happening a lot either today or in the last couple of days.
[00:14:58] Kevin Dieny: And they can, they definitely want to be able to curb that because waiting until the end of the month, it might be too late. So Ronn, is there anything you wanted to add about that or that process or working with any of that information or how the leads are being taken once you’ve thrown them over the fence?
[00:15:13] Ronn Burner: I do think it’s a little bit of echoing what you’ve said. You’ve each said. The first thing that came to mind is when there is obstacles… I write emails and I try to approach them from that angle. And the whole thing is a package deal for sure. But from the email standpoint, one, I said earlier, one email has one very specific goal.
[00:15:33] Ronn Burner: And part of that is pointing out maybe a problem that they did not know they had, because when they see that and then they read it and then they realize, yeah, that is true… I do have that problem, and this solves for that.
[00:15:46] Ronn Burner: So there’s your perceived value, there’s your value. And when you send it over to sales and they get on the call and they have their objections, those obstacles that they face by the sales marketing synergy, when that relationship is really solid and both teams trust each other, and they’re working as a package deal together and as a team.
[00:16:06] Ronn Burner: When sales does indicate some common objections that they face on a specific product or whatever it is important for marketing to know, because that can be.
[00:16:16] Ronn Burner: If not solved, it could be remedied in a way that’s helpful because you can address those things in the content, in the emails, because you’ve seen more human and more real when you’re, when they always say speak about what you can offer and what you can do for them or what the value is not about the features.
[00:16:34] Ronn Burner: So the features of a new phone doesn’t really do now, who cares, right? It’s about what can they do for you? So that’s the same thing with this, where email marketing will indicate the obstacles that they have, and this is how we address them because we’re not hiding from them.
[00:16:47] Ronn Burner: We’re straight up saying these are issues that we are aware of, but we are the solution.
[00:16:54] Kevin Dieny: Yeah. When you said objections, I was like, oh yeah, I wanted to ask Matt about this. So I’m going off what Ronn was saying about how the marketing side is utilizing objections to change its messaging. How are, let’s say call handlers, CSRs, SDRs, sales, anyone who’s turning leads into appointments… How are those teams preparing for handling objections?
[00:17:16] Kevin Dieny: Is this something where, as a manager, you hand them, let’s say a sheet and you’re like, here’s some of the top five objections go practice how you’d handle these. Or does it come from mentoring? Is it come from learn it by dealing with it or when they come to you, how are objections being prepared for so that when they get on the call or when they get into handling, let’s say a lead and they do have the ability to influence them that they’re able to handle and manage those objections?
[00:17:42] Matt Widmyer: Yeah, sure. Objections are not a one size fits all thing. There’s an array of them. And it really depends on what the product or service you’re offering is. Some of the ones that the common ones that we get are I’m too busy or you just got I’m in a meeting or whatever, half the time, those are blow offs anyway, but, there’s very specific ways we handle those in house.
[00:18:07] Matt Widmyer: The training for those comes in the initial, when somebody is brand new, we’ll go over a lot of those things. We have weekly meetings too, and that’s one of the discussion points and they’re like, Hey, what are we running into? Here’s the thing is I also measure that too, from a CRM perspective.
[00:18:21] Matt Widmyer: So I see the objections that are coming through and then we’re able to address like, Hey, it looks like you’re running into this a lot with this, especially you want to keep an eye on them a lot closer, especially if it’s a newer initiative or a new thing that’s happening.
[00:18:36] Matt Widmyer: But, if it’s a targeted, maybe marketing campaign or something like that we want to put the microscope under those and the anecdotal stuff is always good too like, Hey, this is why this is happening. And the little explanation beyond what’s in the CRM, you don’t want to rely complete 100% of what’s on the CRM because it takes the human element out of it.
[00:18:56] Matt Widmyer: There are specific, objections that we, I mean, you could keep it to probably two hands, all the main ones that we hear. We have a one sheet with kind of addresses, like the best ways to handle all those.
[00:19:09] Kevin Dieny: Right on! The next questions I have for everybody is on personalization. Now marketing understands this as we tailor, the message, the content, the delivery, the timing, the product, everything. Everything’s gotta be an alignment.
