How can sales grow post Covid?
Tune in and listen to two experts explaining four ways to grow sales post Covid.
Billy and Thomas have over 35 years of combined experience and are experts within the industry.
Growing sales is vital for every company and post Covid more than ever.
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Thomas Erb: Hi, everybody. That's the fun of doing these things virtually, right? Is we never know what's going to happen. Everything goes right until we until we get alive. So, thanks for joining us. I'm going to let Billy trying and Billy give me the thumbs up when you do finally hear me, but. I'll let Billy keep trying.
And I would just keep moving along. So thanks for joining us. I'm excited to talk about our session today. It's, it's absolutely a critical piece and hopefully you're joining because you think so, too. as we know, we've had a lot of changes when it comes to to COVID I it's, it's kind of redundant to even say that.
And so, But a lot of what has changed has impacted our sales on a short-term basis, but also for a long-term basis. And so we need to talk through about how do we adapt, how do we how do we persevere and how do we even benefit from what's going on out in the world today and what we have to see over the next several months.
So, I'm going to give a little bit of an introduction. Billy, as we've mentioned is having some technical challenges, but I'm sure he'll get it right. my name is Thomas . I am president of Tallann Resources. We are a consulting training and recruiting company for the staffing industry. I've been in the staffing industry for over 25 years.
We have worked with over a thousand different staffing companies at this point and work with staffing companies primarily in North America, but I've also worked in other parts of the country as well. and, uh, who is with me and hopefully will stay with me is, uh, VP of sales and marketing for Pro Resources, which is a staffing company based out of Indiana.
And based out of Fort Wayne, Indiana and has offices throughout that area. So, Billy, you hear us now?
Can you hear me?
We'll go ahead and give it, give us an intro. If you hear us, if you can hear me now. Okay.
Okay. Can you hear us, Billy? All right. Well, we're still working on that. So I'll let Billy introduce himself in a little bit, but what we're going to talk about here is how selling has changed. and of course we all know that we've been doing selling during the last year. No, that's that selling has changed quite radically decision makers aren't in the office. In-person networking is gone for the most part, although we are starting to see it, come back a little bit, and we're going to talk about that here in a minute, conferences and shows, including this one here have gone virtual and ordered or cold calling for those of you who actually did it, uh, for the most part is pretty much dead for right now.
So a lot of things have changed and we've had to adapt quite a bit. but what else has changed significantly is the way that our prospects and clients work and subsequently the way that they buy and it has changed for the short term, but it's also changed forever in a lot of ways. And there have been a lot of studies that have been done the last several months that talk about this.
And I just want to provide some stats to give a sense of, of how things have changed. 83% of adults are able to, that we're able to work from home, have opted to do so by a study that Statista did, 94% of employers say that productivity was not reduced by the move to remote work. That was done earlier in last year, I imagine those numbers have changed some, I can't imagine 94% of people still say that that productivity was not affected at all.
But the point of that is, is that many companies have been able to successfully transition to remote work without seeing much if any loss of productivity. And with that, they will continue to do that. Even when we have the chance to come back. 77% of people, according to a Barco study, use video conferencing at least once a week and one in three, use it every single day.
That's extremely important. When we think about interacting with sales, with our prospects from a sales standpoint, 83% of employers will put more flexible work policies in place after COVID. That's not a surprise and 70% of workers would prefer to telecommute after COVID. That's also not a surprise.
All right, here we go. Can you hear me? Great. Sorry about that. Well, good. Thank you. Go ahead and tell people a little bit about you.
Billy Lynch: Glad to be here. My name's Billy Lynch. I am the VP of sales for Pro Resources staffing company. We are a light industrial company based mainly in Indiana. We have 15 offices here and one in Iowa previous to this, I've been doing this about 10 years for Pro Resources previously.
I was a sales director in the hospitality industry, worked for several big resorts. So I'm excited to be here. I am based out of Indianapolis.
Thomas Erb: Well, thanks, Billy. I'm glad you're here and fully functional now. I'm sure you are. So, what does all this mean? about how it changes our sales approach? Well, there's several different things but it really boils down to a few key areas.
One is that prospects are going to continue to be harder to get hold of than before. They're not going to be sitting at their desks are not going to be sitting in their office. And so it's going to be more challenging. How do we reach out to them in our traditional means, which most for most people is picking up the phone and making calls when it's not that easy to do anymore.
when we can't go out and network with them when we can't do drop-ins, if that's what we do we have to come up with alternatives to that and we have to adapt. Decision-makers are already, and they had been doing this for years, but they're making a complete shift. We've seen a huge change just in the last seven, eight months.
Towards informational buying. And basically what that means is that instead of us calling up and saying, Hey, do you need anybody? And they go, today's your lucky day? Because my current staffing provider had a bad day. Instead, they're doing a lot more vetting things out. People are not making decisions the way that they did just a few years ago.
And if you think about how you make buying decisions for major, certainly major purchases, but even minor purchases, smaller purchases. It's all about information. It's all about going and checking reviews. It's all about asking your peers or your friends or your family or going out and asking strangers about just what are their experiences with companies.
And so informational buying is going to be all the more important moving forward. And because now we have to adapt our sales process. Marketing, we're seeing it become even more in our world with sales to the point where it's almost indistinguishable and it really has become the same thing. It used to be that we had marketing over here and sales over here and they work together sometimes.
well now it's really to the point where it's, it's completely interwoven and then sales activities. We're going to need to be more purposeful. We need to be more targeted and we need to be more consistent to give ourselves an opportunity to have success. So that really brings us up with the four areas of sales focus that we want to talk about today.
