In this episode we talk with Doyle Slayton, CEO and Founder of Xoombi, about motivating buyers to follow your lead.
Andy Paul 1:04
Hello and welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast. Joining me on the show for a second time today is Doyle Slayton. He’s the CEO and founder of Zubi. Doyle. Welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast.
Doyle Slayton 1:31
Andy, thanks so much for having me again.
Andy Paul 1:33
Welcome back again. So for people who hadn’t heard your first appearance on the show over a year ago, tell them a bit about yourself.
Doyle Slayton 1:47
Yeah, you know, my background is primarily in sales. I started on the front lines, cut my teeth in half advertising. I was in sports broadcasting and started selling, had to sell my own ads in order to get my games paid for and on the year. So my natural tendency was cold calling and prospecting I just Mac then built a list on a on a tablet and started hammering the phone and called and called and called until I found 10 advertisers who would you know, pay 1000 bucks a year to sponsor the local high school and off we went and I guess I realized at that point, that sales was was for me, interestingly enough that it was for me based on cold calling experience
Andy Paul 2:41
Which is usually when people find out it’s not.
Doyle Slayton 2:44
So I was the opposite. But I also realized in that same vein that when I had other teammates that were maybe helping with broadcasts etc. That would come in and try to sell. They did not enjoy this process and they did not naturally gear themselves toward picking up the phone and finding prospects with just cold cold calling. So that’s when I realized, wow, maybe this is something that I can get pretty good at. And it actually helped people and taught people how to do it more effectively and that sort of thing. So, you know, continued my career in sales with a lot of outbound prospecting, moved into management and director positions. And ultimately, as time passed, toward more of what I’ll call modern age, selling, what I realized was, man, this thing has changed. It’s a lot harder to get people to pick up the phone, they don’t answer the phone anymore. You know, that’s number one. And if a guy like me has a natural inclination to cold call in and desire to do it. In other words, in the morning when I was going to work, and he had literally been walking as fast as I could to get to my desk because I wanted to start the day with my first 10 to 20 calls and get those under my belt is a sense of accomplishment, right? And I got activity going, right. I mean, that was my burning desire to get in and do that. But, you know, even with a guy like that, I started realizing, man, nobody picks up the phone. And if it started to bother me, everybody has a breaking point, you know. And mine was pretty, pretty long down the road. But if it started to bother me, and I knew the turnover that was happening in sales, I realized there’s a problem. There’s a problem out there and we’ve got to find a way to solve it. So that’s how I started recognizing things like, we’ve got to help people, not just with telling them, you know, go get on the phone that doesn’t help anybody or motivate anybody. We’ve got to help them build their prospecting list. We’ve got to help them with the types of assets ads that they have available to them so that they can have more meaningful calls and emails and follow up attempts, on cold prospects and on prospects who are already deeper in the sales cycle. So that’s how I never expected you know, I was the type of guy I don’t need marketing, I’m just gonna hammer the fall. That’s when I realized, listen, I can be a hybrid smarter and create this type of concept and methodology where it’s about both marketing and sales and strong alignment and understanding how each one needs to think in order to help sales produce results. I mean, that’s what it comes down. Sure. Andy is marketing is there to help sales, not the other way around. And sometimes, you know, it’s a pointing finger back and forth. But marketing is a market right to say, hey, I’ve got to, I’ve got to humble myself and go to sales and say, listen, what My leads say when you call them, how do they respond when you email them? What types of things can I do to help set you up better for that call? If marketing is willing to humble themselves to do that, I think it’ll help a lot of people be more successful.
Andy Paul 6:19
Yeah, so I was gonna say is it just mirrors? Is there something about the terms marketing that just doesn’t? The personal thing just doesn’t resonate very well with me. Maybe I think I would think of marketing. I hear the word smarmy behind it, which is the way people think about salespeople, right. So that’s like, sure, huh? That word association?