[00:19:28] Kevin Dieny: It’s not… quite so laser focus, because that means the amount of content that marketing needs is we always do say it’s like a tidal wave. It’s overwhelming when you get down to one-to-one level of marketing is an extreme level of personalization. But just in general, personalization in marketing is similar to how personalization would be in working sales or in working appointments setting.
[00:19:49] Kevin Dieny: So, Ronn, do you want to touch on the marketing side of personalization and what that looks like briefly?
[00:19:55] Ronn Burner: Yeah. What it really looks like is you want to remove the computer element from things and try to seem like a human to human conversation. I think that the goal always as a consumer, as well as a marketer, I want the human element and the human touch to be there, to let them know. Again, sales is a dirty word.
[00:20:13] Ronn Burner: When we as consumers… feel like we’re being pitched something or sold something. But when a relationship is formed, all of a sudden, now we changed the game and it’s a rapport and there’s a trust. And when there’s some level of honesty and some level of belief, now you have me listening.
[00:20:28] Ronn Burner: And that is really half the battle right there. So I believe personalization is essential frankly. Of course, in the email marketing world it certainly is. Just because I want, and even my style of writing, when I write things, I like it to be a level of conversation, a level of humor, it just has a human feel and a human touch to it.
[00:20:49] Ronn Burner: The one-to-one relationship that’s the holy grail in marketing is we want to speak to every single person exactly as who they are very individually. That is also a bridge too far for most organizations. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do the basic things, even like in subject lines, you can, you can have their first name.
[00:21:07] Ronn Burner: That’s why database integrity is, is huge because the more clean your database is, which also applies to the calls certainly but, it applies to the personalization on landing pages, the personalization on emails. You can even personalize nowadays with the automation, capabilities you can personalize in the copy, very specific to previous conversations that has taken place if we so choose.
[00:21:32] Ronn Burner: So there’s a lot of elements and a lot of, levels of personalization. Really, close the gap of I’m being sold, something I’m being pitched something versus they get me, they know what I want, they know what I’m interested in. And they’re speaking to me only about that one thing. And that’s that kind of focus and that kind of rapport, is really, really important too for the bottom line at the end of the day.
[00:21:59] Kevin Dieny: I love that. Explain it like I’m five, try to pretend like you’re not a robot sending the emails. That was a great way to know that that’s honestly like how you would explain it to people who don’t quite understand, maybe the machinations going on behind it. Because it is all probably automated things happening at the scale you need to personalize.
[00:22:17] Kevin Dieny: It kind of is coming from like an automated system or robot or whatever.
[00:22:21] Ronn Burner: Well, this, this is an indication that we’ve worked together previously because I have said talk to me like I’m in third grade many, many, many times, but I did not today where you just thought I did.
[00:22:32] Kevin Dieny: It was brilliant. Okay, Matt, this side of sales now to on personalizing the conversation, the act of turning the lead and getting that appointment out of it, building rapport, that relationship building, what does that look like? And how does that function effectively? On the sales side.
[00:22:52] Matt Widmyer: Yeah, so it’s the same, it’s a lot is the same. We have things that we need to know to be able to specifically speak to a certain type of person. If you have an office manager versus an owner, those are gonna be two different conversations. You have to look at three different elements, three primary elements. Is the demographic of the person, right?
[00:23:13] Matt Widmyer: What’s your role? What’s your rank in the company? What’s their title? What’s their management level. The firmographic information, like what type of company is it? What industry, how big the company is, in terms of like how many employees. And, anything else we could learn about the company and then the third would be the marketing interaction or any other sales interaction we’ve had in the past with that company or that person, specifically, cause we can use that and then arm us for a higher quality conversation.
[00:23:44] Matt Widmyer: So I think that… you roll those three things into one and you have a pretty one to one intelligent conversation. We can make 500 calls a day, but I guarantee you, we aren’t doing it going into that level of phone calls. Right? We can go and learn about their favorite color and what they like to do on weekends and all that stuff.
[00:24:06] Matt Widmyer: I don’t think a lot of that stuff is then you’re on the other side of spectrum. You’re only making 10 calls a day, but you’re having awesome conversations if you get a hold of the person, but, there’s a fine medium between quality and quantity. I feel like, knowing just enough to have a very personal conversation, versus generic is part of the recipe of call quotas and stuff like that and conversations on a daily basis. We take a lot of that stuff into account too.