And when we're going to start off, we'll, we'll walk through these four and then we'll talk about the first one and I'll get Billy engaged in this, but the four areas really boil down to how do we adapt to this new informed virtual buyer? How do we implement a structured multitouch, sales process.
What metrics should we be managing too, which is all the more important. And particularly for those of you that have a Salesforce, that's working from home or salespeople working from home, but it's also important to you. If you're an individual producer, if you're a sales person, metrics are a great way to determine if you're on the right track and if you're going to be successful.
And so we'll talk about that. And then lastly, Is, we're not going to just be virtual forever. We are all so social creatures that want to get back and want to interact in person. And we are going to get to that at some point again. So how do we prepare for that so that we don't completely shift all of our focus.
We're also going to get ahead of our competitors. When in-person sales does again, start to happen. So the first one that we're going to talk about is adapting to the informed virtual buyer. a couple of things, and then I'll ask Billy some questions. Here is the first thing is we gotta provide proof.
If they're going out there and looking for information on us, we need to have that information. We don't want to leave it up to others to have that type of information. We want to be proactive in our sales efforts by providing content. We want to have our website reflect exactly what we want our buyers to see our prospects.
We want to have an online reputation. Then is consistent with what we're selling and supports their decision to work with us. And we want to leverage social media because those are the avenues that our buyers are going out and getting information. We also want to leverage video. We'll talk about that a little bit.
There's a lot of different ways to use video. We're seeing a ton of, of success right now. With leveraging video, both embedding them in emails as well as scheduling video appointments. So that it's a little more personal than just a phone call. And then we also look at alternative communication methods, like, like your traditional mail that goes out, we call it snail mail.
Yes. It works still. You still can do that. and through social media and through other avenues. So I want to open this up for conversation with Billy, Billy w. Just tell us a little bit about how are you guys adapting and what have you had success with?
Billy Lynch: And thanks, Tom. a big part in seeing this in the virtual buyer, we all saw coming before and everybody on here who's used Amazon or any online buying in general has seen it, but just the idea that you are buying anything. I bought a bag of snacks the other day that came through Amazon and I, and I reviewed three or four of them and taking that and thinking about it in terms of, of how we can adapt it to what we're selling and the people that we're selling for and thinking about what the customers are doing.
So what we, what we found really is that by the time we're getting to the buyer, trying to get to the right decision maker, to have a conversation, they've already found the things that are important to them and looked up. And when we initially started a couple of years ago looking at it our online presence wasn't that great.
So focusing a lot on Tom touched on it a bit, the Google reviews and making sure that all of the initial stuff is good because the peer reviews that come through are fantastic for us. so once we had that part down, though, adapting to where, where they were at and what they want to know, they've already checked off the yes box to see. And you're getting there. we're finding that people are more, more available to talk to you as well. So making sure the initial basis, like Tom said is very good, has really gotten us to the door. A lot of places and it weeds out the people who don't have their online presence nearly as well over the reviews up and running.
Thomas Erb: Yeah. You know, one of the things that you guys have done a good job is get your Google reviews up. I I've just looked this morning. I happened to check, it was 4.3 out of 5, and that number continues to improve. I can't. I can't say enough about the importance of Google reviews and other types of websites, you know, reviews on Facebook reviews on uh, Glassdoor and indeed, and other types of uh, uh, other types of job boards in areas where people go and look.
And of course we have people from all around the world, so there's different job boards in different parts of the world and different places that people go. But it, it's huge, not only from the prospect side, but also from the candidate side.
Billy Lynch: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it's in of, on that note too. what you find is when we get into these virtual conversations and what not being out ahead of that leads into the more consultative approach they've already seen what we've put out there in the account, consolidate a part of that.
They find the reviews and presses. They all, everybody speaks the language, every. And so being able to go into it with the customer and say, listen, this is how we did it. And this helped us get to that point. Isn't so much just selling a direct project that offers the bigger consultative conversation that, that leads into a better partnership.
So it's oftentimes a way that we'll jump off and have those conversations with true partners that want to, that want to work with you.
Thomas Erb: Yeah. I totally agree with you. One of the things that we really pushed during 2020, as we, as this whole thing was unfolding. Be the source of information for your prospects and clients, because right now they don't know what's going on.
And this is an opportunity for us to show that we have a level of expertise that they cannot, they cannot replicate, but they can easily tap into because whereas they are, for the most part that your prospects, your client is limited to what they see going on. In their own company and maybe a few others, maybe talking to some peers and those things, we have a much broader perspective on the entire market and that applied to the the pandemic and the, the crisis, but it continues to apply and will always apply.
And it gives us an opportunity to elevate ourselves from just being a staffing vendor. To being a trusted advisor, right?
Billy Lynch: Absolutely, absolutely a benefit to it. For sure. And I think that the pandemic in general has expedited that fact where everybody w we all have shared experiences of not knowing what's coming next and being able to be out there and say, listen, we don't know nearly as well as, you know, This is what we're seeing everybody else's doing and it's pivoting as quickly as possible.
And it goes back to the virtual buyer and setting up and using the video conversations is it is easier to relay information in a personable way with your video on right now than it's ever been. Because Tom two years ago may not have been used to this type of setup meeting where earlier today he said, Hey, can we hop on a meeting real quick, absolutely 15 minutes.
