Episode 78: Patrick Baynes – Using Automation to Work Smarter, Improve Sales Productivity
Patrick Baynes joins the team at Social Sales Link to enlighten listeners about marketing automation and how it can help salespeople increase and improve their prospecting efforts.
Listen as Patrick talks about “lead surfacing,” “lead scoring,” and “targeted follow-through,” from a marketing automation perspective, and how salespeople can bridge the gap between the moment a prospect reacts to a marketing effort and how they respond.
Bill McCormick 00:00
What does making sales social mean to you?
Patrick Baynes 0:02
It’s about being able to do much more, it’s about being able to have more relationships, be in communication with more people and just be more productive and successful and you know in our careers and then you know, of course even just for fun, right? I mean, it’s great to be able to stay in touch with all the great people we meet along the way.
Bob Woods 00:19
Welcome to the Making Sales Social podcast! Featuring the top voices in sales and marketing. Join hosts Brynne Tillman, and Bill McCormick, as they discuss the best tips and strategies they are teaching their clients so you can leverage them for your own virtual and social selling. You can also listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Here are your hosts, Brynne Tillman, and Bill McCormick.
Patrick Baynes 00:56
Welcome to Making Sales Social! I’m Bill McCormick.
Brynne Tillman 01:00
I’m Brynne Tillman.
Patrick Baynes 01:01
So Brynne, tell me who’s joining us today?
Brynne Tillman 01:03
Well, we have a really special guest today and I’m pretty excited because we’ve actually overlapped professionally but never actually worked together. Our guest, whom I will introduce in just a moment, was the 162nd LinkedIn member ever and was a co-founder of a company called PeopleLinx where I was a chief learning officer years ago.
I’m really excited because this guest that I’m about to introduce, is really steeped deeply in social intelligence, and social listening, which we talk about all the time on how are we being more purposeful in our outreach. So welcome, Patrick Baynes.
Patrick Baynes 01:44
Thank you, Brynne. Thank you, Bill. Great to be here.
Brynne Tillman 01:46
So tell everyone a little bit about you and about Nerdwise.
Patrick Baynes 01:51
Sure. Well, so you mentioned I was the 162nd employee of LinkedIn, not a member, there were about 8 million members at the time and so that was in 2007. And it really kicked off my career into the internet and what became, you know, what we’re here to talk about, and social selling and a lot of the things that the consumer internet and social networks have brought about.
Following LinkedIn, I moved to Philadelphia and became the co-founder of PeopleLinx and we had a really great ride for about seven years helping companies optimize their employee presence and engagement and how they were using the LinkedIn platform and then that company was acquired by FRONTLINE Selling and for the last seven years, I’ve been the CEO at Nerdwise and we really have a focus around productivity, mostly sales productivity and helping, we use this tagline, but it’s very true, is helping companies and people really work smarter.
There’s still a huge gap out there, folks that are working harder and kind of working the old school way, and whatever that means for their industry. And as you both are well aware, there’s a huge opportunity to leverage a number of different tools and resources to become dramatically more productive and successful in our you know, in our roles.
Bill McCormick 03:16
I can’t wait to unpack some of this but first of all, what we like Patrick is to ask every guest the same question, what does making sense social mean to you?
Patrick Baynes 03:26
Well, so that’s a that’s definitely a loaded question because there’s a lot that I could touch on but I think that the probably the most principal part is what social networks and I know, LinkedIn is the one that we’re mostly talking about, but it applies to all of them, and what they’ve done to increase our capacity as individuals as brands, in terms of the amount of people that we can connect with, the amount of relationships that we can maintain, and what we can do with those networks over time.
And I always point to, like, you know, again, pre-social networks, you had a limited ability to even build a network, right, maybe you had a stack of business cards maybe you had an email list that you’re maintaining to some degree but it was always very “touch and go” and manual to maintain it.
Today, you can meet somebody, connect on LinkedIn, and they’re part of your network for life. You get their updates, they get your updates, and you can stay engaged. And so, you know, our networks have been able to go from, and there’s a lot of science that backs this up, where, you know, our brains could only handle about 200 or something relationships prior to all this technology now it’s [inaudible] we know, thousands. So I think that’s the kind of core part of it, it’s about being able to do much more, it’s about being able to have more relationships, be in communication with more people and just be more productive and successful in you know, in our careers and then you know, of course even just for fun, right? I mean, it’s great to be able to stay in touch with all the great people we meet along the way and not kind of evaporate into the ether until you run into them, you know, 15 years from now.
