The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 6 months ago

How to Personalize at Scale Without Losing Velocity w/ Sarah Hicks


You get a sales email — it’s clearly a template targeting anyone 18-75 with a pulse with your name pasted the top. Like any sane person, you delete it and forget about it.

So, why are you still sending the same impersonal emails to your prospects?

In this episode, Sarah Hicks, SDR Manager at Predictable Revenue and host of the Predictable Revenue Podcast, explains the strategies you can implement to achieve personalization at scale without sacrificing velocity.

We discuss:

  • How templates can, counterintuitively, help you personalize
  • How to tailor your outreach for different channels
  • What you’re doing wrong on LinkedIn

Now that you know the secrets to personalizing at scale, are you ready to dive into how AI is revolutionizing content marketing or how to get the most out of your CRM? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.”

You're listening to the BTB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast, dedicated elpan executives, train theirsales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're looking fortechniques and strategies were tools and resources. You've come to the rightplace. Let's accelerate your growth in three two one: welcome everyone to thebtob Revenue Executive Experience: I'm your host Chad Santerson today we'retalking about personalization and scale strategies and ways to ensure you're,not losing velocity or sacrificing the impact of personalization in yourcommunications, whether ti be prospecting or anything that requires acadence based approach to help us. We have, with a Sera, Hicks Sr manageerand predictable revenue and host of the Praticabale revenue. PODCAST Sara.Thank you so much for taking time and welcome to the show. Thank you, Chad,all right, so we always like to ask one question of beginning so or utdencegets a sense for Youras, a human being other than this professional persona,we're all putting on so always love to know something you're passionate aboutthat. Those that might only know you through work might be surprised tolearn about yeah. A big passion for me is music, so I've been my degree was intheater, so I've always been really into into performance. Since I was akid, but when I was in university here in Vancouver, I met a couple of localmusicians and started working with them. You know writing songs and performingthat kind of thing. It's something that I've kept up and have luckily been ableto keep up throughout Arantine. As I you know, wo can do a lot ofelectronically ind at home. So yeah, a big passion for me, is writing musicsinging playing the piano and yeah, releasing those songs under a pseudonym.So maybe why they people wouldn't know that about me and is there? Is there areason for the Sudonm? No, it's! Actually it's just a stage name. Soit's something that I had aduopted as an actor as well, but then just kind ofhung onto it. I think it was just a fun idea that I could choose my name frommyself. Rather than going with M my given name so jus MN excellent. Well,thank you for suring that I'm very very interested to know more about that, but,unfortunately it's not a music podcast, but that sounds like it might be justas exciting as talking about prospecting. So I know you know you runING t e, the SDR team there at predicifale revenue and everybody thatI've ever talked to you always wants more qualified leads at the top of thefunnel, and so when it comes to that when it comes to finding the Dato thelist that we create gasoline of the engine, how are you guiding your teamsto build those lists for maximum effectiveness? Yeah great question.This is something that at predictabale revenue, we've sort of experimented andexperimented with and iterated upon as as time has gone on once upon a time wewere relying solely on the big data providers. We had a kind of a list ofthe big big guys like zoom anfo, discover or those types of dataproviders, all the way down to some...

