Braydan Young, CEO and Co-Founder of Sendoso is today’s guest. In this episode, we dive into the value of gifts for prospects in the modern sales approach, including when and when not to send.
Andy Paul 0:56
Hello and welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast. Joining me on the show today is Braydan Young. Braydan is the CEO, co-founder of Coffee Sender, a rewards and incentives platform. It’s based on the idea of increasing engagement with your prospects through that really deceptively simple act of sending them a cup of coffee. So Braydan, welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast.
Braydan Young 2:45
Thank you. Yeah, excited to be here. Excited to hopefully have a cup of coffee in front of you.
Andy Paul 4:34
Let’s talk about coffee. So tell us about Coffee Sender because it’s a really unique idea for a company and what was the impetus to start it?
Braydan Young 4:43
Yeah, so about a year and a half ago, I was with a different startup and a buddy of mine was there with me and we were trying to figure out a unique way to reach out to prospects and we had kind of this, I would say, great idea. Let’s walk into Starbucks. Buy a bunch of gift cards, and let’s mail them out to people trying to generate meetings. So we’d write these Hail Mary notes, people saying, hey, we’d love to tell you that my product and you know why it’s a fit for you, we’d attach a gift card saying grab coffee on me and give me a ring at this number. And it works pretty well. We’ve sent probably, I don’t know, hundreds of them. And they’re sending actual physical gift cards. That was how we originally started that company. And then what ended up happening was actually our VP of sales at that past company goes, this is great, guys. I’m glad you’re generating meetings, but I have no clue where these are going. Are you just buying yourself coffee?
Andy Paul 5:42
Braydan Young 5:43
Of course not. So he was like, What if you plug this into Salesforce and plug this into different apps we’re already using, and then we can actually measure and we can actually figure out what actually works or not. So we kind of took that idea and the light kind of went off and we left that company and we built it, we first hired a couple guys to work with and we’re building the plug in to Salesforce and making it all automated. And then we turned around and we sold it back to that original company. And now they use it. They’re one of our longtime customers, but I mean, that was kind of where the original idea came from. So today we do a very similar act of sending that gift card only everything’s digital. And we plug into just about every marketing automation system and soon to be every sale system to make it really easy to incorporate gifting into your sales process and as you’re kind of relationship building process with that prospect or or customer.
Andy Paul 6:43
And it’s based around the ideas that you’re sending someone a cup of coffee?
Braydan Young 6:47
It’s that simple. Yeah, I mean, like it’s amazing how you know, with that prospect maybe isn’t moving or you’re trying even before a first phone call. We’re just sending something over saying hey, you know, confirming our meeting so here’s a coffee on me and how that changes the entire conversation with that individual.
Andy Paul 7:04
So why do you think it does? And we’re talking about a digital Starbucks gift card?
Braydan Young 7:08
Yeah, exactly. You know, I think a lot of it comes down to people don’t liking being sold to. And they want you to really solve the issues that they have. And that’s why they’re taking the time for a demo or walkthrough. So by sending someone a coffee, you’re actually almost humanizing yourself. You’re making yourself human. Hey, would love to buy a cup of coffee before we start this meeting? I mean, like, it’s as simple as that.
Andy Paul 7:31
Yeah. I mean, I was chuckling, you said almost humanizing.
Braydan Young 7:35
Yeah. I think yes.
Andy Paul 7:43
And so yeah, so mechanically the way it works as you can initiate as an individual basis. You could do it through a mail merge.
Braydan Young 7:55
Yeah, I mean, it’s as simple as the easiest way that most folks use it in sales as we have a button that says send Starbucks that lives on your contact and lead page in Salesforce also lives on LinkedIn and also lives on your Gmail. So you can just go in and say you’re trying to before a conversation, you can press that button and build a template and send that email out with a coffee attached to it. And then we measure everything on the back end. So we want to make sure it was opened, we want to make sure you know, when that happened, you’re notified. So you can actually track and see if it works or not. And you get data as to whether they actually had been redeemed. Not yet or working on that. So that’s sort of version two for us is like where these folks go. And you know, when did they actually use it or not, we can track when they open it. We can track when they actually click and see the barcode. But that’s about it. Right now. Our immediate change we’re adding is we’re adding more than just coffee. We’re adding the ability to send things like lunch for lunch and learn, ready to send things like wine and tickets. So there’ll be lots of things that you can send rather than just copy to kind of build that relationship. We’re calling it account based gifting.