Doyle Slayton 6:43
Yeah, I mean, I don’t think I would take that word in too much context. I probably just slipped it in there. Ideally, it’s more about alignment, alignment of thought, alignment of process and making sure that your marketing activities are aligned with what sales is doing. It’s got to be about both right now, in this current marketplace, it’s got to be about both inbound and outbound, right. And at the end of the day, when it comes to inbound, is what inbound does more than anything, especially in b2b, more complex sales is not to get someone to come and write you a check, because it’s just not going to happen. The solutions, and in the deals, are too big. So it’s all about brand lift, awareness, and ability that when a salesperson prospects a client, or is referred into a client, that they’re willing to talk to you because they’ve heard of you before, and they’ve heard good things about you. And they’ve read your content and like the way that you think and want to do business with you. So that’s what the inbound piece is really, really about. And then the outcome piece is making sure that your salespeople are prospecting on good prospects. I mean, you can open Hoover’s and drop 1000 prospects into somebody’s database and just say, hey, go call them. Those sales teams don’t succeed.
Andy Paul 8:21
Yeah, well, absolutely. I mean, that’s where the serve is that the line between inbound outbound has to happen is, you know, too often I see sales teams that are basically forcing their inside reps or their outside productive outbound reps to build their own lists. And in cases like that, yeah, you tend to have people taking sort of the path of least resistance to find names so they can call and it’s, you know, we’re starting with garbage as you talked about, it’s the whole garbage in garbage out thing.
Doyle Slayton 8:54
Yeah. And so that’s where I tell people that that’s where a lot of companies are right now and the top to bottom is I think people are just trying to figure out what works. And they’re so inundated with people telling them, you know, that cold calling is dead or that that’s not you know that, you know, salespeople are not no longer going to be needed or, you know, the inbound doesn’t work or, you know, you’ve got all these people telling you what works and what doesn’t, but they’re not really on the front lines doing it. And so the key component has got to be a combination, and they’re trying to figure out what works. And in, you know, you hear the term sales stack. And they’re trying to figure out how to stack things up to make things more efficient. I think the key is, that you in that process, don’t make your stack too deep, because it’s got to be simple.
Andy Paul 9:55
Well, yeah, so there’s a lot of I would say pushback, but I mean, A lot of visibility being given to the idea right now that are the facts that Yeah, sales tax, perhaps and referring to the stack of applications or technologies that you use to, to help make your sales more efficient and effective. that perhaps it’s reached a point where it’s gotten out of control a bit, and that they’re in an effort to become more effective and more efficient. You know, their reps and managers are more on the rep side, I think starting to try everything right. try anything that will help increase the predictability of what I’m doing.
Doyle Slayton 10:39
Yeah, after a while, you run out of time.
Andy Paul 10:42
Well, yeah. And also, as you said, if you have alignment issues, if you’ve got a sales stack that’s out of control, you’re not gonna have necessary alignment between sales and marketing as you may not have alignment between what management thinks is happening with the sort of official blessed sales stack. You know, five to seven applications I might be using according to surveys, versus the 11 to 13 applications, the people on the sales floor in the field are using.
Doyle Slayton 11:11
I put together a little list as I was thinking through it. And there are several things that are must haves, right. And I’m interested in getting your thoughts on this better. The first thing is, we talked about list building, but you’ve got to be able to build a high quality list with your ideal target accounts, and have those narrowed down very nicely as to who is most likely going to be willing to do business with you from a corporate standpoint. And then within those companies, you’ve got to identify the ideal buyer, and buyer persona is the most common term used today. Right? But then there’ll be multiples.