...more butique ones, and we woent justpick and choose who we were sourcing, that data from based on maybe theindustry that we were prospecting into for Miens or the types of titles thatwe were looking for, but something that has come up for us in the past coupleof years with the rise of Linkdon is using sales noavigator for buildingthose lists. So we tried going the complete oppositeand going just through sales navigator, but we find some of their some of thefiltering to be a little bit kind of Finnicky and you maybe pick a certaintype of title. Certain level of leadership, and you end up with like anintern, or you know, Ata coach or something like that. Sowasn't working perfectly, but it does have a lot more up to date, data and alot of other areas, because people are updating their data themselves withtheir profile. So something we found that's worked reallywell is actually a hybrid approach between Zoomanfo and sales havigator.So what that looks like is building out the list of perfect fit companies inZomenfo, taking the list of those companies putting it in Exale orgsheets and making a bullion list separated by the word or and thenpopping that into the company fields in your sales navigator wead build search,so you can do all of the kind of yeah you can do all of the title narrowingand the keyword searching within sales navigator, but you're, taking that truefit list of companies from zoo info and then you're kind of getting the best ofboth worlds so and something we also find I in sales navigator that it'sgreat to take advantage of. Is that keyword, because you can say excludecertain Kyn words. So, as I mentioned, you go for C sweet executives. You endup with a coach, you can say, exclude coach if you see that kind of thingpopping up, so definitely the hybrid approach and really really Madein useof the the open text boxes that are all over that sales. Navigator Search andwhen, when you're doing that, are you allowing the individual SDRs to do that,or is that something that you have somebody dedicated to doing to rovidingthem for lists yas? So we when were prospecting on behalf of our clients.We have we calld a pod of people that workd for them, so that pod includes anaccount strategist, whose job is to kind of nail down that ICPAND come upwith the overarking strategy and the targeting the key targeting criteria.And then our sales research to me would be the ones actually going out andbuilding that list, sometimes they count strategist would be building themas well so yeah. Luckily we do have people that e are dedicated to doingthat for us, because yeah, absolutely it's a time consuming thing for SR todo. But when I was prospecting on the half of preditional revenue, I did doquite a bit of listbuilding for myself and you know once you know whichkeyword open fields to fill in and kind of, know what you're looking for. Asfar as the idiosyncrasies of sales navigator, it gets quicker and quickerevery time its e ganything else, the...

...more you do, the better you get all right. So we get this list. We'egot this list. It's ideally you know as targeted as we're going to be able toget it. I mean, there's always some fluff that has tendency to creep in,but then you have to personalize, then, if you're doing personalization at theindividual level, I've seen SR teams get lost, they just they start to godown. This rabbit hole of research on an individual and the Roi time. Usagecan sometimes be not as optabl as wed. I really like it. So when you wereworking with your team and setting out a personalization strategy or process,how are you doing it and what's it look like yeah? Absolutely it definitely canbe a really really tough thing, especially if he, the company or theprospect that you're targeting doesn't have a very kind of active, Lintonprofile or very big digital footprint, which is certainly the case for a lotof traditional industries, something that you can do actually right whenyou're building that list and sales navigator is filter. Your leads list orprospects list by those who have been active in the past thirty days onLington. That doesn't mean that everything they post on Linkedon isgoing to be superrelevant and easy for you to use. But it's certainly betterthan ending up. You know visiting a profile where nobody's posted anythingin the past five years. They used, I dofine a job five years ago and thenthey've never touched linkedon, since so that's a great way to filter bythose who are active already on Linkedon, which means you're morelikeoly to end up finding something useful in their profile to use forpersonalization, but definitely knowing what you're looking for in terms ofpersonalization can cut down on that time. A Lot. So somebody that I learnedthis from is back Holland of chorus, so she has a kind of method for findingthe best personalization tactics and it's by putting things into buckets.The top two buckets are going to be your top two priorities. The firstbucket is selfauthered content and the second bucket is engaged content, soselp author content would be something like an article that somebody's writtenor atols they wroth or Webinar that they shared on a certain subject andthen engaged content would be like a comment on somebody else's post.Something like that so that stuff looking for that. That's like gold andBei able to focus your search through somebody's linked in to really relevantstuff that either they've ofthered or that they've engaged with is is great.Sometimes it doesn't exist and then you just need to know when to draw the lineat like five minutes and just go for a personalized to the persona in Geeneral,because that's the best you can do yeah. So if that stuff's not there, thenwe're back to you know personalizing on the role, maybe the industry thatthey're in having some type of relevant information or content. That's going tobe hopefully, hopefully trip that individual curiosity, circun get themengaged, and so I've got my list and I'I've pairedit down. I've got the onesof that. I have that engaged content or publish content with, and then I gotthis other bucket, so the bucket of ones that are more of the role andindustry type things. You said something very important that I want tohit on and that's that five minute rule...