And we're on a video call that the nail, what we needed. Previously that would have been maybe an informal phone call or more formal phone call or something along the lines of yeah. I'll drive out there and meet you. So, you know, being up to date with the virtual buyer, being able to educate and in real time is, is a huge, huge advantage for us.
Thomas Erb: Yeah. I think there's, there's, there's just tremendous opportunity right now. Cause we're all in. We're all in the same boat. Right? What you think you used the term when we were talking earlier today, what was it shared? Shared experiences, shared experiences. Yeah. It's everybody in the world for the most part as has this shared experience.
So it's something that we can connect with people on. and, uh, so there's a, there's a lot of benefit to it. you know, I, we talk real quickly about video and I one of the great things about this is that. We've got this chat going on on the, on the right hand side here and I'm trying to present, but I'm also I feel like everybody's here with you.
So some of the things that came up is around is around embedding. Video interviews and Nate mentions it on there and I've, I've seen what Nate's done. as an example is you know, when we're trying to get people's attention, we have to remember when we're reaching out to, to these prospects that in many cases are at home now, or at least partially at home.
they're getting even more bombarded by email than ever because salespeople have gone to email. it's once one, it's just easy to do two they're sitting at their desk. Some of the sales reps that are used to getting more out into the field are now sitting at their desks. So they've reverted to email.
So how do we, how do we differentiate ourselves via email? And one of the things like, like Nate who posted on here. did was actually embed an image of the videos so that when you click on it that it goes to an email intro that just says, Hey, I can't see in person. So I'm going to, I'm going to introduce myself via video.
And I know he's gotten tremendous response. We've got others that have done that. And it's, uh, that's just a great way to kind of differentiate yourself.
Billy Lynch: one, one more. I think you're good. Probably move on to the second point, but one, A and B point that we get from the videos is, and what I've noticed with my team, or just being on so many of these is as people become more comfortable it becomes more informal.
And so to remind the teams that this is a more informal conversation and a better way to create. We still have to make sure you do your homework, be cognitive of what's around you and the little things in general, picking up on future stuff that the people you're talking to may like their backgrounds, the stuff that you put behind you, you can find out real quickly.
Does the person like, does the person like bourbon? I do do as the person you're with likes to play golf. I do, you know family-wise but it makes for conversations when things get weird on video. to do it, but make sure that you're doing your homework and you know, what you're talking about ahead of time is one thing, right?
Thomas Erb: Yeah. I think it's a great point. There's this, there's a tendency to get a little more casual when we're doing it on video and maybe not as, as purposeful as, as far as what we're trying to accomplish. And so, those are, those are great points is that we still have to accomplish what we want to, and we also want to make sure that we, we are not.
thinking that a quick phone call or a quick video is the same as an in-person meeting where, you know, we need to, to make sure that we're still covering those things that we need to there's value in an in-person meeting. How do we replicate as much of that as possible? Via video. the other thing I want to talk about too, and we're going to get into sales process here and we'll ability talk about that.
I mentioned other communication methods like snail mail you know, it, it's amazing what we have seen as far as responses of sending actual letters out to people. I've seen it over and over and over with my clients. In fact Billy and I were on a call yesterday going over this and. I got a text from one of my clients that said today we've received two email responses from letters we sent out in both of those companies where companies we've been trying to reach out to for over a year.
And we've seen that where people have sent out emails. They've gotten a thanks, but no, thanks email. Only to two hours later, get a response back and say, I just got your letter in the mail. Let's talk. and, uh, Billy, I know you guys are doing it a little bit. You guys actually kind of shifted away from doing letters.
I know we'll get it in sales process, but, but you guys have, have you guys kind of changed that a little bit? Do you wanna talk real quick about that? Yeah.
Billy Lynch: If you want, you can move on to the next one. I think it goes into
Thomas Erb: the next one here.
so the second thing to do is, and, and I'm anybody who knows me, I. Knows that I get on my soap box about this is create a structured multitouch sales process and you know, the uh, just make sure I get to it. It doesn't have to follow this, but I want to give you an example of the process that we use and that we work with our clients on. And then I know Billy is implemented this online.
Talk about a little bit, but it is a repeatable process. It is about going through and methodically having a structured process. We're not talking about doing crazy stuff that you don't normally do. We make phone calls, we send emails. We do send a letter in, in in, in the process that I recommend, but there are companies like Billy's that have made variations in amount, a lot of success to this, but the whole part of it is, is that we really figure out who it is that we're going to go after.
Who's our ideal client that we want to who looks like the, the companies that we have success with. And then we implement this process. Ours is what I recommend is 10 weeks, 12 touches. And there's reasons behind that. And then you methodically go through and qualify them and disqualify them and you create opportunities and you work those opportunities through the sales stages, and then you you're consistently replenishing that.
And that allows you to kind of avoid the rollercoaster, the up and downs of I do a bunch of prospecting and stuff happens, so I stopped prospecting. and so, uh, and then I got started all over again. So this is something. We have seen has been even more effective this year than it has been in the past and has been effective in the past.
So I'll, I'll ask Billy. Billy, you want to talk about. About what you guys do, what's your processes and some of the benefits that you've seen from it.
Billy Lynch: Yeah, absolutely. just to Natalie and Leslie were talking about the snail mail. So, Tom has, and I'm sure people go, there's not a right way. There's, there's many different right ways to do it.
My suggestion or my comment. where do you mail it to, or how do you ensure how not? I think every market's different. Every country is probably different. Everywhere is different. The point being that you stick to a structured, a structured sales process whether or not it is one or the other, it's just moving around.