Doyle Slayton 11:54
Yeah, and you want to have at least two to three at the very least. If the average people involved in the mix of a decision is somewhere between four and seven, depending on the size of the company. Right? Then I want to start with the ability to have at least two to three prior prospective contacts in the database, especially when people don’t answer the phone or respond rapidly. And so then once I’ve got my list, yeah, I think we’ve talked about this before, but I like to start sales reps with about 100 accounts and get them working through a lead management process. That will ensure that leads don’t fall through the cracks. Once I’ve got all hundred in motion, we give them another hundred. And once they’ve got all 200 in motion, then we’ll give them another hundred if they can handle that and, you know, depending on again, the size of the business they’re working for and the complexity of deals they’re working. That may be their limit, some may be lower, some may be higher. But the point is, that list building is the first key. And in that process, you’ve got to save people time. I mean, you talked about, you mentioned it a moment ago in passing. Direct dials are gold. And email addresses are a must. And so in that process, also, marketing automation can be working in the background, warming these prospective clients, and ensuring that when these salespeople reach out that they’ve already heard of us from there, you know, having some sort of lead scoring methodology, even if it’s simple to be able to distinguish between those prospects who are somewhat engaged versus not engaged at all and the somewhat engaged you continue, continue tend to down the marketing automation path until they become more on the highly engaged and have salespeople start to reach out at that point.
Andy Paul 14:12
For sure. Yeah, and there are there are some good tools to a point about lead scoring new tools coming out like sales wings is one if you’re familiar with them, where it’s really sort of a sales oriented predictive lead scoring application that is, is very simple and you know, basically you get and it’s meant for top of funnel so it’s really meant to say okay, here’s some of it. Here’s some of the newest hot warm and cold basically as the categories you put in and hot meaning hot, you should call them today based on the activity that they’ve undertaken in terms of looking at your, your website and so on. And so it’s a great little tool to say, Okay, you got your list of 100 but which one should I prioritize Calling today and so they are these new generation lead scoring. I said sales wings is one of them. That gives us a sales rep. Just based on activity that’s happened with that prospect who said this. You said earlier, if marketing has been doing their job, they should just be aware of who you are when you call. This will tell you how aware they are. Before you call.
Doyle Slayton 15:24
Yeah, I’m gonna check them out. I have not heard of them. But I’m on their website now. Yeah, most of what we do is in HubSpot. So we use that platform, obviously to manage our all in our CRM and our marketing automation. But I always like looking at this tool because some of our clients are not, you know, are not open to taking on a full application like HubSpot. So having these little Tools is helpful in design.
Andy Paul 16:01
Yeah, no, absolutely, absolutely. So yeah, I think one of the one of the things that that strikes me a little bit about you talking about and but it’s also been a topic that has been a topic of discussion with other guests and as I’ve been working on projects that I’m working on, is that Yeah we’re getting better at understanding how our process works. Our sales process, we were able to collect data, we’ve got many more data points to collect and to analyze and to look at. But the thing that still seems to be missing for me is a real understanding of why it works. And so we have this, this sort of bifurcation, if you will, around this term, sort of the science of selling and for some people, it’s all about, you know, we’ve got a look at our data. We’re gonna look at what we’ve done. You know, test this email versus that email, you know this voice message or that message voice matches so and so forth. And we’re gonna get these results and say, Okay, these things work. But what seems to be missing is why calls are not just me but other people call, you know, the the science of selling, which is the real science that that, you know researchers and lab have analyzed and proven people have won Nobel Prizes based on about, you know, the social psychology behavioral economics about influence and why people make decisions.
Doyle Slayton 17:33
Andy Paul 17:34
And it’s like, we got to bring these together. You know, they can’t be one or the other, right? Because they both complement each other. But it seems like we’re moving down paths and when I say words, people are sort of like all one or all the other.
Doyle Slayton 17:49
Sure. Well, definitely, I think you know, we got one client. Who we work with is all about, if you go to a program on persuasion, the science of selling around making decisions based on emotion, and for the industries that they work on, and work with, that’s the science of selling is geared toward how the brain makes decisions based on emotion. So the training that they work on is very much based on that side of things. But then we have another client ROI selling, who’s all about value selling and value calculators and presenting a business case based on expected return on investment and can break down very specifically the non emotional side of what it’s going to do for the business and the break even point and all of these things that are important to selling based on value, right. So yeah, I think that’s another piece of the puzzle that people are in some cases working on. And if they’re not, they should add it to the mix. What are some things that you’ve seen out there that then tie into this topic?
