Change the Game With Conversations

For sales and marketing teams, conversations are gold.


The more convos you can have, the better you understand your customers, and ultimately win more of their trust & business. Even if your product has a 7-figure price tag or is a $10/month subscription, conversations with people provide rapport, feedback, and trust.

The difficulty with conversations is that until recently, conversations haven’t been scalable! It takes a lot of time to chase prospects, engage and follow up, set meetings, and chat. Replicate this across thousands of people, add in the complexity of managing these contacts, and you have a whirlwind of a mess!

Fortunately, there are now tools like ScaleRep that harness the power of conversations into your marketing and sales funnels. In working with our users, we’ve surfaced 4 guidelines in leveraging the power of conversations to further enhance your prospecting pipeline:

1. Multi-Channel Conversations

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Of course, you know you should be reaching your target market across several channels, but take that a step further to initiate conversations across multiple channels. It’s one thing for people to see a dozen ads on the web, and another for someone from your company to reach out directly and ask if they need assistance.

Our data shows outreach that initiates conversation and includes 1 more channel in addition to a direct email yields an average 2.5X larger response rate that cold email outreach. ScaleRep does this through utilizing voicemail and text (when appropriate) to augment email outreach and to and ask them if they need help.

Outreach that initiates conversation and includes at least 1 more channel in addition to a direct email yields an average 2.5X larger response rate.

2. Following Up With Referrals and Auto-Replies

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If you’re in sales, your inbox is probably filled with leads that have auto-replied or responded saying they’re not the right person to engage with.

The vast majority of orgs don’t follow up with these messages, but they frequently present the best opportunities to engage with prospects.

 

Engaging with leads that left an auto-reply and leads that were referred yield a reply rate of 26%–40%. That’s a 6–10x better reply rate than a standard cold outreach campaign.

We’ve found that welcoming back people after they’re out-of-office as well as asking for referrals (and reaching out to those referred leads!) is a great way to converse and engage with more people.

Here’s a representation of what ScaleRep’s auto-reply and referral mining looks like — We’ve found these tactics to yield a 6–10X better reply rate than cold outreach.

3. Reply Handling

Most teams miss the best opportunities to engage with prospects when they reply — either because they are busy, it’s not immediately actionable, it’s a negative reply, or it gets lost among the dozens of other sales inquiries.

You should try to reply to as many interactions as possible and follow up with timely responses. As members of the marketing and sales community, we know this is a must, but it falls on the wayside of the list of priorities.

ScaleRep has users define responses to common replies in order to initiate further conversations and to make sure leads don’t fall through the cracks. Each reply is catered to engage prospects in a genuine back-and-forth to bring up opportunities to share your product.

A few examples of replies we’ve generated templates for can be seen below.

A snapshot of a list of common replies ScaleRep is tracking on behalf of one of our users.

4. Timely Re-Engagement

At the end of the day, marketing and sales teams connect with a small number of people, and the majority of teams fail to reach their target market. Most teams forget about these leads and continue with prospecting. Our data shows that leads that have been reached out to and have engaged with your content have a much better chance of becoming a paying customer. In fact, ScaleRep data shows that:

Leads which have been previously engaged and nurtured are 2–5x more likely to engage with material and convert to a sales opportunity

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From our experience, timely nurturing increases the likelihood that folks will engage with a company and become a qualified sales opportunity. Other data sources also show that nurtured leads spend more money on product and are more likely to be sales-ready.

The Devil’s in the Details

Some of these insights are straightforward and obvious, yet the number of firms that successfully do this is quite small. The amount of time and effort for teams to nurture leads, reply to every potential customer, and mine auto-replies and referrals is huge, even if you know there is real ROI there.

Thankfully, that’s where ScaleRep comes in — if this is something that we can help your company with, we’d love to connect!

 

Conversations

We’re being bombarded.

Over 45% of emails sent are spam, of which a third are advertisements.
John Oliver recently released a piece stating that roughly 50 Billion robocalls are sent a year — that number is growing quickly. Everywhere you turn, there’s an ad for something.

It’s now easier than ever for companies to blast out marketing and advertisements, and you’ve probably noticed. At this point, we’re over-stimulated with generic ads, deal + discount offers, and pre-roll Youtube ads. It’s questionable just how effective marketing campaigns and advertisements really are.

It’s almost as if companies and brands have forgotten about….people. They’ve forgotten that individuals like to have conversations to quickly determine value and get help. Thankfully, there’s a coming trend, “Conversational Marketing”.

First, how we got here

The way we engage with potential customers has quickly evolved.

In the 20th century, sales teams lived on their phones to call you and your mothers, hoping to get a sell (Think “Wolf of Wall Street” and “Boiler Room”).