Andy Paul 9:08
Yeah, account based gifting. Very cool.
Braydan Young 9:15
We’re working with a lot of those engaged you guys. We think what they’re doing is really cool. So we’re like, let’s incorporate gifting into this.
Andy Paul 9:24
So that’s our interesting point, though, the thing about a coffee is coffee is the price point is sort of, I would say trivial, but kind of trivial, right? In the grand scheme of things. So it sort of changes the dynamic a little bit, though, if you start gifting things a little more expensive.
Braydan Young 9:40
It does. I would say it goes on, beyond just sales, you kind of get into the idea of like, you know, the upselling internally, or you have a customer who’s been there for a long time, but more towards the customer success type journey. Like hey, like this person gave you a great referral and the deal closed. So maybe thank them. Yeah, essentially.
Andy Paul 10:01
Yeah, no, I could see on the front end that some companies actually I know have policies about not accepting anything.
Braydan Young 10:07
Yeah, no, that’s very true, which is why the coffee worked out really nicely, because essentially, it’s only $5. And we’ll always have the ability to do that. And because it’s $5 it’s, it’s very minimal. And we usually are right under the radar with most things that you can send to companies that have these kinds of policies, right? Because I mean, essentially, you’re just buying them a cup of coffee. They can use one of the things we’re asked for all the time. Right now we have Starbucks. The plan is to add additional coffee shops like Dunkin donuts. So for those folks in Boston, right, every time we chat with him, like can you do this dunkin donuts? Not yet. We’re working on it to be able to have that as well.
Andy Paul 10:47
Yeah, yeah. And the regional differences obviously that’s important to play on but so the system is free to use you just pay for the coffee.
Braydan Young 10:55
Exactly. Yeah. So we are paid by Starbucks and by our partners to basically be in business to get the lights on, if you will. So the system, the platform or integrations is all free to use. The only thing we charge for are the $5 gift cards.
Andy Paul 11:12
So how does somebody budget for this?
Braydan Young 11:16
Yeah, that’s that’s a fantastic question. And we’ve seen a couple ways. Companies have really budgeted for this, the primary way is they’ll come in and they’ll do what we had to call programs or campaigns. They’ll say, Hey, we want to roll this out to our sales team. I’ll say that’s 20 or 50 people, and we want to get everybody’s accounts supported. Those are free to use. And then there’s an admin on that account, sort of like a Salesforce account. So they’ll usually do it and they’ll start with anywhere from 10 to 20 coffees per sales rep. And we’ll roll it out to the whole team, but doing an email campaign, maybe doing a couple of demos of how it works, maybe brainstorming ideas of how they can incorporate coffee into their actual sales process. And the admin will have control over how many copies each person can send per month. So that way, no one goes too crazy and sends and sends everybody a cup of coffee that they’re on the phone with that day. So they usually run a program or a campaign for about anywhere from two to three months. And we’ll look at the results at the end of that program, and usually roll it into another one from there. So it’s almost like having extended pilots and having multiple pilots across the sales org as to kind of seeing where the best fit is for that certain industry or that certain company. In terms of budgeting, we like to take a look at depending on the size of the company, is to really think about having 10 to 20 coffees per individual who’s using the service per month is really the best way to budget for it.
Andy Paul 12:47
Well, in a minute, we’ll talk about sort of scenarios about when that should be used and what’s the best case and the best practices for using it but so the other thing that you do is that you know with integration through Salesforce then valuers are making recommendations or suggestions as to who should get a cup of coffee.
Braydan Young 13:07
Yeah, so the sense Starbucks, but it lives on every single page, every single contact and lead page, you can actually send that to anybody. And then if you press that, it’s actually going to write an activity that you sent that person to coffee. So you can build reports that way. And then the last iteration we have in Salesforce this summer, we had to call suggested recipients. So you can actually take a look and see like, Hey, who haven’t I talked to in two months, and maybe that was a qualified lead. That’s someone I want to try to get in front of, and send them a coffee, or you know who maybe this is a perfect ranking fit for us. And I need to send the person a copy. So we have that as well, that lives in the platform, where we can actually suggest to people that you should send a coffee to.
