Welcome to Episode 4 of the Sales Influencer Series. Our guest today is Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing. Matt joins us to discuss leading edge issues in aligning sales and marketing and reaching a new demographic of sales personnel with Ambition Marketing Director Jeremy Boudinet.
Matt and I spoke at length about a number of major topics on the minds of Sales and Marketing industry leaders. We're providing the best excerpts from our conversation below in text format (a technical snafu derailed our the audio - eXtra Voice Recorder - we're looking at you). Matt Heinz is a true rock star of the sales and marketing world, and he has some great insights to share with you. Jeremy Boudinet, Ambition Director of Marketing
Ep. 4: Aligning Sales and Marketing
We’re thrilled to welcome Matt to the Ambition Blog today. Quick anecdote that says a lot about the breadth of Heinz Marketing’s appeal: I’ve followed Matt’s writing on his company’s excellent blog for some time, and after he agreed to appear, I shared the good news with my nearest office colleague, a Senior Account Executive. His response: “That’s awesome! I read his blog all the time!”
I had no idea -- but can’t say I was surprised, given that Matt has 53,000 Twitter followers, which is enough people to damn near sell out the Oakland Coliseum. If you don't already, I encourage to follow Matt as well and check out the peerless Heinz Marketing Blog.
Part I. Science. Art. Science.
JB: Matt, thanks for joining us. I'll kick things off by asking you about the background of Heinz Marketing and the values that you subscribe to as its Founder and CEO.
Thanks Jeremy. I started Heinz Marketing back in 2007 here in Seattle because I wanted to bring a fresh approach to how companies build their sales process. I really see Sales as being a back-and-forth process from science to art, then back again until the deal is closed. Science. Art. Science.
You start with the science, which is the data telling you -- this is my ideal buyer, or, this is how long my sales cycle should be. From there, you use art to navigate your interpersonal communications with a prospect by getting to better understand his or her unique needs, responding to objections, building a relationship and so forth.
This happens at every stage of the sales cycle. You use science, which is relevant historical data about your product, your buyer, your competitors, and so forth, and that informs the art, which is your execution of that particular stage of the sales cycle. As you get further down the pipeline, you acquire more and more data, which should then go into your scientific analysis at the next stage of the cycle. Then you execute again - back to art.
What has enabled this kind of process is the emergence of new technology - CRMs, social profiling, easy access to competitor data -- that can make the selling process much more predictive than it used to be. At the same time, it's still up to sales reps to execute. They're not off the hook, in fact, expectations for them are higher. But if you mix great science with great art in your selling process, you're going to be tremendously successful.
Part II. Management Best Practices
JB: Everyday, more and more Millennials are entering the sales profession. What's your advice for sales managers who are having a hard time getting through to their Millennial sales reps?
That’s a great question and one that I don’t think sales teams discuss enough.
Millennials need recognition and experiential rewards. For example, at my office, we reward people by giving them balloons at their desk every time they achieve something. We've given a high performer a huge, 20-inch second monitor -- that gets people's attention. Well, when someone is sitting there with a ton of balloons at their desk, or a huge double monitor, it’s something everyone else in the office notices.
JB: You talked about training and coaching sales reps. What’s your advice for doing that most effectively, given that managers always cite lack of time as a reason for it.
First of all, I don’t buy that argument that lack of time is the cause of lack of training. You’re not training the reps because your’e choosing to allocate time elsewhere. I’m a big believer that time and money are one in the same -- setting aside time to develop Sales Reps should be seen as an investment. Failure to training your reps is like failing to incentivize their success.
Right now, I see a lot of companies trying to outsource training and spending lots of money bringing in experts to give an hour-long presentation to the sales team. Here's why that's a bad idea. Let's say you decide to throw a blowout sales kickoff, and you bring in this big name speaker who gives a 60 minute presentation with great insights on social selling. Everyone has their notepads out and is engaged, and you think you're all set.
But then once the presentation is over, the speaker leaves your sales team hearing about a different aspect of sales, your product, or what have you. And they spend the rest of the afternoon doing that. Guess what -- by the end of the day, your reps have forgotten almost everything they’ve just learned about social selling.
My point being: You have to keep coaching and continue training throughout the year in order to keep people developing. People's attention spans are shorter than ever these days, and it's scientifically proven that repeating the same information to people at intervals over time is the best way for them to retain that information and keep it fresh in their minds for the duration of their professional careers.