[00:24:35] Kevin Dieny: Okay, I’m gonna throw it right back to you, Matt, you basically described a lot about the outbound preparation that may go into personalizing calls. What about the inbound side? Let’s say you’re a smaller business that doesn’t really do an outbound and you take a lot of more inbound. So you’re more like a reception.
[00:24:50] Kevin Dieny: You’re more like a call handler… that’s just picking up the phone when it rings. What kind of preparation can you do to prepare for the inbound side?
[00:24:58] Matt Widmyer: So we use, we have a couple of data enhancement tools, in house. So those are always helpful. They give us basically fill in the blank on everything.
[00:25:05] Matt Widmyer: For smaller companies probably wouldn’t be able to afford something like that, or they might not have to have it in their budget at that point. So I think, the internet’s your best friend in this. I would usually start if it’s somebody brand new, the two primary places I go is their company website.
[00:25:21] Matt Widmyer: If they hopefully they’ll have one, if they don’t, it’s already a little bit trickier. Whether or not they have a website, also their LinkedIn is also, found to be a pretty helpful, thing to learn a little bit more about them and their employment history and all that stuff.
[00:25:36] Matt Widmyer: And their role that they’re currently in. If a company website has an about us tab or something like that, and they have pictures of everybody, I always like to see who it is I’m talking to or what their, some of their interests are. Sometimes we’ll share interests and it makes it so much of an easier conversation, not the cheesy way.
[00:25:56] Matt Widmyer: Like, Hey, I see you’re an Eagles fan. And even though I’m not an Eagles fan, I’m going to say I am so, um, because I’m trying to sell you something, it’s just a, if you’re not stay away from it, but, yeah, there could be something there or, or not. So I think just the initial research phase to two main places I go to, the company website, as well as LinkedIn.
[00:26:22] Kevin Dieny: I think it, it makes it really difficult for our businesses who are maybe a little less B2B and more B to C because they’re… they may not want to step over the boundary of that personal privacy line, but there is sort of, let’s say personas or groupings of people that may be associated with your business more often than not.
[00:26:42] Kevin Dieny: For what you just laid out, it was, we’re trying to get those basic, persona level things that you’re trying to identify. What kind of businesses, this, where are they in the business? Answering those fundamentals guides, the conversation in very different pivotal ways.
[00:26:59] Kevin Dieny: And because you need those bits of information, you either ask it or you try to infer it or you try to go to their website, you try to get it any way you possibly can. So knowing, okay, what is the basic qualifying questions I got to know on this call to move forward? Is it okay or is this the person bringing them in?
[00:27:17] Kevin Dieny: Is this the person showing up for the appointment? Is this the person getting the healthcare service offer or product that we’re selling, knowing how it’s going to be used? There’s a lot of maybe qualifying questions that come up. Sometimes they’re handled in persona creation. So, Ronn, I figured you could give us another, like I’m five example of what a personas are so you can explain that?
[00:27:42] Ronn Burner: I can, I just drifted away because when you mentioned initial inbound calls and then Matt was going to their LinkedIn, I was like, oh, this is very specific to lead generation. Like you are absolutely trying to acquire field data because when I’m calling under armor or Nike, or when. For information on a product, I’m like… I’m not giving, they don’t know anything about me, I’m not telling them anything.
[00:28:06] Ronn Burner: So it’s a use case, very specific to lead generation organizations. The persona element…
[00:28:13] Ronn Burner: Yeah. So personas can absolutely, it’s an almost, uh, a use case business to business situation or not B2B, but organization to organization, depending on what, cause you could segment and use personas very specific to things like, department that they work in, job title, from the sales perspective, you could do it thinking of it in terms of highly engaged, very warm, ice cold, things of that nature, or some sort of a scoring in automation world scoring is a common thing based on the sort of engagement that you can receive through email correspondence, social media website, tracking form submissions, events attended.
[00:28:54] Ronn Burner: So the persona is leading to how you approach people well, and to speak to them on the way that we were talking about earlier on the personalized levels. So the persona is what enables you to know how to speak to them in a way that’s closer to who they really are rather than a very generic situation.