Brynne Tillman 05:04
(Bill: Awesome!) The time is, you know…
Patrick Baynes 05:08
I don’t know what year it is anymore.
Brynne Tillman 05:11
Well, I absolutely love that. And so when we opened up, we talked a little bit about social intelligence, being purposeful, social listening. A big piece of what Social Sales Link talks about is kind of do your pre-work before you’re reaching out.
Right now, our pre-work is primarily done on LinkedIn and Google, but you talk about and you do something very differently. Talk about the importance first of pre-work before we talk about how you go about doing it.
Patrick Baynes 05:40
Sure. I mean, and of course, not every business is the same, not every target client prefers to be engaged the same way but our kind of approach, and it took me a while to get here as a practitioner of marketing and sales, but our approach has evolved now where we start with what I would consider to be more advanced marketing automation, whether that be using tools like Marketo, Pardot, Outreach, Mixmax, and some of that stack to help salespeople increase and improve their prospecting efforts.
And then when you start there, we are able to identify, hey, you know, not only do we get some upfront opportunities but we’ve identified that these target clients are showing interest, we’re tracking them on your website, they clicked your calendar link, but they didn’t respond. And so when we’re able to do that we call it at Nerdwise, we call it, “lead surfacing,” a lot of people call it marketing qualified leads but the reason we call it lead surfacing is because, now we’re not only identifying these folks, but then we’re prescribing them what to do next. And similar to the old PeopleLinx days, we present it as an activity, let them kind of take action on it and redeem some points.
And so from our perspective, is the way most of our clients are operating today is before they ever go to LinkedIn or pick up the phone, they know who is in their marketing funnel, who has awareness and is showing interest in what they do. And so then they would go out, research them on LinkedIn, or pick up the phone and make a phone call and the flip side of this is, if you were to start on the phone or start with LinkedIn first, you’re not going to get that intelligence back right away, you won’t know did they listen to my voicemail? And like did they perk up and write down my name? Did they read my message on LinkedIn and go back to it again, to see about responding?
You don’t get the same data, the same intelligence but when you start with email and marketing automation tools, you get so much intelligence back that is often missed by the sales team. The marketers know about it, but the sales team doesn’t act on it. They might get a report, they might get spreadsheet, salespeople don’t like working from analytics, and those types of things. So that’s where we’ve been operating lately in that area.
Brynne Tillman 08:07
So you know, I hear this as sort of buying triggers, right? Buying opportunities and Sales Navigator gives us a couple of those that are pretty generic, you know, may hire a whole bunch of new people or you know, but nothing concrete and nothing personal to me and my business for sure.
Sales Navigator also has things like Smart Links, where you can see who’s clicked through and what they’ve done. And there are tools like BombBomb or Dub, where you can send out videos and see some tracking but what I’m hearing where there’s a gap, and correct me if I’m wrong, is between the moment that someone reacts to what we’ve done, and how we respond. And that’s where the gap is, is that right?
Patrick Baynes 08:59
It is. The other way to look at it is that, as you both are well aware, marketing and sales are working closer together and more connected than they’ve ever been. Salespeople are now their own marketers in many cases and so the other gap or the other way that we look at it is that the folks that are running these sophisticated marketing automation programs, whether they are brand to prospect like promoting webinars and things and getting some intelligence or they’re tracking website traffic, the things that live in the marketing kind of tower, often don’t make it to sales, or they don’t make it there in the most actionable way.
Now, some places they do a very good job of this but when you’re running that through down to sales reps they might just feed off of the leads that are coming in and what’s happening up front but there’s all of that intelligence around, hey, yes, we got 300 leads this month or whatever the number is, but there’s another 300 that they’ve didn’t sign up but they’ve been then on our site, they’ve been engaging with us and then how you put that into the hands of your sales reps so that it not only becomes actionable but trackable, and we call it a “targeted follow-through” and so it’s letting those, the kind of maximum benefit of those marketing programs come to life so that the reps can take it from the 50-yard line to touchdown.