JB: Here at Ambition, we're currently prospecting for two Business Development Representative positions on our sales team. What do you advise we look for when evaluating a candidate?
I always say that I look for attributes, not experience. In my opinion, finding a more veteran rep with 5-10 years experience in Inside Sales is overrated. I’m looking for someone who is coachable, creative and motivated by money. For example, you can give somebody a cold call script, but we all know that eventually the call is going to go off script and that’s where you need someone with internal drive, excellent creativity and the ability to communicate effectively.
I can't stress enough how important that extra layer of internal drive is, by the way. Most Millennials in today’s Sales Force are young and have no wife, no kids, and no mortgage. In other words, they have very few real obligations, which means they have much lower expectations in terms of how much money they need to be comfortable. Trust me, I've seen it firsthand. You'll have a Rep who's in that position, holding that mentality, and guess what happens when he has a huge month? He thinks, "Awesome, I just makes my commission and am set with my rent and my beer money for the next 3 months." Then he coasts.
That’s not the mentality you want. You want Reps who have that extra level of motivation, like, "I want a new car, or a new boat, or to take my significant other on a cruise." Those are the ones you should be looking to hire.
Part III. Sales and Marketing Alignment and Technology
JB: Sales and marketing alignment is a hot topic right now. What advice do you have for companies looking to improve that aspect of their sales effort?
Number one, marketing has to be held accountable for generating revenue. End of story. You must have a singular focus between the two, or else you risk running into sales reps wasting time with bad leads and essentially feeling like they're being left out to dry.
By holding marketing accountable -- whether it’s through a quota or some other means -- you’re going to get better communication. Which means the quality of your leads is going to improve, you’re going to be able to attract better talent and your overall attack will be much more effective.
JB: Your blog regularly features an "App of the Week." What are your favorites tools for sales and marketing?
That’s a great question. I’ll go ahead and give you my top 3.
Number one: Hootsuite. I use it to run all my social media updates and it's been enormously effective. I spend a lot of time on Twitter and LinkedIn, and it's really made navigating communication on those channels a much smoother process.
Number two: TellWise, which isn't as well known but enables you to centralize all you communication with a prospect into a single platform that has email, instant messaging, and file sharing. And it notifies you whenever the person you're talking gets back to you. It keeps me organized and is much more mobile friendly than email.
And number three is the phone. (Laughs) It really is true though, I don't care who you are or what technology you're using, no email or electronic form of communication is going to beat picking up the phone and reaching out and having a dialogue with your voice on the other end of the line.
Ideally, you can get in-person meetings with your prospects. But if not, your second-best option is getting them on the phone, then email. And the gap between phone and email is huge -- it's so much easier to build trust and relationships over the phone.
By the way, don't buy into this new way of thinking that "the only people who buy are already 70 percent of the way in their decision-making, and they're going to reach out to you." I know for a fact that's not true. Inbound can be -- and should be -- a huge part of the deals you land.
Cold calling is a grind and a lot of sales teams take the wrong approach by not doing research on their prospects and making a pitch rather having a conversation and adding value. You should enter every sales call with a strategy ready of how you're going to add value. You'll get yelled at and hung up on, but if you come at it from the right angle and the right amount of persistence, I promise you that you will have success.
The Sales Influencer Series Library
To check out further episodes and see why CloserIQ has ranked the Sales Influencer Series as one of the very best sales podcasts of 2016, just click on the links below.
Episode 1. John Barrows
Episode 2. Lori Richardson
Episode 3. Max Altschuler
Episode 4. Matt Heinz
Episode 5. Mark Leslie
Episode 6. Kyle Porter
Episode 7. Jon Bradford
Episode 8. Eks Anderson
Episode 9. Matt Hottle
Episode 10. Heather Morgan
Episode 11. Ilan Ferdman
Episode 12. Ryan Jenkins
Episode 13. Tamara Schenk
Episode 14. Mike Weinberg
Episode 15. Scott Britton
Episode 16. Mark Kosoglow
Episode 17. Dionne Mischler
Episode 18. Ken Barton
Episode 19. Kevin Karner
Episode 20. Jill Rowley
Episode 21. Brandon Redlinger
Episode 22. Will Wickey
Episode 23. Drew Woodcock
Episode 24. Dail Wilson
Episode 25. Nathan Sexton
Episode 26. Tucker Max
Episode 27. Bruce Tulgan
Episode 28. Dallas Hogensen
Episode 29. Morgan J. Ingram