Andy Paul 13:53
You can set the rule.
Braydan Young 13:56
Braydan Young 14:06
Yeah. So Gmail, Salesforce LinkedIn. On the marketing side, we work with Marketo. We work with HubSpot. We work with Microsoft Dynamics. We work with slack or slack integration we just rolled out. That’s for a lot of internal use cases. So say a sales engineer really helped you on a phone call and you want to thank them with coffee. We actually own the command coffee. Kind of a nice internal use case. The other issue was Eloqua, which we just built, and Zendesk is our last one.
Andy Paul 14:46
So how’s Zendesk using them?
Braydan Young 14:49
A lot for support issues. So if something has gone array, and they have a ticket that maybe they’re trying to fix, support folks will use it for Hey, you know, go grab a coffee on me.We try to figure out how we can fix your problem.
Andy Paul 15:03
Got it. Well, let’s go into some of the examples. So one example that you would talk about is reconnecting with customers who have gone silent for a while. Sounds like a good idea, a good way to sort of break through the noise. So what do you typically have people use in terms of like a subject line on email when they’re sending?
Braydan Young 15:27
Yeah, so there’s really two ways that that you can use the system if you use the coffee’s that are platform itself and you want us to send the coffee. This certainly will always be the same. It’ll say like Braydan from Coffee Sender sent your coffee and joy or, you know, Joe from ABC Company, so you have coffee, enjoy it. The reason we did that was it’s a third party, so our open rate is a lot higher. The other way you can use it is you actually can ask us for a link that you want to insert into an email that you’re already using. Of course, that’s a possible If I do it that way, we see lower open rates there. Because usually folks using those with an existing chain are adding to it to try to re-engage. So we suggest kind of using a third party one, since it gets better open rates.
Andy Paul 16:13
Using your platform for that?
Braydan Young 16:15
Yeah. And then we can track it a little better as well as to like when it actually gets opened.
Andy Paul 16:20
Okay, so when someone has a button on Gmail, and they click the button, it’s actually going to your platform, but not send the mail through Gmail, then.
Braydan Young 16:29
Yeah.It’s actually a pretty sweet little hack that we did in the world of sales hacks. It’s a chrome widget that actually adds that but at Gmail. So topic for another conversation. So okay, custom reconnect programs, talking about customer nurture or sales prospect nurture. Yeah, you know, I think standing out getting the attention of the prospect. I mean, you talk about the guests or the increased open rates when it comes through you as opposed to coming through Gmail. So That’s one thing that sort of, that’s always the challenge. It can be sending coffee. But what do you actually do? So that’s, I guess the question is what sort of, you know, click through click rates? Do you see your open rates? Do you see, we see about 75% when we send it out, which is huge for when we send the actual system out, or the actual emails out, I think one of the biggest things that we’ve noticed with this platform is, especially in sales, is it works really well if used properly. And I think that goes across the board, whether it’s coffee, or whether it’s a case study. Like you have to surround the object or the thing with really good content. Like when we first rolled this out, we had folks that were using it for like, they sent an email to the CEO of a big fortune 500 company saying, hey, here’s a coffee on me. Let me pitch you what I’m doing. And it just doesn’t work. I mean, you could send them a Samsung television, like they’re not going to get back to you like you have to be able to add some value. So the most successful campaigns that we see with using Coffee Sender is they have an email that goes out before saying, Hey, you know, this is what I’m doing my value prop would love to buy you your first or 10th cup of coffee tomorrow and you know, tell you how I think we can fit in. If they respond to that great, then send the coffee over just confirming that meeting is the best way to do it. Folks have a lot of success using this at conferences.
Andy Paul 18:23
So in the first one, you don’t include the link, which means you don’t include the link for the coffee.
Braydan Young 18:28
Not not right away. Like it’s usually on the confirmation, but promising that you’re sending something over is a really nice touch we’ve seen on sales.
Andy Paul 18:38
So think about that for a second. So what’s the actual wording that you use so they know that they’re going to be getting a gift card for a cup of coffee?
Braydan Young 18:48
Yeah. We usually say we’d love to have a meeting with you. I also do a virtual coffee once you give me a time that works.