[00:29:11] Ronn Burner: That doesn’t make sense. Having a database and having the ability to put people in there and having the fields that are able to organize them into the different buckets, I call them segments that you want. It’s important for sure.
[00:29:25] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, Matt, back to you on this. What kind of qualifying stuff do you put in place to… get someone to actually show up to an appointment. I think setting an appointment is one set of skills. It’s phone conversation management, asking the right questions, it’s being prepared, personalizing it.
[00:29:42] Kevin Dieny: But how do you get someone to show up to an appointment?
[00:29:46] Matt Widmyer: Yeah. So, I mean, you have to answer the question. They’re not asking, which is why is it worth my time to be on the phone with you? There’s two layers, right? That you alluded to earlier, there’s the basic qualifying information and stuff that needs to go in the CRM.
[00:29:59] Matt Widmyer: We actually here we’ll gate the SDRs from creating opportunities unless they have the requirements, pretty basic requirements, but things that we should know about people moving forward and we have that broken down based on what vertical they fall in to.
[00:30:17] Matt Widmyer: Those are the basic qualifications. Then the other follow up questions, are mostly around current situation and that’s mostly based on some, whatever product or service they’re inquiring about or we’re pitching to them on the other side of things.
[00:30:30] Matt Widmyer: We need to know that it makes sense for the person, to at least learn more. They have to know what they’re getting themselves into. So there’s an agenda on the meeting invite. It could not be more crystal clear, obviously they don’t, they aren’t forced to do anything. But it’s, they have to carve out the dedicated time.
[00:30:51] Matt Widmyer: We let them know that you’re going to be in front of a computer. We’re probably going to be sharing our screen with you. So, being on a roof or in a crawlspace, probably isn’t the best place to take one of these from. Really understanding their situation. So if we’re talking to them about their online reviews, we’re going to want to see, what their process is in terms of acquiring some of those and what their current ranking is, how many stars they have, how many reviews they got in the last 30 days.
[00:31:17] Matt Widmyer: A lot of that stuff can be done before we even pick up the phone and call them and get on the phone with a demo. But the things that we’re basically trying to… solve everything we can not initially research before we get on the phone with them. And then we’re just asking the questions to fill in the gap.
[00:31:35] Matt Widmyer: And if somebody gives you a really bland one word answer or something like that, never a bad idea just to ask a followup question. Well, what do you mean by that? Or, can you tell me a little bit more about that, always good questions to ask? Because it makes it sound A like your interest in what they have to talk about.
[00:31:50] Matt Widmyer: And B people love talking about themselves and their own businesses. The more they can talk compared to how much you’re talking as I’m talking a lot right now, it makes a better sales conversation.
[00:32:01] Kevin Dieny: Yeah. I feel like we’ve only cut the tip of the iceberg off on this conversation.
[00:32:07] Kevin Dieny: There’s a lot that goes into developing leads into appointments, but I think we have touched on some of the more poignant things that will help you turn more leads into appointments, which is getting your marketing the information it needs to create better leads that go into the system.
[00:32:23] Kevin Dieny: And it does require a feedback loop. They’re not just going to magically know what is going on. If there’s no feedback loop telling marketing, here’s the objections. Here’s where the most leads are ending up there. They’re asking for this, something that we don’t sell that are asking to track their girlfriends or boyfriends or whatever, we don’t do that.
[00:32:41] Kevin Dieny: It’s a misalignment that marketing needs to know that. And then the next leg of that is okay, well, someone’s following up. Someone’s going to go after this there’s research that has to be done. There’s a personalization that you want to have in that phone call, which has a huge requirement on research, on preparing when you get to the conversational component of it, it’s knowing how to handle objections, which is probably going to be on almost every call.
[00:33:06] Kevin Dieny: Unless you get someone who’s just like, I’m ready to buy. Stop talking so I can buy, there’s a pretty rare probably to run into that, but some people just know what they want. We do have it. We call it a one call close and things like that can happen. And then the last leg of this is like, okay, you get an appointment, but what if you’re setting appointments and no one shows up, that’s a problem.
[00:33:27] Kevin Dieny: So you mentioned a lot of really, really good things. Keeping the conversation not one sided, making sure that it’s crystal clear and expectations are set, what’s required that the person on the other end knows exactly what to expect, what you’re going to follow up. Who’s you know, as the ball in their court, is it in yours?