I see people get lost, they get lostwatching cavideos or dog videos or whatever they're into instead ofstaying completely focused on the task at hand. So I'm curious- and I know I'mgoing off script here a little bit, but I'm curious how you help the teammanage that time and stay in the in that focused mindset to drive thehighest levels of efficiency in effectiveness. Yeah. A great way to doit is to actually create a manual task within your sales ablement tool. We useout reach so a'll use that as my example, but to create a task withinyour sequence that is meant for research, so this could be at the verybeginning when that prospect first Entas, the sequence, you can do thatfive minutes of research, job down, notes, whether they're on the accountlevel or on the prospect level in your outreach instance, and then they staywith that prospect as they move through the sequence. So when you're writingthem an email and you can pull from that when you're calling them you canpull from that. So a great way to manage that time is to just have it beattacked because then they'll have you know if they're doing around a hundredtasks, Aday, usually we're looking at about a twenty five percent split eachover research, email, phone and Lingkdon. So if you've got, you knowtwenty five out of a hundred tasks ubjet to do that are research tasks.You know you can only spend five minutes on them each. Otherwise, youwon't have the time to go through the rest of your tasks that are do that day.So I find giving it a bit of that structure is really really helpful.Looking at it as just a task and you've got to get through that task. I yeahhonestly. I think that would be the best way to really make sure thatyou're spending your time efficiently with real research other than thatanother little quick way that might help you do it quicker as looking at itas three by three research. I'm not sure who made this up. It's not someoneat predexpor revenue, but I can't think off the top of my head who it was, butlook for three pieces to use for personalization, the first one beingthe most relevant and personalized to that individual. So to you, Chad,specifically, it's still going to be relevant to what I'm going to help youwith it can't be like you love this football team or you went to thisuniversity, but it's personalized to you personally, the second one downcound, be personized to the role and the the third one down can bepersonalized to Yoour company as a whole, and just looking for three greatthings like that and not looking any further. That can really help narrowdown that time as well, and that becomes part of the kind of thefoundation for the scaleability of it right. Because then, then, if I'mmanaging the time- and I know exactly- I have the framework for what I need tofind. If I can stay focused on that which can be a CHANC. But if I can stayfocused on that, then I have the ability o to really keep the enginerunning. So I'm not at any given time sitting idle. So to speak in myprospecting. Efforts is that fair assessment, yeah, absolutely andanother key piece in this scalabbility conversation around personalization, is,in my opinion, templates so to build out that template. That's eightypercent or seventy percent scripted...

...specific and very relevant to thatpersona in that industry and kind of as titly as you can segment yeah as smallas you can make that group, so that that scripted stuff is really really aspersonalized as it can be as relevant as it can be, and then just leavingthat space for that one or two lines of personalization is the best way to goabout it rather than having to craft completely personalized manual email.Every single time you send an email right which has diminishing returns, overtime.Okay, so when it comes to abot prospecting, there's there's manychannels that people need that granted. There used to be networking events, but we haven't had a lot of those lately,but you know you've got email, you got phone, you got social, let's pretendwe're past all of this and we get back to a point where maybe there's sometype of events, or maybe even in virtual events, forums. Unlinked inthings of that nature- and I heard you talk about twenty five percent kind oftwenty five percent split between phoney mail, social and research- areyou helping the teams or do you find it necessary for the teams to change thetype or tone of personalization based on the medium or the platform throughwhich they're going so different on, say linked in than different in anemail then different than maybe I would aveproache somebody in a phone callyeah. Absolutely I think linkon especially, is the most has the most tark difference from theother two channels, because it really is a social potform. It's a social popform for business, but it's a social platform so wore f. The kind ofconversational or networking rules apply there, you're not going to go inwith the you know, short aned sweet go for the meeting ind, the first email.You got to open up a conversation. People are not interested in receivingconnectional quest that asks them for their time and that's why social selinghas become so popular over the last couple of years, so really becoming akind of thought leader and trusted advisor or partner to your to yourprospects or to your target market by sharing valuable content for free thatdoesn't ask for them to. You, know: Click through anything or ask them topay for anything to receive value and yeah positioning yourself as thispartner before making an ask of their prospects. That's one way that Lincolnis is really different from you know, email you can't you're not going tosend over an email to someone or Sje like hey, Chab, hey how's, it going rdoing allil be like who are you care, Youilig me so yeah? Definitely different rulesapply to Lington it's much more conversational, much more casual andyou've got a give before you ask that's some thing. Cynthia Barns always saysand the she is with Nawsp and she grew her whole business from zero to fifteenthousand subscribers solely Overlington, so absolutely the queen of Linkeon andsomebody. You should look into for the social selling tips and tricks and thenemail much more. You can be much more direct, but it's still got to be reallyshort and sweet people. People don't...