Andy Paul 18:57
Okay, yeah. simple little run. And reciprocity.
Braydan Young 19:01
Yeah. Right. And then once you send it over, even if they don’t respond like it’s a nice kind of touch to the start of it they can say, Hey, you know, I know I promised you a cup of coffee. Here’s that coffee, let me know if you could chat next week. We have folks who do that as well. But the idea of promising this cup of coffee, this coffee that you’re talking about works really well with trying to connect with folks and not trying to pitch them by trying to just buy a little bit of their time with a hey, everyone drinks coffee. Let me get you to buy your first cup tomorrow. Get 15 minutes.
Andy Paul 19:35
Okay. So whatever you’re trying to get them to take an action that isn’t actually talking to you. Yeah, like registering for a webinar or something.
Braydan Young 19:45
Yeah. So say you’re trying to get them to fill out a survey, right? You don’t have all the data, we have automation rules on the back end. So if someone registers for a survey, we usually send or complete the survey, using the coffee over right after saying, hey, thanks so much for your feedback. Here’s your coffee and joy. If someone folks will use this for kind of partner programs as well, so maybe put on like a referral. So it’s all automated within Salesforce. So we watch for certain triggers. So if someone like adds a new lead, or if someone registered for a webinar that does a copy goes out automatically, that person thanking them for signing up.
Andy Paul 20:35
Yeah, you talked before about the issue resolution program, but then Zendesk was using it but it’s a great way to sort of deflect the tension that’s inevitably there when a customer has a problem.
Braydan Young 20:47
It is, I mean, if anything, I think from a very high level, it buys you a little bit of time to actually figure out like, Hey, you know, what is the issue and from there, then you didn’t you are sort of in the good graces for a little bit as you try to figure out how you can solve their issue. Or if there was a bug that something took place, a small bug that’s huge, then you can at least you know, spend $5 to make sure that they’re happy customers.
Andy Paul 21:13
Yeah, I think if you send a coffee and you’re not actually working to fix the problem, the customer is gonna see through that pretty cool.
Braydan Young 21:19
All right, like, No, I don’t want a frappuccino but thank you very much for sending it over. I just like to be able to use my service that I paid for.
Andy Paul 21:26
Right. But if they actually know that you’re working out, then yeah, thanks. I know the coffee makes a good, good sense.
Braydan Young 21:32
Yeah, I mean, like the idea of sending coffee lovers and sending whatever I think goes back a long way. I think people have always incorporated gifting into business. And we’re essentially just taking that and making it quicker and making it a little more trackable because people have always sent gift cards or sent schwag or sent all kinds of things, but our thought is like why is any of this measured?
Andy Paul 21:56
Yeah, I think that there’s another aspect though, too, which is that yeah, it used to be that more sales took place in person than it does today. So one of the things that was fairly common is you take a prospect out for a coffee. And that to me, that’s an additional, what you had said is, is this is sort of another way to sort of do that virtually even though you’re not there. But it’s it is the sort of personal touch a little bit of a human element that oftentimes are sadly lacking from.
Braydan Young 22:24
Andy Paul 22:26
But I mean, if you’re sending out individually on a personal basis, then hopefully that shines through in what you’re saying.
Braydan Young 22:36
Yeah, and I think you also stand out if you incorporate gifting into your actual prospecting, especially in sales, I mean, like folks get emails all day long and calls as to you know, why they have to talk to you and why your service is going to change something. But if you’re reaching out with something a little different, and that’s I mentioned, engage eo earlier, like the account based side and building relationship side is this. I think we really truly believe like, that’s where all sales is moving towards, like the idea of like, just blanketing and doing, you know, just spray and pray doesn’t really work?
Andy Paul 23:10
Absolutely. All right. So I start thinking about terms of a process then if you’ve got, you’re sort of orienting it a little bit towards the top of the funnel. But I think almost thinking this through is just to have to think about when is the right time to use it, right? Because it could just be as simple as yeah, they’ve gone quiet for a couple weeks. Excuse me, and you’re wondering what’s happening. This, again, sort of treading on the principle of reciprocity, that if you give them something you increase the odds, you’re gonna get something in return, especially if they’ve gone quiet.