And so what we've implemented before we had not a ton of structure, we were very, how many, how much business did you bring in without looking at the entire process? And over the last year and a half, we've actually implemented the 10 week processes that Tom's talking about. I've actually, Tom and I have known each other for what, eight, nine years now.
Thomas Erb: Yeah. It's been a long time.
Billy Lynch: And we started doing business together last year. So, getting this process up and running, but what we found it and what I found is as as the leader in the sales group is that it was really hard for me to know. On a weekly basis where people needed help, what was working or what wasn't, where stuff was coming from, and then get a handle on an actual pipeline moving forward.
And we needed a process that way. and I'm a very the simpler, the better for me. So, the 10 week process kind of made sense. And what we did was we implemented that. I think there's a slide. That'll tell you what it is, but essentially there's 12 touches five and five, five emails, five phone calls.
And every week I asked them to put 40 people on their new ones and they're working them through. So by the 10 week it was up to 400. and the point of it being though is that I know that I've dictated what we're going to talk to them about every week for this many weeks, until they talk back to us.
I would have been somebody who did not think that that worked, however, putting it in we've had 80% response rate, which is just unbelievable. For the amount of people that came in. And, and the biggest thing that I, that it circles back to the virtual buyer for me is circled back to the informed buyer for me and looking at it is I'm able to dictate what all my salespeople are putting out.
I know that they're talking about our differentiators. I know that the they're doing it in a structured set time. That can be 15 or 20 hours a week. Once they figured it out when they're doing it. And I know every week there's going to be 40 new ones. So it doesn't seem like a whole lot. And I keep telling the salespeople at the bare minimum, if you did nothing else, you'll see results from this, would they be what you absolutely want?
Probably not, but this will give you some results and it's really helped them build a based on, on what they need consistently week over week over week to get a better feel for what it is that they're doing.
Thomas Erb: Yeah. There's so many benefits to doing it this way. One of it is, is that if you, it all starts with your differentiators and your value prop, you got to have you've got to have messaging that is different than all your competitors.
All your competitors are going out there right now. And they're saying, Hey, do you have any staffing needs? Hey, are you happy with your current provider? Will you give us a chance some variation of that. And then when we're talking about, oh, well, you know, here's the, here's the value prop to it. It's all about quality.
It's all, it's these very vague kind of terms. So we have better people, right? Our perople are better.
Billy Lynch: We are guilty of that. We, that we had that, that was ours.
Thomas Erb: So it's, it's really important to come up with what, you know, what's, what is it that truly makes you different? And you gotta be, you know, sometimes it's a painful process to go through that and you gotta be really realistic with yourself and you gotta pay attention to what your competitors are saying.
And you got to ask your clients, not only ask your clients, what, what makes you better, but what do they like about other company? Yeah, I it's, it's sometimes hard to hear how your competitors are doing well in certain areas, but it's important for you to know that you also want to know if there's the, your competitors are saying the same exact thing you are. Go to their websites and look and a lot of times you'll get a good sense of that. But then what you do is you create these, these steps in the process and you nail down exactly what your messaging is and you have your messaging build on. What you know, what your value profits, and then we mentioned in the previous one about proff.
Then we reinforce it with our proof. So if we talk about, well, are our differentiators that we specialize in a niche and we're, we are experts at that. And we've been doing this for 20 years and all this, and that's our, our special or different or specialization and expertise is our differentiator. Then what can we do from proof to reinforce that?
And somebody had asked in the in the chat and it's hard to keep up with the chat, which is great, but They had asked about what type of content should we have. And we should look at things like blogs E electronic books, eBooks we can look for testimonials are a great way to reinforce what our value prop is, because we can talk about how great we are, and this is what makes us different.
But that's totally different than having one of our clients say that. Yeah,
Billy Lynch: Tom, I can actually, I can actually just walk through real quick. What our is, is our, our initial one is, and Tom talks about a letter. and it works. I pivoted straight to an email instead of letter with people working from home or not knowing if they're in the office or where they're actually at at this point.
So we turned that into an initial email and it's an introduction with two of our it's an introduction with just two of our differentiators and what we decided. We have a really tenured staff that are in our online reviews are really good. And it basically is a call to action is, Hey, I know you're busy.
This is who we are. I'll be in touch next week. The next week we send out an an email that says, we'll call you the next day, the following email email. And it just pivots down from there. The testimonials all are in there where we link to our website, as simple as that. So there's a whole list of them as they go, but they alternate the food and phone and calling.
And the main point is to stay out in front of them to get them. To catch their eye to talk to us. So we've seen so many people who come back later on and tell us that they don't need needs, or they have nobody to talk. There's nothing going on that will call us back in a week. Or we have a lot of people who will what we found out we've been in the same markets for 35 years.
We actually just had our 35th birthday just last weekend. And what we found is that we think we're talking to the right people because we've been there for 20 years and they get so tired of hearing from us over and over and over as they go. Actually, that's not me. You need to talk to Tom. You've sent me way too much.
You're not going to stop. Please talk to Tom. He's your guy. And we go, oh, all right. That's great. So a big part of it is just having a consistency to do it. It also keeps your salespeople who are used to be at, out on the road right now is a perfect time because they don't know how to organize their time.
And they see the results by the time they buy into it. and the consistency of it. So
Thomas Erb: yeah, one of the biggest things I hear back from salespeople that go through a structured process is I, one is I know what to do next. And two is I, I feel more confident in picking up the phone, making the call because I have porpuse.