E-mailing was soon introduced to the mix, allowing for quicker and a higher volume of interactions (we all remember the iconic “You Got Mail!” prompt). Folks could try and reach you across email to sell products and schedule demos.

Social media came along in the mid-to-late 2000s, creating a huge opportunity for advertising and influencer marketing.

It wasn’t long before automation appeared — auto-dialers, mail-mergers, and CRMs. Marketing teams could now reach leads at scale across multiple channels. Those who utilized marketing and automation benefitted — these teams were able to process more data, better data, and ultimately could serve more customers.

These innovations have changed the way we communicate, and have led to an ironic problem for marketing and sales teams — genuine leads with real personas have become faceless names on excel sheets. Call centers have taken up on calling “numbers” up to 15 times in a day, and teams look to make thousands of “impressions” on leads across the web.

Enter Conversational Marketing

It’s the ability the connect with customers in a real-time, one-on-one, personalized conversation. It allows for real insights from potential customers and genuine interactions between brands and people.

Conversation marketing is not a new concept; we’ve been having conversations with customers for centuries, and even the term itself has been around for at least a decade. But there is a renewed interest in conversational marketing because advances in technology and shifts in consumer behavior, can allow such conversations to happen at scale — we can have direct, 1:1 conversations with individual customers on their timeline.

Why It Matters

In a world where there’s more noise than ever and where it is more difficult to connect with prospects, it’s imperative to create and foster connections. Advertisements on social media, e-mail newsletters, and robo-reminders to input your credit card don’t cut it anymore. They’re a great way to get your name out and prompt action, but most consumers will need something more.

Brands and firms need to reach out directly to people, foster conversations, ask questions, and step in to provide expertise. You see, people buy experiences, not products; no experience is better than personal connections and conversations.

“People buy experiences, not products. No experience is better than personal connections and conversations”

Trends

We’re still in the early days in conversational marketing — this space will grow tenfold over the next couple of years.

The challenge in conversational marketing is how to engage in conversations with many potential clients at the same time without hiring an army of folks to create and manage these conversations.

Thankfully, technology is starting to be at the point where artificial intelligence can initiate conversations with prospects and handle many of the questions, interactions, and processes need to manage these conversations. This means that companies can use technologies like Drift and ScaleRep to hold conversations on their website, and over email, text, and voicemail.

 

Building a Successful Prospecting Engine

In this ScaleRep blog, we’ll share new B2B lead prospecting tools and techniques that brought the most success to the teams ScaleRep worked with. Our goal is to enable you with ways to build a sustainable prospecting process that plugs into your nurturing and engagement efforts.
ScaleRep works with sales and marketing teams to continually nurture and qualify leads at scale. Because of our knowledge set, we’re continually asked how companies can put together a prospecting engine that can drive predictable revenue.

After all, it can feel like a daunting task to find people that will be interested in your product.

The good news is that contact data is becoming commoditized; that is, it’s becoming easier and less expensive to find contact information of potential customers. There are more contact databases and more tools than ever before to help. This movement has fundamentally changed the way businesses can lead prospect – they’re moving away from repetitive manual prospecting to technologies and automation tools that can prospect at scale. We’ve leveraged these higher-level trends in creating the following workflow in lead prospecting, as described below.

Step 1- Define Ideal Customer Profile

It’s imperative that you Identify your ideal customer profile(s) – or at least who you think your ideal customers are. Doing so provides a framework around prospecting, measuring results, and improving performance.

What are the personas of the people you are looking to engage with? What titles do they have? Where are they located? What industry are they in?

  1. Come up with a name for each ideal customer profile (ICP) so you can easily refer to it

  2. Define them based on common search fields (their title, industry type, company size etc.)

  3. Find a LinkedIn profile that fits each profile and run a Crystal Knows profile search — this will provide general insight on how each customer profile will generally like to engage, which will provide insight on how to craft messaging for them.

Figure 1: A snapshot from Crystal Knows of our CEO’s profile

Step 2 – Use Contact Databases to Get Started

Depending on your target market, you can easily source a wide range of contacts in your target profile using contact databases. Below are a few options for B2B lead lists that ScaleRep used.

Uplead
Leadfuze
Voogy
Leadiro
Radius
ZoomInfo and Discover Org

Use email verifiers with contact databases!

ScaleRep highly encourages you to pair contact databases with an additional email verifier tool. Each provider updates emails in different cadences, and it is important that you do not send outreach to contacts that are no longer valid, yet still in these databases. Doing so will damage your email deliverability rates and your ability to connect with people!