Braydan Young 23:51
Yeah. Once that meeting is set on the calendar, we’ve seen folks use it for almost like a pre survey before the actual meeting like, Hey, I would love to have you answer these questions before we talk. So that way I can make sure that you know, I spent the half an hour we have or the hour we have on the phone next week, basically catered to you. And here’s a coffee for you for taking the time to answer these questions was like a pre survey. So it’s almost like pre pre-close deal. And then in success with that transition from sales to success, it’s always a big one as well. And then all the way down, and then all the way down to support. So we like to say anything on the client facing side, you can incorporate gifting, I think for us is like my background is sales. So the first area we’ve targeted has been sales. And so we tend to understand that the most here are the best here. So that’s kind of been the first iteration for us.
Andy Paul 24:51
Well, I think there’s a danger of being overused though, too, right? I mean, it seems like you tell me what your customers are finding. It seems like really you use it once with a prospect throughout an individual and you could have multiple people to see on the decision making team. But with one individual involved in the process, you sort of get one shot at it throughout their buying process.
Braydan Young 25:14
Yeah, that’s a really good point, which is kind of why we’ve thought about incorporating other gifting ideas beyond just coffee like things like lunch, because you know, there’s different things that you want to send to that person. We normally see it used about two times with a prospect and sales. So before the actual first conversation, and then towards the end of the contract process. We’ll see it used again, with a Hey, like, you know, here’s the contract and here’s a cup of coffee with the contract. So as you’re reading through the T’s and C’s, you can, you know, have coffee on me. So, that’s that’s a typical process that we’ll see on the sales side and then we’ll see it used again, down the road on the support side, but that’s that’s about most of it.
Andy Paul 26:01
Yeah, it seems like there’s a potential danger with the gifting is that you don’t want to train the customers to expect something in return for actually giving you information. Or, you know, participating in their buying process.
Braydan Young 26:19
No, that’s an excellent point. And I think I would incorporate other things. And it could be that might help but I think that’s the one of the major reasons why we incorporated the limits for the admin like, Hey, you can’t send everybody a coffee and just kind of spray and pray these copies out hope somebody responds to you, like building content strategy and programs around it, we believe will produce the idea of it being overused.
Andy Paul 26:49
Yeah. So what have your clients been able to see so far relative to Okay, we’re making this investment. Yeah, maybe we’re getting greater conversion rates, early stages into being sales qualified. leads or whatever. But I’ve been able to track it through to actual impact on outcomes, you know, orders.
Braydan Young 27:07
Yeah. So one of the biggest use cases is we have a couple companies who have used this since we began. And for them, what we really valued was how many demos they were able to generate, and how many they would get in front of. So for sales generation, for example, they saw their numbers go from usually five demos a week to about 10, which is great. And then we also track like how fast we could get the process moving. So those deals that stalled out, the ones that like, yeah, hey, I’m taking this to my boss, and you know that I’ll give you a call next week to tell you it’s moving forward or not. We saw the response rate, their increase, almost by double, which they were able to actually you know, get rid of deals that were going to be pushed through or to, you know, kind of accelerate those deals through the process. So those are the two things that we track. We haven’t yet tracked like close deals. That directly results in coffee since most deals have like 2030 different touchpoints. So you might have a coffee at the beginning. But can you actually say that that was what close that deal? So we’re not sure yet how to track that that’s definitely a moving piece for us.
Andy Paul 28:15
Yeah, but you’re saying your clients are justifying the ROI based on conversion rates at earlier stages of the sales process. What’s fair? I mean, if you’re looking at sales to serve a numbers game, then those numbers are irrelevant as well. It’s really, it’s a fascinating idea. I mean, it’s surprising that someone hadn’t jumped on it before, quite frankly.
Braydan Young 29:25
So some of the folks like one of the subject lines was hot coffee plus cold email equals warm introduction. And that’s like, yeah, like they would attach a coffee into the actual email that they would send that they’d use as a link. Another way was a rep got really into using our links and using LinkedIn. So they would actually send a request to somebody like and include a coffee that requesting Hey, would love to buy you your first cup of coffee tomorrow. Like here’s an actual link for it, like give me a call on this number. So that was a pretty cool use case. We saw them similar to the same use case of Twitter, trying to get them to respond via Twitter as well, kind of directly messaging people with coffee links. So, folks that are pretty creative as to how they were trying to use these actually. And then the last one was someone who did surveys before calls to basically help qualify the actual leads that the BDR actually gave them. And that was pretty cool to see as well, because they actually got really good results from people being like, Yeah, I’d love to give you information so you don’t waste my time on the phone. And thanks for the coffee for the call.
