Episode 42: Marylou Tyler’s Book Bites – Predictable Revenue and Predictable Prospecting

Predictable Prospecting
Marylou Tyler's Book Bites - Predictable Revenue and Predictable Prospecting
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Many readers have reached out to me wanting to know my favorite parts of my new book, Predictable Prospecting, and my advice for tackling the process I’ve outlined. This week I’m breaking down Predictable Prospecting chapter-by-chapter and picking out the most important concepts you need to know, areas that have been updated since Predictable Revenue came out, and how to get the most from the book in terms of worksheets and add-ons.
marylou-tylerEpisode Highlights:

  • The three key concepts and takeaways from Predictable Revenue that have stood the test of time
  • Predictable Prospecting Chapter One: Understanding the SWOT
  • Chapter Two: Ideal Account Profile
  • Chapter Three: Ideal Prospect Personas
  • My new Compel With Content framework for hooking your prospect
  • The Levels of Awareness framework
  • Chapter Seven: Measuring and Optimizing the Pipeline
  • Chapter Eight: Tools of the Trade
  • Chapter Nine: Managing a Sales Team

Resources From This Episode:

Favorite Quotes: “The Predictable Prospecting process is not something that you learn and then leave. You’re continually improving.” “The biggest thing I can tell you is that you are all fabulous writers. You have the ability to write the perfect email, an email that’s going to cause people to lean into their computer and be completely excited that you have written to them.”

Episode Transcript

Happy Tuesday everybody, it’s Marylou Tyler. I have been asked by a number of the readers to pick out a couple of my favorite areas of the book and specifically relating to fast tracking folks because people have been studying Predictable Revenue and now are moving into Predictable Prospecting, wanted to know and understand what the changes are and how to move through the book quickly if they’ve got a good base on an understanding of Predictable Revenue. What I thought I would do is go through each of the chapters and pick out the areas that are different, areas where we’ve improved and then you can make your own determination how you want to apply them to your process. The assumption here is set for those listening, there’s a little bit of a baseline understanding of Predictable Revenue. When you think about it, there are three key concepts for Predictable Revenue that stand the test of time as they say.                 The first one is, if it all possible, separate your sales roles. The reason being is that, when you’re looking to put a machine together of something that has a velocity of a Predictable Revenue framework, you really want to have the sales roles separate as much as possible. There may be some of you thinking, “Well, it’s just me. How do I do that?” There was a webinar I did with Aaron in 2011 where I was essentially the only person that could generate leads but I also had to follow up on inbound leads.                 What I did was I looked at my block time and I dedicated days of the week that I was prospecting into accounts to feed the AEs and the rest of the time I was working on inbound and I was also an inside sales person closing what we would consider the outside extended core accounts which were accounts that were not quite in the sweet spot but we’re still good candidates for us and had a decent lifetime value that it made sense for us to go after them but not necessarily the AEs to go after them, I worked that. I was multi hat inbound, close smaller accounts or the ones that were kind of in the sweet spot but had decent enough lifetime value and then of course prospecting which is what most of you are doing. That tried and through formula is still coming from Predictable Revenue, it’s still something that I believe in and wear at all possible as soon as we can. I get clients to move into a separation of roles.                 The second concept that’s still an evergreen, forever concept is this concept of all leads are not created equal. I still see today a lot of companies making that same mistake of putting all the leads in a basket and thinking they’re all the same value. Very briefly, the three types of leads are, in Predictable Revenue they have funky names but I don’t use those names anymore. But they’re basically marketing leads which generate MQL, Marketing Qualified Leads typically, that’s what marketing cast a wide net out there, hoping to get as many whales as minnows but they sometimes get a lot of little accounts minnows and guppies and not necessarily the whales.                 Those are a high volume of leads and not necessarily high value. But some companies can get as many in where that justifies an inbound person. The number we used to use was 400 for that purpose. 400 inbound leads kind of dedicated an inbound person. Anything less in that, you can split the STR role and have them also follow up on inbound. Helping them really finesse the conversation because the psychology of it is that they’re coming inbound to you so they’re hoping and happy to hear your voice. Since they had an in trust in you, you’re going to have a conversation that’s a little lighter, it’s not cold, it’s warm. There’s some psychological things about inbound that are good for training for STRs and it’s a nice break every once in awhile to get away from the hunt and talk with people who are actually looking forward to speaking with you and welcome the interruption as opposed to not welcoming as much. That was one area.                 