[00:33:46] Kevin Dieny: What they should be bringing. If you’re a dentist, it’s like, okay you got to bring insurance show up at this point, at this time for your appointment. And if you show up a little early, then you can fill out some forms. Bunch of stuff sometimes that goes into this. At the end of the day, making it so that they’re really prepared, helps get more appointments to show up.
[00:34:03] Kevin Dieny: So therefore you’re getting better leads. Those leads are then turning into more appointments and more of those appointments are showing up. That’s the summary that I’ve gotten from all of this. Was there anything you wanted to add Ronn?
[00:34:16] Ronn Burner: You summed that up very well, the way I look at it is they’re calling or you’re calling them or they’re reaching out to you because they have a problem or a question or a desire. They just want something. And our job, whether it’s on the phones, or emails, on the website, no matter what it is, our answer to that is we’re the solution.
[00:34:35] Ronn Burner: We have the answer to your question. We have what you want, basically, we’re the solution to whatever it is you need and, talk to us and we’ll help you get there.
[00:34:46] Kevin Dieny: Alright Matt, was there anything else that you wanted to add to this? I know there’s a lot here, but is there anything else that you’re like, I got to mention this before the end?
[00:34:54] Matt Widmyer: Yeah. There’s definitely a lot. This could probably be its own separate podcast. We can just go down that rabbit hole, but I think at the end of the day, you did sum it up nicely.
[00:35:04] Matt Widmyer: I think that, especially to get people, to show up for these appointments that the value needs to be built and, the value is built by it becoming relevant to them. And it’s only become relevant to them if you ask questions and probe what their current situation is and why it would be beneficial for them to exchange 15 to 20 minutes of their time for something that could end up helping them a lot from an ROI perspective.
[00:35:30] Matt Widmyer: One of the things that we did, glaze over and I don’t think we put enough or enough importance into it was, urgency. So someone’s raising their hand because they need help with something, response time is critical. It’s probably the most important thing if somebody is inquiring, because there’s so much data, on the internet and they’ve done a lot of research on response rate versus, if the appointment ends up happening and beyond. The longer you wait, the less likely they are to do business with you, period.
[00:36:06] Matt Widmyer: They’re going to find someone else somewhat similar that can take care of most of the stuff, even if it’s, not all the same stuff, just because, we’ve made them feel like they weren’t important because we’re taking our time, getting back to him. It’s not, it was critical.
[00:36:18] Matt Widmyer: Now somebody fills out a form at 2:00 AM. They probably aren’t expecting a call five minutes later or something like that. But if it’s like during regular business hours, those things will always take priority over anything, outbound that we’re working, just because there is such a sense of urgency there.
[00:36:35] Matt Widmyer: So I did want to emphasize that was the one piece I felt like that fell a little bit short on during the initial questions.
[00:36:42] Kevin Dieny: Yeah. Good catch. That is really huge. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called someplace. Calling by the way is a very intimate, very direct, very immediate real-time communication method. You expect when you’re calling, you want to get something resolved quickly and you’re sending an email it’s much more, patient of a response your expecting.
[00:37:03] Kevin Dieny: When you’re calling a business, they don’t pick up. The thing you’re going to do is call the next one. Not picking up a call is dire. The time to response or time to, conversation or time to following up is pretty huge. If that’s being caused by the research step, then maybe there’s an issue, but making sure you do have a more personalized conversation is also key.
[00:37:23] Kevin Dieny: So balancing all of this, like you said, maybe a whole entire podcast dedicated to turning leads into appointments. So that’s it for this episode. Big takeaways are that you got to focus on controlling as much as you can control.
[00:37:39] Kevin Dieny: There’s a lot, you cannot control. You have teams of people on the phone. All of them are going to be different. You have leads with a wide spectrum of quality coming in at all different times, even 2:00 AM, like you said, and it could be the case. Doing the steps you can, that are important, like preparing and getting the process down and stuff like that will help turn more leads into appointments.
[00:37:59] Kevin Dieny: So appreciate your time, everybody. Gentlemen, thank you for this really great insight into this topic and really appreciate it. Thank you.
[00:38:09] Matt Widmyer: Absolutely. Thanks for having us again.
[00:38:11] Ronn Burner: Cheers!