I'm not just calling. I don't so many times we call up and we don't know what to say, and it's an, or we just go, geez, I'm going to call up and ask them if they have orders again. Is there anything I can help them with? You know, they're not. In many cases, salespeople know that what they're doing is a real effective, but they don't know how to fix it.
So, so that's, there's a lot of different things. You know, we can talk in a lot of detail about this. I would leave one thing, Billy, you have a stat and I don't know if you have the number off the top of your head, but you had told me one time, how many more activities this drove within your team, do you?
Billy Lynch: Yeah, just, just in general by doing 40 a week. And we implemented this in last may and I, so one thing when implementing, I have a very senior sales staff been here a long time, a lot of old school selling people. who didn't quite think it might be for them or not. So we started low just so they could kind of see some results.
And luckily I did, but between the, between the, the entire team for them overall for six months, they have talked to us 4,000 people out of the 5,000. They've set out, figuring out what it is, and that might be nos, or that is we're not looking, but they have communicated and it's helped them build into their pipeline.
Doing it is. I'm telling you, I did not believe that there could be that many people that would respond or that it would work as well as it has. And everybody has bought into the fact that, that it does work. It's people are more apt to be at their computers now or answered the phone because they're bored or they have, if they're working at home and they don't have people coming out of their office, it just as a part of it, pretty interesting.
Yeah, that's great. So, I want to just reference a couple of things that I've seen people post one is somebody asked if the presentation was about. At the end of this, we have our email addresses. So if you want a copy of the presentation, just shoot one of us the, um, request and we'll get it to you.
Thomas Erb: and then the other thing that I saw, some people mentioning is about sending out letters and concerns about. you know, would it be returned? also somebody mentioned that they do it later in the process. Here's what I say. Just try stuff, you know, just do different things. I'm not so worried.
Yes. We, you know, we, we do the process with my own team. I have a division that does it and we get returned once that, to us. That's just, that's just getting better data that now we know that person's not there. Okay. Well then we can, or we, the address is wrong. So that's just helping us get a better deal base.
Billy Lynch: I would, as long as it's consistent and repeatable figure out what works best, that's the best advice they're consistent and repeatable and automate as much as you can, emails in your systems can be automated. That is easy.
Thomas Erb: That's right. Absolutely. And then the other piece to it is as far as when you send out a letter, You know, the only benefit I would say to sending it out in the beginning is that you get to present yourself to them in a format that it there's not nearly as much commute competition.
so it's more likely to be seen and it can set the stage for future conversations. And like I said before I had a text from a client yesterday that they've had so much success from the letter it self. They're actually looking at adding another letter, another mailing later on in the process. So they'll actually have two, they also have started doing video and embedding it into the email.
So they're, they're having a lot of fun with it and getting a lot of good results. So, well, let's keep going on here
Billy Lynch: Real Quick. Sophia. Do I think short email or long emails better? I am, uh, I am short email person a hundred percent. to me, I think about it also could depend on who you're talking to or what your messaging is.
But I think we all too often don't think of ourselves as our audience. And if you're sending me some information, I am more apt to respond to you on a short one, give me the bullet points of what it is to dig into it and make me want to have more. I'm not going to read a really long one. So short seems to be a better response.
For me. I don't know if Tom has a different opinion or maybe markets are different than, I don't know, but I like it.
Thomas Erb: Well, you're right. I mean, short emails are better, but they need to be long enough for you to be able to get your point across and for there to be a differentiator. and keep in mind that a lot of people are looking at on mobile.
Emails look, five times longer on mobile. So yeah, absolutely. and then I saw home or work was the question. I would send it to their work whenever possible. It's awful hard to find people's home addresses. By this point in the process. If they're working from home, their company should have figured out how to get their mail to them.
Now, what I will say is I will, I will give more lead time because of that. So it used to be, we would wait three or four business days. Now we may wait six business days, seven business days before we follow up on that letter. So, great questions. so number three you know, w one of the challenges that we have is people working from home, people working remotely and.
You know, one of the best ways to be able to manage and make sure that people are still on track is managing through metrics. Now, if you have a sales process, like we talked about, well, what we found is that by having a consistent sales process, Where salespeople need to have a certain number of new prospects that are introducing every week.
that drives the first part of the metrics, which then of course leads into the other pieces. But managing by metrics is always critical, but it's never been more important than it is right now. Especially if you have a workforce that's scattered, or if you are a sales person, yourself, you metrics is to your benefits, you know, Because what we have found is that all of this stuff leads to the final result, which is to to get new business.
Right. And so what I have found is that there are four key sales metrics that if we just pay attention to these, Excuse me and just manage to them. We're going to have the most success because each one of them builds off the previous one. So we have sales activities and we're very specific about what sales activities are there.
Phone calls either voicemails or live connects. They are email conversations. So not just sending out a mass email, we can send out 500 of those in a minute, but actually getting responses, having a conversation in email networking conversations. Once we go back to in-person networking. Social media conversations, those types of things.
That leads to meetings. And, you know, we've, we've changed the definition over the past year of what prospects meetings are, because most of them are going to be video or phone starting to get some face to face again, which is nice, at least in some parts of the world. and we will continue to see that I'm sure.
and then those prospect meetings then lead into opportunities, which is our pipeline, and we need to have a certain amount of, of business in our pipeline. To ensure that we'll close enough deals to be able to have gross profit, gross margin, whatever you want to w whatever term that you use or a different term.