...have time to read a big email or ifthey open the email and see if long, they're not going to bother you've gotto get out got pain in like the first SENTTHATC, because that's whas going tohook them in and then position yourself as a solution to the pain withoutdiving into the features and what you're, how exactly you're going to dothat because they don't need a list of you know your product features and thenyou can go for that askand. It may be a hard ask like you know. Let me unpackthis. Has Your Day looking this day or it could be something softer like.Would it be a terrible idea to chout about this further, but definitelyshort, aned sweet to the point really pain focused is what works best forusson email and then the phone honestly. The phone is the most difficult.There's like the most you've got to be absolutely on your toes. You never knowwhat that person on the other end of the line is going to say so, we'rewiththe phone we just think about it as stepping stones and your first steppingstone is getting them to answer the first question and not just hang up onyou and when you've got that question answered you're just going for that.For that second question answer: There's no! You can't come into thephone with the end goal of booking that meeting cau. You have no idea, what'sgoing to happen in between them answering the phone and you being ableto do that. So just being super curious, asking really relevant questionsdigging for that pain is all you can do and once you finally have them sayinglike okay yeah, that is a pain. Then you can go for the ask. So theredefinitely are different, totally different tactics and and differenttone that you have to use on each of these channels and that's an awarenessof communication style that becomes critical, but I want to. I want to goback o something. You said on the linked IDN, the content piece of it. Doyou work with your sairs, like there's a concept of that personal brandingright that establishing oneself as a recognized where actions a Rega is liketrustit trusted provider of content, information and in most cases notsaying all, but in many cases strs are earlier stages in their career andmaybe don't have a voice developed or don't have just don't don't knowexactly how to go about. that. Is that something that you prioritize with yoursour team yeah? It's something that actually I'm hoping to work on evenmore. I mentioned Cyndia Barnes when I was chatting about these social sellingtips and tricks, and one of the things she taught me is about linkeon profile,optimization. So having your lincon profile read not like a resume but likemore of a KA study for Your Business and appeal to your target market sothat if they were, for instance, like Google searching somebody who does whatyou do say, they're in the market for me to be sales training, and you want,when they google search, that for your linkedon profile to pop ap as one ofthe the search engine results and because Lindon used to be this platformfor recruiters and job sagirs, we all often fall into that tracp of justleaving it. As like your resume absolutely. I was guilty oftbaut,literally until Cynbia, and I did this weabin Ar and I was like Oh Jeez, I'msuch a bad example like I have my I had made this I'd made. This linktonaccount in high school and had like a cafe job on there from Whan. I wassixteen, so definitely not business...