Andy Paul 19:13
Well, I think there’s more exposure being given to this whole idea about the, also the emotional side, the intuitive side, the psychological drivers, that influence how we make decisions, and that at some level are her probably almost encoded at a DNA level within us or a genetic level within us, just given the thousands of years of how we’ve evolved as as humans and and I think more attention needs to be paid to that. And that’s really sort of the focus of certainly alluded to that and my two books but then there are other books obviously very famous by Robert Cialdini called influence and his follow up book pre suasion, which is a great book people should read. There’s a brand new book out by a gentleman David Hoff Feld called the science of selling, it’s not about the data of selling. It’s all about, you know, behavioral economics, we’re talking about social psychology about how we’ve been built as human people, human beings to make decisions. So I think salespeople when I see missing a set before salespeople have to understand, yeah, you know, our past history in terms of what works and doesn’t work, absolutely essential. We need that information. But we need that in itself is not what causes people to buy and sell what causes people to buy is based on this other side, right? knows how they’re influenced to make a decision and what things influence their decisions. And we got bringing these together and if we can effectively find a way to bring them together. It’s an application base to some I know some people are working on or off or, you know, just better. And so I called training better education of our sales reps to be aware of these factors, then, yeah, then the possibilities are limitless, I think.
Doyle Slayton 21:15
Yeah, you know, I was it’s interesting, we’re kind of on the same wavelength, because earlier, I was just jotting down notes as I had ideas come to my mind. And now that I look at that list of things that I wrote, it applies specifically to this. And just generally speaking, what I listed here is the thing that salespeople need to be very, very good at. You know, how many people just try to go straight for the demo, right? And when they demo, they’re just going through a canned pitch. And I wrote a post on this, you can find it on our blog as sales demos, where deals go to die, right? And it’s because once you’ve baked all your cookies and shown your demo in the cookie cutter way. You show everybody, you haven’t really identified any real problems or current initiatives that the company is focused on. So right, we’ve got to be really good at identifying those problems and current initiatives that people aren’t being held accountable to, and work in. And then the second thing is, and this ties to the emotional pieces you’ve got to get in, we’ve heard it before, but people aren’t very good at it. You’ve got to be good at differentiating yourself because it is an emotional feeling that people get when they hear you say something. And their thought is, I’ve heard that all before. Everybody says that. That’s the worst thing that you can have. Someone tell us everybody says that.
Andy Paul 22:48
Yeah, that’s one of the beauties of charting his new book, pre-suasion, which talks about that. Really, what you do is you. If you’re the adept communicator when he calls the savvy communicator, basically Telegraph’s what they’re gonna be talking about. And Telegraph’s the importance of what they’re gonna be talking about. So it becomes important to the listener before they say it. And, I mean differentiation is that’s one of those you do differentiate yourself. And when people form these perceptions, and you’ll read other books, by economists and others about, you know, how various systems of thinking we have and how our emotions play into that, you know, we as humans are programmed to want to make decisions in sort of the easiest manner possible. And so this really meant this early differentiation really becomes so key because if people want to make a good enough decision, they don’t want to invest over invest in making decisions. So you know, the ability to differentiate yourself earlier in the sales process. create these strong impressions in the mind of the buyer, which are really hard to shake. I mean, again, research shows first perceptions are very sticky. So if you can make positive first impressions or perceptions, then yeah, your ability to win the business goes up fairly substantially. Now that can be integrated with a process. So that’s the emotional side of selling back can be integrated with your process of educating people how to do it, so that when they go through their process, and they have that opportunity to finally engage with a prospect, they’re much more effective, while conversion rates will go through the roof.