The second type of lead are the ones we all covet which is the referral engine. Frankly, the outreach programs that we do release per on the referral engine because part of the outreach program that I teach now is to look for those referrals and to ask for those referrals on a continuous basis. That referral engine, the referral type of lead is from a client, from a colleague and they’re typically high value because they’re fitting your sweet spot of the ideal account profile. They’re also going to be eager to speak with you. That’s the second type of lead.                 The third type of lead is what we know and love and just are fabulous for us which is the outreach site where we’re actually targeting those whales where it’s a spectacular to way to build a revenue, it’s consistent and it’s high value. Typically lower volume because we’re managing a good number of records but we have to be authentic and hyper personalize in a lot of it. We have to measure how many of those we can do. In Predictable Revenue, we talked about 50 a day, 250 a week but this was all pre app like, the apps that are out there now that help you manage those, as my friend calls, spinning plates. Those are the three types of leads.                 Make sure that you have that designator in your head especially when you’re working with your bosses. A lot of times they don’t necessarily, or board members, I’ve sat in a lot of meetings where numbers just fly around as if they’re all equal and they’re not. You have a net knowledge that  will help educate your peers, your mentors in the sea level that may not have that understanding of the leads and how they impact revenue and how they impact the forecast. That was the second thing from Predictable Revenue that we brought over that is really good.                 Of course the third thing is put a process in which Predictable Prospecting essentially expands on the process of generating outbound leads to qualified opportunities that consistently close at a high rate and of higher lifetime value. Given that, those three baseline tried and true areas from Predictable Revenue that I love. Predictable Prospecting really goes into more about how to go about getting those whales targeted. What do you do once you get them all figured out. How do you put them into a sequence? A sequence is essentially a range of touches over a period of time.                 There’s this thing called cadence which is the rhythm of the sequence. How are you going to touch them? Is it going to be a phone? Is it going to be an email? I have some clients who send postcards, they blend that into the sequence as a touch. We talked about that in the book in Predictable Prospecting of how to orchestrate that. There are three types of sequences that I start clients with and I’ll go through that in the latter part of this podcast.        For right now, you’ve got a target. You’ve got to be able to then figure out how to engage this folks. Once you start figuring that out in getting that under control, then we start looking at how to make your life less stressful and how to block your time so there’s some more management related SdR habit related sections in the back of the book. Predictable Revenue goes through of these as well but we’ve dive deeper. We’ve learned a lot about how not to hire SDRs, we’ve learned a lot about the managing of SDRs and the fact that managers really need to be different for the SDR role versus an AE role. We talked a lot about that in the book.      Without further ado, I’m going to go through the sections that people have asked me about or that were of acute interest to me to make sure that they were in the book because the more that I can put in there that’s a value to you, the faster you can get up and running and the less you’ll need someone like me to come and hold your hand because a lot of this is, I have that constant wrestling in my mind as to how am I going to get all this knowledge in my head into a framework for you guys.                 At the one end of the spectrum, I have accounts that I service, usually three to five clients a quarter and now I have the book. But there’s this gigantic gap in the middle that’s why I’m doing this podcast. I’m looking at having a membership where we can all come together and start learning the bits and pieces of this thing because this is not something that you learn and then leave, you’re continually improving. The whole framework, this whole process is based on continuous improvement.                 For those of you who have followed me for a long time, you know that I’m learning all the time. I shared in the webinar just the other day my horrific hiring experience that I was so bad at it and I run a call center of term 50 people. I was like the worst person to go, don’t let Marylou interview her because she’ll hire her and it won’t be right kind of thing. I had phobia about hiring people for a long time because I’d love everybody. I thought everybody was great.                 I had to really fix that. The last chapters of the book really dived into that and talk about what to do in hiring an STDR. For those managers, this book and this last section of the book is pretty detailed on hiring process. Let’s start with the SWOT chapter one. Everybody has written to me about the SWOT saying, “Oh my gosh, this is just way too detailed.” But it really isn’t. I would really like you to look at it and use the cheat sheet in the back of the book for it because the cheat sheet will tell you what I did to go through to do the SWOT.                 