Snovio and Hunter.io are our go-to email verifier tools. Note that oftentimes, it’s expected that only 20-50% of contacts that are generally pulled from contact databases will be verified emails.

Figure 2: A snapshot of verified emails from a contact database; 53% were deemed deliverable

Step 3 – Other Means for Data – Public Sites

Along with contact databases, there are a few other methods you can use to build a healthy set of contacts by utilizing sources around the internet.

    • Job posting information
      If your product is more appealing to companies that are hiring for a role, you can scrape job postings to find such companies that need that role and reach out.
    • Yellow Pages
      If your ICP includes businesses or services that have local presences (therapists, real estate agents, dentists, retail shops), you can scrape public posts from places like Yellow Pages or Yelp to surface businesses.
    • Crunchbase
      Crunchbase has a plethora of information about companies and different queries that may be useful. It’s a go-to place to surface accounts that have recently raised money, find accounts that are competitors of current clients, etc. Their Crunchbase Pro offering allows you to export company data for such queries.

As an example of the above methods, ScaleRep built an internal tool called GetPostings to scrape public job posts from a few sites, as well as listings off of Yellow Pages.

Figure 3: A snapshot of GetPostings, an internal job posting and Yellow Page scraper.

These methods would yield a list of locations and domains of specific accounts, or companies, that we’re in our target market. Once we had this info, we would use tools like Hunter.io’s email finder and findthatlead.com to source contact information from these domains. You’ll be able to pull leads based on different verticals within these companies (contacts in sales, marketing, etc).

Figure 4: A snapshot of Hunter.io’s “Email Finder” option that surfaces emails from specific departments given a domain name

Step 4 – Other Means for Data – Affinity Data

The one source of data we have yet to cover is LinkedIn. LinkedIn most likely holds the largest contact graph, but does not include an abundance of contact information. Nonetheless, there are a few methods to surface contact information given a LinkedIn account that proves helpful in pulling data.

Perhaps the most effective engagement technique we’ve found is to reach out is what we call ‘Affinity Data’. Every company has a unique set of networks that their employees are members of. Largely, marketing and sales teams do not take advantage of these networks. In many cases, there are people who are part of the same networks as you and your coworkers that are also members of your ICP. ScaleRep calls these “affinity groups.” Our data shows that outreach to affinity groups yield on average 6.3x more conversations than cold conversations. Furthermore, this knowledge graph is generally captured on LinkedIn.

A few examples of affinity groups include people in your ICPs that are alumni of the same schools as you/your coworkers, ex-employees of companies you used to work with, people in the same geographic location (if that location is not San Francisco or New York), and people of the same ethnicity. We also found that the more technical a product was and the higher seniority level the ICP (VPs, CXOs), the more effective affinity data was than cold outreach.

Figure 5: An example of a few Affinity Groups ScaleRep has used before

Figure 6: Internal ScaleRep data that shows how much more effective affinity prospects was than cold outreach prospects

ScaleRep would frequently source contact information within key affinity groups and reach out to folks from people in your company also part of that affinity group with a subject line of ‘Fellow X – Y intro’. In short, we found manufacturing connections through affinity groups lead to significantly better results in creating conversations.

To source affinity data, we utilized LinkedIn Sales Navigator and a tool called AnyLeads to find prospects that matched specific affinities.

In Conclusion

Between contact databases, utilizing tools like our GetPostings scraper and Crunchbase, and sourcing affinity data, ScaleRep sourced 3K – 20K verified contacts per month per client.

As you start to build a sizeable database of contacts, your challenges will shift to lead nurturing and qualification. That’s where ScaleRep helps – we’re great at nurturing and qualifying sales opportunities that are sitting in your CRM and are falling through the cracks. As companies focus on key customer personas and leads, we work with them to ensure that their contacts are intelligently being engaged and qualified.

 

Have questions? Need help? E-mail us and info@scalerep.com

Happy Prospecting!

Don’t Outsource Your Sales – Outsource the “Busy” Work!

We believe that most companies should not outsource sales.

That is, the core ‘selling’ aspect of how you build relationships and consult people on your product — it’s your proprietary knowledge and secret sauce. There is no one who knows your customer personas better than you, your product better than you, your brand better than you, and how to handle objections better than you.

Doing this sales work effectively is very time-consuming and something’s got to give. This work, after all, is why salespeople are paid! Unfortunately, most sales teams are quick to de-prioritize key top-of-the-funnel workflows in exchange on focusing on the bottom of the funnel. This leads to a dry sales pipeline and money left on the table.

This is where ScaleRep comes in — we create engaging conversations with prospects at the top of the sales funnel. ScaleRep automates the “busy work” behind prospecting and outreaching to your ideal customers with the goal of surfacing opportunities for your sales team to focus on. This allows you and your team to double down on your sales processes and high-value accounts.