Doyle Slayton 24:33
Yeah. And at the end, what you get to be able to do is inspire action. Right? Yes, you know, and that’s because what’s the biggest competitor, we most often lose to is the status quo. Absolutely. So we’ve got to be able to inspire action. So then I started thinking, you know, how do we do these things? I mean, how do we teach people to identify real problems, differentiate and inspire action? So I put a few other bullet points and we’ll see what I missed here. You can help me fill it in. But I think the first thing is at the most basic level and this ties into the emotional piece that you mentioned is you’ve got to look the part you can’t go to somebody’s website they looked like it was built and you know, in the 90s in and they just don’t look if they’re a technology company, they don’t look innovative. So people have to get up to speed on that and I don’t think most people like to have to worry about rebuilding their website, but looking the part is a key factor. There’s got to be in this might be an outdated word, so we might need to pick another one. But there’s got to be a cool factor to what you’re doing. Right? And people are inspired to say, Man, this is really neat. I I like what they’re doing. This is something that I’ve been thinking about and why didn’t I, you know, launch something like that.
Andy Paul 26:03
So it could be an air of mystery it could be. It could be scarcity, right? So you’re creating an artificial scarcity that induces people to look further into it because they don’t wanna miss it.
Doyle Slayton 26:17
Exactly. And then, you know, the third thing is efficiency. You’ve got to be able to show that you’re going to be able to help them execute, both with financial efficiency and activity being efficient as well. And I’ll give you an example. I won’t mention the name of the company, but I gave them this feedback in that I can tell my going to somebody’s website, what technology this company is using. It’s anyway associated with their websites. So I can tell if they’re using Marketo, or HubSpot or part or if you’re, you know, using Google Analytics or ad roll or, you know any of these applications within their stack to capture leads and to, you know, do their marketing, right. And the challenge with this platform is that I have to, you know, jump through hoops to get from point A to point B, all I want to be able to do is once I’ve identified, listen, I like this account, I want to work it, boom, let me drop it into my CRM. I don’t want to have to, you know, send it to a list, that later I go to another two or three screens to get to, to then drop my whole list into a spreadsheet to then import into my CRM, that’s too much work to do, and it’s not efficient. I want to be able to work on the fly. So if I’m focused on one account, researching their site, what or I can potentially help them, I need to drop them into my CRM immediately. Start my calling and email sequences and move on to the next one, right?
Andy Paul 28:06
Yeah, or did words right? And most applications out there, if you go doing that you can drop it into your list, which automatically updates your CRM.
Doyle Slayton 28:13
Doyle Slayton 28:14
So efficiency is key. And then I think the next thing that people you mentioned this earlier, is people want to know that they’re not over investing or jumping in too deep with you. They’re not sure yet if everybody’s confused about what works and what doesn’t, if you’ve got to have social proof and case studies and things that can specifically identify a solution that you provide to someone else with a similar problem. Who’s shown specific gains and returns that you can do for this client as well. So I think the thing that we’ve been moving to win some of our clients also is developing case studies and social proof. To help salespeople be more convincing, right? And then the last thing is an easy point of entry. If people want to be able to try before they buy, and, you know, not get locked in, we started off saying, Well, listen, there’s so much work involved with the types of marketing and sales initiatives and strategies that we’re going to build for you. We really only sign when your contracts Well, you know, unless someone knows you pretty well, and has worked with you in the past, you know, you’ve got to be flexible enough to say, well, let’s we’re willing to do six months or let’s run a three month pilot or let’s do a trial, right? And yet, get creative enough to the point where you show them how to do what they need to do, let’s say your software application that you teach them how to get in tune with the application that there’s no way that they wouldn’t want it.
Doyle Slayton 30:07
So those were the notes that I was thinking about earlier.
Doyle Slayton 30:12
As I was considering the elements, they would help people identify problems differentiated, ultimately inspiring action. What are your thoughts on that?
Andy Paul 30:25
Long list there.
Doyle Slayton 30:27
I’m a bullet point kind of guy here.