The SWOT is basically strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. What we’ve done with Predictable Prospecting is we’ve overlaid that with six known factors and we call them the SWOT six. Some of this you’ll remember from, if you’re a marketing person or heard about marketing. I’ll just name them and point the place for you to find them. They start at chapter one page 11, the [00:11:16] factors, the four Ps, reputation, internal resources, external forces and trends.                 The reason why we did this is because it will help you not get stuck when you get weaknesses and threats. A lot of times we are all gone home and get into these SWOT strengths and the weaknesses or strengths for sure and the opportunities. Those are usually filled in really deep. The weaknesses and the threats are light. We want to make sure that we’ve got enough in each of those quadrants so that when we come to do the prioritization of the SWOT, we really have an understanding of where the highest priority strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.                 You’re probably wondering why do I have to do a SWOT then. The reason is because the SWOT actually feeds into the value proposition, your positioning. It actually feeds into your ideal account profile because a lot of times I see people wasting their time on the wrong accounts. By doing the SWOT, you end up feeling free-er and full of conviction that, “You know what, this is where I fit and this is really where I want to go and focus my efforts.” That’s chapter one.    Chapter two is about the ideal account profile. This is a continuation of the ideal customer profile in the Predictable Revenue. It dives a lot deeper. Go into that chapter and pull out the subheads and that will be all the information you need plus for chapter one and chapter two, I have worksheets online and I post them everywhere I can think of. If you still can’t find them, email me tyler.marylou@gmail.com and ask me to send you that link. But I have posted it everywhere I could think of. There’s also a page for the book called maryloutyler.com/swag that contains every webinar I did, all the files that I’ve created, all the teachings, so far that’s the spot to accompany the book. Chapter two, ideal account profile is all about retuning, refining your ideal customer profile. It also talks about the frequency of which you need to do this. Remember we’re all about continuous improvement which means we’re going to be looking at and tweaking our ideal account profile, probably every three months, six months, somewhere along that line.                 It’s really driven by the amount of volume that you’re pushing through the pipeline. But don’t just set it and forget it, this is another one where we constantly find tuning, we’re constantly segmenting, we’re constantly doing the link to the best few that we can really attack and close and use as references from our business that may be in the outer rings of lifetime value.                 Chapter three is my favorite chapter so far because it’s all about ideal prospect personas. I can go on ad nauseam on this topic. I do believe that the biggest mistake I see is that sales people pull out the marketing personas and say with a smile, “We got it, Marylou.” No you don’t. You have part of it, you have some of it, what I want you to do is take the marketing personas or the product marketing personas, whatever you’ve got and compare it again to chapter three. Again, there is a worksheet that accompanies chapter three.                 The main thing here that you probably don’t have on any of your personas is the bull’s eye. The bull’s eye is what we use for a camp bay selling to call in and around. I don’t know if you guys have read Challenger Customer, that 5.2 number. We bump that up a little bit, maybe to seven and we have an actual calling sequence called the call immersion that goes in and around the bull’s eye of what we developed for the prospect persona in chapter three.                   We make those phone calls in our phone block. The goal of the phone call is to get in for that first meeting, get a referral for the first meeting, last to all of our buyers that we need to have if we are doing more of an extensive discovery meeting for the AE. That is all accomplished by really working the prospect personas.                 That’s chapters one through three, worksheets are all available for that. From there, we go into engaging which is probably the more fun of this whole thing. The biggest thing I can tell you is that you are all fabulous writers. I want you to get that in your head right now, that you have the ability to write the perfect email, an email that’s going to cause people to lean into their computer and be completely excited that you have written to them.                    Chapters four, five and six talk all about that. There’s a new framework called compel with content that I invented out of desperation again because I was seeing emails where it was all about us and not about the client. I have a very simple framework of how to do that. Again, there are worksheets of how to fill on the blanks. We take essentially the personas and then we develop a dialog, a story to tell the persona that’s based on the challenges they have, the outcomes that they can expect and really getting them to understand what the gap is between those challenges and the outcomes.                 What we do from there, we’ve got them hooked emotionally because we trigger them to get them to force their eyeballs to go into the email a little bit more. Once we got them hooked, then we disarm them with specificity around how our opportunity is going to come in and save the day for them. We’ll use some social proof or if we don’t have customers like some of my folks don’t even have client yet, then we’ll look on line and find similar stories where people have succeeded, we use those stories and then we have a call to action.                 