But these are the, the, the profit dollars that are being generated from staffing. So if we just follow those four then those there's other metrics that we can follow, but these are the four key. Metrics that we find are most predictive of success. so, uh, Billy, I'll open it up to you. What, what do you track?
What are you, and maybe you have some other things that you're tracking that I don't have listed here.
Billy Lynch: Yeah. It's hot in general. And this is where it is completely different for everybody. There are certain people on this call who are way farther down the line than we are. You've been tracking these things and you're in way deeper numbers for somebody who is as.
A company who is fairly new to bringing in these type of metrics to try to drive the ultimate behaviors for it. the, the biggest thing that I've driven over over the last year, year and a half is initial sales conversations, phone calls to try to, to try to drive good behavior. there reward good behavior conversations that work, you know, before we'd see a ton of mass emails go out.
Those mass emails are great. If nobody responds to you, they'll get you nowhere though. So it's really trying to decide which emails, scripts work. What, what was the best thing that goes out. If you've ever worked with the email company marketing company, they send different versions to see which ones work out.
So rewarding. The actual actions that, that push results, that've pushed conversations, which is the whole point is where we start with. and then kind of trickle down from there. But those. Those are more important. making the actual phone calling, it works out better when you have other things along with it.
So, a letter, a physical letter that goes out an email that says, when I'm going to call you at the time I'm going to call you do what you say when you're going to do it. And then they, they see you coming through, Hey, here's what my number is when it pops up. So those seem to work a little bit better.
That's the initial part of the process that I really, from a metric standpoint been looking at.
Thomas Erb: Yeah. Yeah. Nikita ask you just mentioned that, you know, how effective is cold calling these days? it's not. but it's, and then what I mean by that is cold calling is more difficult than it has been in the past. You know, it's used to be and I, anybody you see me do other sessions on sales knows that.
Yup. When I was doing dedicated sales 20 years ago, I was getting a six to one. voicemail to, to live connect ratio. You know, studies have shown that that's anywhere from 22 to 25 to one, we're seeing numbers as high as 30 or 40 to one. so from that perspective is, is not effective, but a couple of things, one is to Billy's point is that when we couple that with other types of communication that give them a heads up, that we're calling and we actually, in some cases create some interest or even hopefully demand. Then they're going to be more likely to look over at caller ID. And if we've told them it's going to be us, they're going to be more likely to pick up the phone. So we do know that if we send them letters and send them emails and things ahead of time, That have value and have interest in like the videos and the value prop and differentiators that we're able to reduce that voicemail to live, connect back down to a more reasonable number.
The other thing that we've seen, and I, I love Billy talk more about this. More people are answering the phone. with working from home, but would you agree with that?
Billy Lynch: A hundred percent. And, and what, what I'm hearing back from my team is that more people are willing to have conversations with you because they haven't talked to anybody or their kids are at home with them, or they're they haven't been into the office where they used to socializing.
And Tom touched on it earlier. We're we're social people. So right now is a good time. If it's not part of the process, It is, it should be, it's just as a part of, of what they're doing for sure. Right?
Thomas Erb: Yeah. Yeah. Michael, and I apologize for not getting all these
Billy Lynch: if we found a topic that everybody wants to talk to.
Thomas Erb: All right. Yeah. We're going to save all the questions until the end, but let's just go with it. would it be easier to just keep contact electronic, you know, Well, it's funny. We get a lot of, it seems universally when we get feedback on the letter, when people respond back to the letter and they go, I love that you're doing this, this, this shows that you take effort.
The next sentence is almost always, I hate getting bombarded by a bunch of mass emails. So I'm not saying we don't do it because it is part of our process and it, and it is something that we do, but you just have to, it needs to be targeted. It needs to be you know, it needs to have some good messaging.
It needs to be unique. And absolutely. I think marketing automation is an extremely important piece to this. We use a lot of uh, a lot of different types of marketing automation. There's, there's tons of them. I, I saw Jason Heilman from. From SA from Herefish was uh, speaking earlier today. that's a marketing automation sense.
there's you know, there's a HubSpot, there's a Zoho, there's all these different ones that have marketing automation that can be really valuable to you to automate a lot of those things that really don't need to be done by a skilled salesperson. They can be set up and just automatically done. And the really smart ones have artificial intelligence that will actually move your prospects into different workflows based on what you're doing.
And I know Billy, you guys have, have done some some automation more on the candidate side, but, but anything to add to that?
Billy Lynch: yeah, just, just in general, the, the entire automating, just for emails. again, I think about myself when setting this up and working with Tom I have the same people I'm on.
I don't know how many lists of these. I know I'm in pro 10 week processes. The people who send me the same emails that aren't interesting every day or every week or on the same time I give less attention to, because it seems like they're not trying. As opposed to the people who either send me something different in the mail and, or at least try to call me every once in a while.
It's annoying. But I know if he sends me an email, he's going to call me this day. And it seems like I'm actually, it's more of a personal touch as opposed to automating everything.
Thomas Erb: And, and the one last thing I'll say about this before we move on, because we've got one more part to cover is We're reaching out to prospects or what I even call suspects where we don't even know if they're a prospect yet, we're still trying to qualify them.
We don't know what their best communication method is. There are plenty of people that have 150,000 emails sitting in their inbox. There and will never respond to an email that you have. There are others who don't even know the passcode to their, their voicemail at their office. So you don't know how they're going to respond, what they're going to respond best to.
So that's why it's important to hit them with multiple forms of communication. And so, you know, we're talking about emails, phone calls, letters, social media. you know, just interacting with them and via social media. There's so many different ways that we can do that.