What does working with ScaleRep look like?

1. Automatically Engage Leads and Surface Opportunities

ScaleRep engages with leads on your behalf with the goal of surfacing opportunities. Our AI workflows not only reach out to leads but also capture common replies to further engage them. Once a lead responds positively to an inquiry, ScaleRep hands off that lead to your sales team to pick up and start the selling process.

Imagine automatically engaging with thousands of leads every month with no time spent from your team; that’s the power of ScaleRep.

2. Data Prospecting
Sales reps spend a ton of time finding leads in their target market to engage with. ScaleRep has access to over 320 million leads across the world and can find leads within your target market from a variety of sources to engage with.

ScaleRep ingests data from outbound sources, your stale CRM leads that haven’t been touched the last few months, as well as stagnant inbound leads.

3. Engagement on Auto-Pilot

Users typically engage with anywhere from 2,500 to 20,000 leads a month using ScaleRep. They love having the peace of mind to know that ScaleRep is engaging leads day over day, week over week, while preserving brand appearance and voice, and removing there team from the back-and-forth communications.

4. Inbox Filtering
Our goal is to remove talented sales reps and growth teams from the mundane work of prospecting and living in their email or mail merger. Your time and talent should be spent on more lucrative tasks. Therefore, ScaleRep abstracts as much noise as possible from your teams by handling common objections, auto-replies and referrals, and negative emails. All your team sees are interactions from opportunities interested in learning more about your product.

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While you stay focused on closing deals, we’ll stay focused on surfacing your best leads. Interested in learning more? Feel free to email us at info@scalerep.com, or request a demo today!

ScaleRep

Analyzing 500k Touchpoints to Boost Your Sales Engagement

Over the last year, ScaleRep has had the pleasure in working with a variety of B2B users — SAAS businesses, services, large enterprises, Y-Combinator companies, and startups in the pre-release stage.

After analyzing a subset of over a half million touchpoints, we’re excited to share some of the interesting macro-trends and conclusions we found — you might pick up some tips that can work magic!

 

1. Profile your target market!
Sure, it may seem obvious — but have you really done it?

Touchpoints that took the target profile into account saw an average 70% increase in reply rates. This increase in reply rate was not normally distributed across users — companies that did comprehensive target market profiles beforehand saw a minimal increase in conversion, while other users who didn’t do this yet saw a ~1.5x return.

ScaleRep walks users through understanding the profiles of their target market — how do they interact? Are they forward-looking, skeptical, or optimistic? Do they prefer communication that’s quick-and-to-the-point or a good short story? This information is valuable in crafting outreach content that taps into the style your target market would like to engage in.

 

2. Retarget Your Past Leads!
Retargeting leads yielded an average 15% increase in meetings.

While most companies tend to discount past leads sitting idle in their CRMs, ScaleRep users have integrated ScaleRep with their CRM to automate retargeting. We find most users see success in retargeting leads who never replied to previous outreach, or retargeting leads with lukewarm responses.

 

3. Cross-Channel Targeting
Campaigns including at least 1 more channel of interaction in addition to email yielded an average 2.5X increase in response rate.

In general, it’s 2x more effective to send 2 emails and leave a voicemail/LinkedIn message than it is to send 4 emails to a lead.

 

4. Auto-Replies and Referrals
Engaging with leads that left an auto-reply and leads that were referred yield a reply rate of 26%–40%. That’s a 6–10x better reply rate than a standard cold outreach campaign.

The ScaleRep platform captures auto-replies and engages with leads to surface referrals within the same organization. As you start engaging with your target market, you’ll see a ton of auto-replies and referrals. Replies are a data mine of information — they share when someone will be back in the office, whom else to reach out to while they’re out, and oftentimes connect you with the right person. Ironically, sales development teams don’t place an emphasis on auto-replies and referrals.

 

5. The Hidden Gold in Affinity Campaigns
On average, affinity campaigns yield a 3.5x better response rate than an average cold outreach email.

ScaleRep walks users through determining (1) who is the right person at a company to outreach with, and (2) what networks they can leverage at scale. We help manufacture connections within these networks to yield better interactions. We call these affinity campaigns — how can you connect with people in your target market who are pre-disposed to interact with you?

Everyone is part of networks, and we find that people frequently do not leverage them to engage with prospects. This includes alumni of the same university, alumni of previous companies, companies in the same geographic region as you, people with the same ethnicity, people with the same title, etc.

And there you have it! We would love to hear your feedback, or any tips that you’ve found effective as well!

Want more information? Have questions?

Contact Us: info@scalerep.com