We can do this whole entire thing in either 80 words or 480 words. We have examples in the book of all the ways to do that that you can borrow as baselines and then create your own. I always love if you can also test an A version versus a B version. I have a lot of clients that are doing that now. Four to six is for that. It’ll really go through the sequences, how to touch, when to touch. If you’re afraid of touching, there’s a, I think Jeremy called it light, he had a really nice name for it.                 There’s another table on page 84 that I want to make sure that you look at. It’s another framework that I came up with that deals with levels of awareness. In our world, we have to deal with five levels of awareness of our prospects. Some don’t even know we exist, some don’t even know what we sell exists. We have additional layers that we have to worry about whereas with inbound, people are searching so they know what they are searching for so they’re at least problem aware.     They may be situation aware, they may not be vendor aware but definitely some things bother them, they think they know there’s something to fix it but they don’t quite know how to fix it. Whereas with us, they don’t even know they have a problem, they don’t even know they need to know, they have a problem. We have to stir them up that way with our emails.                    This particular graph or table on page 84 teaches you how to create your content, how to write your emails and what to click through to in order to be able to get people to bubble up to the top so that they’ll have a conversation with you.                 Chapter seven talks about measuring and optimizing your pipeline. This was discussed in Predictable Revenue but we put some additional metrics in there for you to take a look at. Compare what you’ve got now to what’s in the chapter. It comes down to meaningful conversations, it comes down to, the way I describe it is that you are driving down a freeway and you’re working towards getting to that next mile marker. Whatever got you from mile marker one to mile marker two, whatever that action was, that should be recorded into your database or CRM even if you have to exit out, that should be recorded. The theme of what happened which is the pain. That has to be recorded.                 That gives us the ability to feedback to marketing to let them know, “Hey, this pains resonate best for this particular prospect. Let’s build the sequence for nurture, for example, if we throw them out exit. Let’s build the sequence that allows us to organize the pain points in order to reduce the slack.” A lot of that is discussed in this chapter about optimizing and recording.                 The next chapter talks about, it’s chapter eight, that talking a little bit about tools. The big message here, where I don’t see this a lot in my clients but definitely the SAS base folks are enamored with the stack and sometimes they are so enamored with tools that they forget functions. This chapter reorients you to really looking at function first, tools second. Being a software engineer myself, I can see where people can go overboard with tools but I think you’re doing yourself a disservice.                 If I came into your organization and saw the amount of admin that’s been going on now because of tools, I would pull out half the stuff, honestly. There’s too many tools and the function is getting lost. You’re spending too much time admin and less time selling which is not good. Take a look at that chapter, chapter eight. Learn about really working on the function first then looking at the form which is in the form of tools.                 Lastly, the last chapter I’m going to discuss on this call is the management of sales development professionals, chapter nine. I did an entire four part webinar series on this. It’s in the maryloutyler.com/swag section. For those managers who want to really drill down and hear me drone on for I think almost four hours, that section is all discussed in those webinars and I fully intend to break them down into manageable bite size chunks because even I cannot listen to myself that long. But there’s a lot of good information in there and the decks are in there most importantly. You can pull the decks and you can just go ahead and pull out the slides that are meaningful to you.             Always reply back to me because I can continue to push out content but I want to make sure that it’s relevant for what you guys need and then the order in which you need it. I think I know the order but sometimes I get so into the weeds because I’m an engineer first and process person. The vision stuff, it doesn’t necessarily surface in a way that’s like, oh, okay, that’s what she meant.                 If there are things that you want to see or there are questions you have, please get a hold of me. We’re in this business of reaching out so I fully expect my folks, you guys, to reach out to me. I’m a person that is here to help you and I expect you to contact me and those that do and you know who you are, I have reached out to every one of you, it does work. Reach out to me with the questions you have and I’ll be happy to get back to you.                 Those are the chapters I wanted to talk about, there’s a cheat sheet guide in the back of the book that you guys can pull and modify for your own use. Again, all the worksheets for the book that I have to date are located online and I will post the link in the show notes for this particular podcast. If anyone can’t find what they need, get back to me. Thanks so much for your time, have a great week everybody.