Billy Lynch: So, actually that's a good point. Let's click if they clarify real quick that the sales process for us is as used as a repeatable thing on a weekly basis or people we suspect are using it. Or people we know are using who hasn't talked, have not talked to us. It is all consuming. And I can talk about all day because it works out well for us, but I tell the salespeople, it may seem mindless.
It may seem whatever it is that you're here you are. This is 25% of your job or qualifying to get to this. The reason we hired you, you guys are selling people to close business. Let's find out if they're using, if they have it. Then there, then you're set up on how you actually want to sell them how you would.
You're finding hot, warm, hot leads. This isn't the end all be all of what it is. It's the beginning step off. That's really important.
Thomas Erb: Yeah. And some of you are asking questions. It's hard to keep up with all of them. We promise we're going to have a few minutes here at the end to go back and look at questions.
And if you have other questions, please put them in the chat. So number four we're not going to do this forever. at least not at the level that we're going to, you know, one of the things that we really need to look at and we need to realize is that as human beings, we are social creatures. We by nature want to be together.
We want you know, it's in general. right. But the people want to interact in person and we'll get back to that again. Some of the key factors that are going to determine this are going to be obviously the rollout and the participation rate of vaccines. That's going to determine how fast we get back to some of this warmer weather for those of us in the area.
Some of you already have warmer weather. We're all over the world talking right now. but for those of us that where it's very cold, warmer weather is going to make it easier for us to do things outside and those types of things. We're seeing that live in-person conferences are being scheduled as early as may and June.
I was just on a meeting call earlier today where we're, we're doing a conference here in our state in July. and so we should see significant increases by that. We'll also be seeing more and more in-person appointments and those things. And so the bill, Billy, what are you guys doing to prepare for this and kind of get ahead of your competition?
Because a lot of competition has really gotten away from us.
Billy Lynch: Absolutely. what one major thing that I've done is I've actually implemented a, another I have very few metrics that I track conversations. We talked about earlier. Candidate kind of prospect conversations is a big one. but I've also asked now for each one of the sales managers and Sales cordinator to look for one networking opportunity a week moving forward that we can get into. and the big reason for that being is a couple of them. One as these associations or whoever is used to running them die down, they are desperate to talk to people and they very much need people to be participating because they don't know what's going on either.
And a lot of the times I'm asking if we can get it on the ground floor with them, try to develop that relationship with Tom who's putting on an event. Hopefully coming up soon and people have gone a different way. It's the person, it's the person conversation person to person. and see if you can get into a, a bigger organization because they will come back.
That's one major thing that we're, we're working on to get in there. but also, again, it goes back to the shared experiences. Tom has been doing this for a long time and his chamber. He knows a lot of other people out there. If, how did I start becoming friends? Because I'm looking for a networking group and he needs to be. How are we going to open the door? And it's just as easy as being human. I saw that comment earlier. It's absolutely is my, my entire philosophy. Is that be real with people, for sure. But networking that way is where I'm at right now with everybody.
Thomas Erb: Yeah. Hey, here's the thing to, to, to take in, to think about right now is I'm on the board for a couple of associations I'm involved in several others and associations are scrambling.
you know, for most parts, the in-person activity. Are the lifeblood of associations, much of your competition has gone away from these associations because they don't see the immediate benefits of being involved when there aren't in-person networking events. So now's a chance for you to step up. And to really support these associations and embed yourself in them and be a, an integral part of them revitalize when all of this comes about and you're going to get ahead of your competitors for it.
So we need to be taking a look at what are those organizations that maybe I was involved with before everything went virtual. Maybe I've fallen off on that. What are other organizations that I can get involved in? Because right now they would love to have you. with them, whether that is just as an attendee, as a member or as a sponsor.
So th this is a real opportunity. These, there are always opportunities in these in these downturns and these big changes.
Billy Lynch: It also circles you back to the, sorry about that circles. You back to that the consultative customer approach to it. Customers don't know what's, the more they can get the better.
And if you're an influencer and an association, And you have a customer who needs to have some advice that is an easy handoff one way or the other. And you've now just made connections to expand your network just by being around when nobody else was. Yeah.
Thomas Erb: Great point. Absolutely. So, we just want to wrap up and we'll, we'll leave the last 7, 8 minutes to questions.
I'll go back and take a look and see who had questions. We didn't answer, but yeah, just remember that. How are pro prospects and clients work. And how they buy, how they make buying decisions has changed forever. And so we need to adapt to that. We need to, to understand that we have an informed, in many cases, virtual buyer, and we need to adapt our sales process to that.
We should be. Creating and leveraging a structured targeted, and a multi-pronged multitouch multi communication method, sales process. We want to make sure that we're diligent about our sales metrics and about how we're how we're managing to those and seeing what the results of those are. Right now, what can we do to get ahead of our competition, to be prepared for this in-person sales comeback, which, which is coming sooner rather than later, we're already seeing that that opened up.
So, the last thing I'm going to do here before we open it up for questions, here's our email addresses. We will get you the presentation. If you want a copy of it feel free to just reach out to one of us and and we'll get that to you. So if you have questions, we've got a few minutes left. I'm going to go through.
Billy Lynch: I'll take, kathy is why you look Kathy, can I go over real quick? Yeah, in general 10 weeks sales. So if we started today and week one of our brand new sales process, I would have 40 suspects on there that I'm trying to find out if they're using or people that I want to talk to would be in week one.