...development optimized, but that's oneof the ways that I think the SDR's brand can be tied into the company'sgoals and the company's brand and how they impact a specific persona andsolve a certain pain. WITHAUT WITHOT SR necessarily having to like createoriginal content, because absolutely first ETIME SRS aren't necessarilygoing to know how to create that really compelling content. That's going tomove their prospects through the funnel, but I think it's a really great placeto start and then just engaging with their prospect on Linton is great. Youknow commenting on on posts, commenting something relevant, something useful,something that they've learned that might impact their customer, and thenyou definitely can just repurpose the content that your marketing team iscreating. I think it's a a great way to learn the kind of words that yourprospect are using O or how your company goes about positioning, whatthey do and maybe, after repurposing a bunch of that content. For you know acouple of months, you'll get the sense of how maybe you could write somethingon your own, so yeah great place to start is optimiizing that that linkedonprofile to be a business development profile and then, secondly, taking alook at all of the content that your company creates tour marketing teamcreates and then engaging with r your prospects content. I love it. Alov itright so, let's change direction here, a little bit. We ask all ofver gueststwo standard questions, thenofach interview, first, as simply as arevenue exact that makes sure a target sorry prospect for a lot of people outthere that are trying to get in fun of you to you, know, selly things and soalways curious. If somebody doesn't have that trusted referral, but itsomebody. You know that you trust as say: Yo should talk to this person yeahand that doesn't exist, and it's also Gan apply for Yoursris, like what worksfor you when somebody has to capture your attention and build ha credibilityto earn sometime on your calendar yeah, I think personalization, I'malways going to love personalization, because I'm a real advicate for it inmy own prospecting. So if I can see that it's just automated, it's notgoing to work for me, but so yeah personalization, and reallythat that relevant, something so something about something they findfounily post about on linkedon would be perfect. That's going to be the thingthat kind of makes me read past the first couple of lines and then fromther the curiosity and the idea that they're looking to see. If I have this pain andnot assuming that I do, but if I'm y know willing to answer orwhatever, however, they frame it up, we coan see if there's a fit and thenmaybe continue the conversation from there so showing that they've reallydone the work to see where I work. How I work what types of issues I might befacing and then saying you know we could be a solution to that, but maybenot so is it worth having a quick conversationto find out. I really like that type of approach, because there's nothing worksfor me and it happened. Even when I was an SDR, when somebody would prospect meand try to sell me like a sales tool or some kind and I be like dude, youobviously have no idea who I am or what I do, because you know that an SDR hasexactly zero influence on gudget and...

...for sure can't buy anything for theteam yeah. So those are those are sometactecs that work for me, perfect allright. So last question called ouracceleration insight. So somebody calls you and they say: Hey just want onepiece of advice or this instead of just layit on me. What's the one thing youwould tell me if I was, if you believe it was going to help me bus through mytargets and get past my goals. What would that piece of advice? Bm Y, that piece of Advitene for me is make it your own something hat. I struggled with when Ivery first started as an str was taking all this guidance that I was beinggiven by my managers by my peers from thought leaders on Lington and thenjust trying to apply it myself and not seeing the same results. So when Irealized that I could, if I could take in everything fromeverywhere and kind of internalize it a little bit and then come up with asolution of my own, our strotegy of my own, that pulled from each of thesedifferent strategies that I've learned it was. It worked so much better andthat's what happened with that back Hollan strategy. I learned from herabout how she does her personalization and then I looked at doing it kind of na in a slightly different way, and it works absolute wonders for me, and so it was when I kind of knew the rulesand then could break them a little bit so Gen. I could really yeah just justmake it my own that made absolutely world of difference. Bloven all rightSAR, if a listeners interested in talking to you more learning more aboutthis. Where do you want? U To send them the website linked in hat, what worksbest for you, yeah Lincon is a great way to chat with me about any of thisstuff. It is, of course, these are the types of things that we help companieswith. So if, when you heard me say pods that sounds interesting and you don'twant to build your own internal SDR team and would rather have us fuill thePod, for you, then yeah for sure have a look at the website and fill in theform there or reachout to me, and I can connect you with someone Awso. I can'tthank you know for taking time M ser. It's been great having you on the showtoday, yeah. Thank you tad, so much fun, all right, everybody that does ut thisepisode. You know the drill, be tob. Revezaccom share the eppsome withfriends, family coworkers, I'm going to say one more time. Let the kids listento it, so they're not staring at screens and until next time we have asoing associates which will nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BTBrevenue executive experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you somuch for listening until next time.

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