Andy Paul 30:32
Very cool. All right. Well, Braydan, this is the last leg of the show. And in this I asked some standard questions and the first one is a hypothetical scenario, and which you get to be the star and in this hypothetical scenario, you Braydan have just been hired as VP of sales by a company whose sales have plateaued out they’ve stalled need to hit the reset button to a turnaround. So what two things could you do your first week on the job that would have the biggest impact?
Braydan Young 31:01
So I think the first one is, is I am a true believer in data. So I would want to run some very large reports in Salesforce and figure out who has bought our service and who has stuck with us for more than a year. And, and what those reasons are and what verticals industries those companies are in, because that’s probably where we want to focus on to kind of get sales increased against, that’d be number one. Okay. Number two, I would want to figure out like so if sales have plateaued, is the reason maybe our sales pitch is just mute, maybe the reps have kind of lost their Mojo with how they sell it. So I’d want to dive into actual demos and kind of how they’re running their demo. process and probably sit down with the reps and each one and kind of see them and have them walk me through their demo they currently have out there selling it. What’s their value prop? Maybe that needs a little work kind of what’s the word, they see the product market fit, and kind of work with my front line folks a little bit and figure it out, you know, kind of what they’re selling, how they’re selling it and how we can improve upon that. Because if they’re getting phone calls in this scenario, great. Maybe they’re just not pitching it correctly.
Andy Paul 32:26
Okay. Good answer. Good answer. All right. So now I’ve got some rapid fire questions. You can be one word answers or elaborate as you wish. So when you Braydan are out selling Coffee Sender services, what’s your most powerful sales attribute?
Braydan Young 32:42
Andy Paul 32:44
Okay, who’s your sales role model?
Braydan Young 33:21
I like the way that Elon Musk pitches and like, incorporate marketing in his sales. And lately, I think my latest one I was really impressed with was the way even Spiegel or Evan Spiegel and this and snapchat rolled up their spectacles campaign. But that was, I thought that was brilliant. And like, it’s not really sales is more or less marketing does kind of go hand in hand. But whoever designed that campaign I mean, they even had me kind of captivated by like, Where’s this next machine going to be with that has these glasses that come out and like that whole campaign was just absolutely brilliant how they did it. So I’m like, those are two people that I definitely watch a lot with, you know, kind of what they’re up to and what they’re doing.
Andy Paul 34:00
All right, so what’s the one book every salesperson should read?
Braydan Young 34:06
I would say Hooked is a really good one.
Andy Paul 34:41
Yeah. And he had a co author on that, I think as well Mary Lou Tyler. So okay, last question for them. What music is on your playlist right now?
Braydan Young 34:52
I am a huge fan of techno type music. So I really like Flume. I also really like like old school rap. So, which people can find or listening to you probably as as, as the as the day gets late like I like. I like P Diddy and Mase and all those guys and Run DMC.
Andy Paul 35:23
Okay. All right, Braydan. Thank you for joining me. So tell folks how they can find out more about Coffee Sender and how they can connect with you.
Braydan Young 35:34
Yeah, so please visit us at coffeesender.com. And of course, send us an email. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org And if you ever want to dive in, take a look and maybe schedule a quick walk through coffee of course is on us. And hope to chat with you soon.
Andy Paul 35:57
Thanks again. for joining us and friends, thank you for spending the time with us today. Remember, to make it a habit to deliberately learn something new every day to help you accelerate your success and easy way to do that. Join my conversations with top business experts like my guest today, Braydan Young, who shared his expertise about how to accelerate the growth of your business. And if you enjoy accelerating and the value we’re delivering, and please take a quick minute right now to leave you feedback about this podcast in iTunes, Stitcher or wherever else you listen, very much appreciated. So thanks again for joining me. Until next time, this is Andy Paul. Good selling everyone. Thanks for listening to the show. If you like what you heard, and want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming episodes, please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher for more information about today’s guests, visit my website at AndyPaul.com