So 40 emails or letters would go out this week. Next week, there would be a new week, one 40, and this one has moved on. And so over 10 weeks, you're adding 40th the beginning and moving them through in the 10 week process. It just alternates. If it's a color of email, it's the five and five.
Thomas Erb: Great. Thanks. okay, so I've got some questions also, by the way, somebody invited me to, to connect with them right after this call.
I declined you now cause they don't want to meet with you, but just because I have another call right after this. So, just sometimes say that what platforms do you use for personal video? I could tell you that I use Vimeo. Vimeo record is fantastic. It's it's, it's free. and, uh, it allows you to, to do a video as well.
You can do screenshots, you can do screen capture and it's a really easy thing to use. It's a Google Chrome plugin Vidyard. I know one of my clients uses that early successfully. I, I don't know if like, if there's others that people are using, please put them in the chat. Billy, do you, you guys use anything?
Billy Lynch: We were using Vimeo. Microsoft had, I can't think of the name right now. Microsoft has one that we use to communicate internally with teams. We put them into teams. Tom, there was a question that you'll know the answer to, what's a good amount of meetings a week. I know it depends on industry.
I think you probably have better insight into that then. Prospective meetings a week, a good target number.
Thomas Erb: I would say if you can get three to three to four solid meetings a week, you're going to be very successful. In most cases. I know the old school, you know, I've been doing this 25 plus years. W you know, we used to be required to have 12 a week.
That just meant we had two or three good ones. And we had a bunch of crappy fillers ones. To hit our numbers. So I would want my sales reps to hit three or four really good ones a week. And there'll be, there'll be successful if they are targeting the right prospects and talking to the right people.
Billy Lynch: I set, I set my mine in the light industrial space at four prospect meetings a week.
that's way to agree to get clients, to agree to a video versus a phone call, send them the information. We just don't give a much of a choice. We give them the Microsoft teams invite and then make sure that we're on video the first time they may not be on video, but as it gets going, they get used to you being there.
And it seems to get better. It's a lot better now than it used to be.
Thomas Erb: Yeah. I, I totally agree with that. I think it's just you don't give them the option. You just, you do it if they don't want to be on video, that's fine. You know? but um, you just have it under a format where there is video. I agree with you.
Alright. Other questions here, let's see.
Billy Lynch: Also have information. I have a link to our website, testimonial page with all of our customers testimonials in there. I highlight what main positions that we're filling. I highlight our Google reviews,
Thomas Erb: testimonial pages are great. case studies are great. Yeah. The way that you create a case study is you have it in three sections. What was the problem? What's our solution. What was the result? And you can do that in a simple PowerPoint presentation or a Microsoft word presentation. but, um, yeah, that's a great way to do it. Also. I have a client that had her marketing company do a video of her and asked her questions and it tied into her value prop, which was expertise and specialization.
And so those are great ways to do that. marketing candidates also. And of course that varies depending on where you are in the world, but you know, you know, dangling in demand candidate profile is a great way to catch somebody's attention, but it has to be really in demand. That person has to be really valuable.
It can't just be somebody who's. Yeah, just looking for a job,
Billy Lynch: initial what strategy, what structure strategy should want to apply to an introductory email other than who? I mean, I think who I am and expect who I am, and this is what we are. I know you're busy. one really good answer. One really good way that I've learned is just to look at the ones I get.
And you can take some from, from whatever people are sending you. What subject lines caught your eye, what intro conversations caught your eye, which ones really annoyed you actually helped me better know what to put in there or work with somebody who's done it a long time as well. They help Tom's helped us drastically start that part for sure.
Thomas Erb: We got time for like one more. let's see here. um, just kinda trying to go through.
Billy Lynch: And feel free to reach out. If you have additional questions, that's LinkedIn or email or whatever.
Thomas Erb: What are some of your best discovery questions? I'll ask to answer this at this. Probably be the last one. See Billy, if you have any discovery questions, you know, I want to know what the entire opportunity is.
I don't want to just take an order. there's a big difference between a multi-billion dollar company needing an administrative assistant. And Joe's body shop meeting and administrative assistant. So I don't want to look just to, I want to ask questions, like, what was your, what was your spend last year if they don't or what's your spend going to be this year?
if they don't know that, then I'm going to ask them, you know, on average, how many contract employees do you use? I asked them how many different suppliers they use, because I wanted to, I want to have an understanding of, of what's the total opportunity, if it's yeah. If, if there's four of us splitting the pie, then it's one fourth of the opportunity.
So I want to know that I also want to ask them, is that the model you want, or are you using that just out of necessity because nobody can meet your needs. Is there an opportunity for me to, to take more of that, to be able to present a, more of a solution so that I can provide for all of that or at least more of it?
So those are some of the questions I asked Billy, any other ones.
Billy Lynch: Yeah, that's exactly right. the main point of all, all of the qualifying questions to me is just figuring out how serious they are and why they want to use this. I don't want to be a commodity. I want to be a partner. So I saw one that says they're rude when you ask the question, they might not work out in six years or a year or two years from now bringing on customers just to bring them on. Doesn't do me any good in 2025. So really looking to qualify for our offices right now.
Thomas Erb: I want to thank everybody we're at the end of our time and sorry, we didn't get to all the questions, but Billy, thank you so much for taking part in this.
This was fun. Once we got your audio working and tell us if you have specific questions, feel free to send us emails as well and connect with us on LinkedIn and have a great rest of the conference. Thank you all very much.
Thanks guys. Enjoy.
Billy Lynch: Have a good day. Bye.