Andy Paul 30:29
I think that you know, what I’d focus on and for people listening, is this inspiring people to take the journey with you? There’s still some number of sales professionals among us who still treat sales as being somewhat adversarial in terms of what you do. And, you know, maybe there’s some businesses that might work, I’m not aware of what they are, you’re always gonna have more success if the customer feels that you are with them. Right. I mean, that’s also what we’re trying to do is have the customer think that, that we are this trusted adviser that we’re not just, an advisor, but we’re actually, you know, we’re part of they’re almost part of their decision making process. And if you can transcend that, right, if you can deliver the value to them early in the process, so you start building that relationship and that rapport and that trust, then they’re inspired to take that journey with you. And that becomes the ultimate challenge I think for salespeople. And again, this gets back sort of the emotional side of buying is that, that the intellectual side, if you will, is that that studies are fairly conclusive as that people are much more likely to do business with people not just that they think are like them, but they actually think and then Cialdini talks about some pre suasion, is that our of them, right? So it’s like buying being part of the family versus being an outsider that they like, is yeah. How do you make yourself part of that family? In the mind of the buyer?
Doyle Slayton 32:24
Well, one of those examples is oftentimes, and I don’t necessarily do this, I mean, I do it consciously, but I really feel it. And that is when we’re working with our clients. And I’m on calls with my talk in terms of weed when I’m talking about their company, you know, and because I really do feel bought into that. That’s one of the things we look for also is, you know, what are some companies that we’d be really passionate about what they’re doing and what they’re trying to accomplish and would want to help these companies grow? So that makes it a lot easier to be in it with them than to just say, hey, let’s just take these actions to, you know, create marketing campaigns and sales best practices and then you do with them. It’s up to you to execute it. Listen, I want to be involved in what you’re doing, because I’m passionate about it. So exactly. I mean, that really resonates with you as you describe it.
Andy Paul 33:27
Yeah, absolutely. So Doyle. Moving into the last segment of the show where I’ve got some questions I asked all my guests and since you’ve been on the guests, or been a guest on the show before, I’ve got different questions for you.
Doyle Slayton 33:39
Please always make me nervous, Andy.
Andy Paul 33:43
All right. So that’s, that’s part of my fun of doing this. So these are all desert rapid fire questions. First one is in your mind, is it easier to teach a technical non salesperson how to sell or teach a salesperson how to sell a technical product?
Doyle Slayton 34:01
Oh, wow, that’s a tough one. I would say, if I had to pick one, I think it’s easier to teach a salesperson how to sell a technical product.
Andy Paul 34:14
Okay, next question. What’s one non business book? No business so sales that you think every salesperson should read?
Doyle Slayton 34:32
Mind gym. Yes. Mind gym GYN. Oh, my niche about building your mental strength.
Andy Paul 34:42
All right. Who wrote that? You know?
Doyle Slayton 34:47
I don’t remember the name. Well, I think there’s a couple of them but this one has kind of someone in a running position.
Andy Paul 34:56
So last question for you. Do you have a favorite quotation or words of wisdom that you live by?
Doyle Slayton 35:08
Oh, I do. And my favorite of all time is in my mind’s going blank, but let me think through it real quick.
Andy Paul 35:17
You would have known if I hadn’t asked.
Doyle Slayton 35:19
Well, I noticed I know it, but the first word is what do you hear you compare going past it, but it’s courage. I’ve got it. Courage is not defined by those who fought and did not fall, but by those who fought, fell and rose again.
Andy Paul 35:37
And why is that? What do I say to you?
Doyle Slayton 35:40
Well, I think it’s twofold. I think one, it has biblical connotations. I’m a strong Christian myself. And the second thing is, I think that it’s one of those things that sales people and people in general out in the marketplace right now that they’re not going to be successful. hundred percent of the time. And so you got to be able to be part of me. I started coaching a select softball team of nine year, nine and 10 year old girls, one of my daughters plays softball. And one of the things that we’re teaching them about is failure recovery. How quickly can you recover from a failed at bat from a botched throw? So failure recovery is what that’s about.
Andy Paul 37:05
Okay, excellent. Well, good. Well, again, thank you, Doyle and friends, thank you for spending this time with us. Remember, make it part of your day every day to deliberately learn something new to help you accelerate your success. An easy way to do that is to join my conversations with top business experts like my guest today, Doyle Slayton, who shared his expertise about how to accelerate the growth of your business. And if you’re enjoying accelerating in the value of delivering them, please take a quick minute right now to leave feedback about this podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen, it’d be 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