Brynne Tillman 10:22
So can I ask you just quickly and without going too deep into the product right now, just kind of the strategy or the mindset around, what are some of the triggers that you see, and there’s responses you recommend?
Patrick Baynes 10:35
The basic trigger is lead scoring, it’s classic lead scoring, so we are tracking and scoring all of these target prospects that were engaging from a marketing automation perspective. And then the folks that score the highest are the ones that have become the primary targets to take action on, right, you can’t get through all of them as a rep but if you’re gonna get to work, start with the folks who are showing the highest levels of interest.
So we score things like, you know, how many of our emails have they read in total? How many times have they been to our website? How many pages did they visit? How many did they click on the calendar link? Which means that we’re this close to booking a meeting? And didn’t we score all of that? I think the first part of your question, that’s and I can’t remember how you phrased it. How did you phrase the…?
Brynne Tillman 11:21
Yeah, So it’s okay, so here are the triggers, so they clicked on a calendar link, and they didn’t schedule, what’s a recommendation that you’d give a rep to do now?
Patrick Baynes 11:32
Now, it’s time to check them out on LinkedIn, look for some of the data points that you can leverage, get that intelligence around whether it be mutual connections, you’ve got a client in common, you see something about, you know, I had, this happens constantly, I had a call with a client two weeks ago, he got a neutral reply to an automated sales outreach.
He’s like, “What do I do with this?”
And I said, “Well, who is the person?”
And he goes and looks them up on LinkedIn, and it’s the CEO of a 35,000-person health care company, like, his ideal client.
And so you need to stop, take a look at the context of what’s happening because automation, and I’m not talking about automating on LinkedIn, but automation has a place, but when things start to become real, and they’re real people and real conversations, you don’t automate any more, you know, now it’s time to take a look at “Okay, well, what did they respond to? What was the email that had gone out? Or what was that…?” And then now let’s take a look at who is this prospect and you know, if I reached out to them with a value prop of helping them reduce costs, but in fact, it’s the CEO and the that is going to be more valuable to the head of IT, because that’s who we really serve, maybe my request is, “Thanks for getting back to me, this would make more sense, this may make more sense if I speak with your CIO or your head of IT because we can help them if they’re hiring or looking, you know…”
So just kind of picking up the conversation in an intelligent way, whether that be through the context of what their previous touchpoints had been and what you can pull from LinkedIn. And it may be that LinkedIn is the place to reach out, it may be where you pull that insight around who they are, how long they’ve been there, and whatever data you get before you pick up the phone. So you’re just that much further, well versed, and prepared to take them again, from the 50-yard line to all the way home.
Bill McCormick 13:26
So I love that and for our listeners, I hope you heard what Patrick said. So automation comes with information. So we automate to pass on information. We never automate, to build relationships because you can’t. As Brynne classically says all the time, “You wouldn’t send a robot to an in-person networking meeting to represent you.”
And if you think about doing that, watch the movie Multiplicity with Michael Keaton. It’s an older movie, (Brynne: Best movie ever.) It really shows it, but at some point in time, you have to talk to them. Right? It’s as our friend Larry Levine says, “All business is personal” and all business is social also. So at some point in time, you’re looking for an opportunity to have a conversation.
And so what Patrick’s talking about, these are some triggers that have shown some interest but it’s an interest and a curiosity and you don’t know the level. You know, and I’m sure Patrick would never say to someone that you reach out to someone “Hey, Brynne. So you’re a lead score of a 95 on my radar. So I thought I’d reach out.” No, no, it’s reaching out and finding a context to connect. And LinkedIn is a great way to do that (Brynne: And the lead score is not a context.) Yeah! Definitely is not a context. You mentioned mutual connections, Patrick, but I would warn off of that. To me when somebody reached out, when he says, “Hey, I see we have some mutual connections.” That to me is like the pickup line on LinkedIn. Hey, you come here often.
Brynne Tillman 14:59
But we can reach out to those mutual connections to get the warm introduction.
Bill McCormick 15:03
And that’s, that’s where I was going. There’s so much good stuff here. You know, some people that are listening were probably like, at the beginning of this podcast saying, “Oh my god, he said automation, Bill and Brynne are so against automation.” But we use automation, it’s using it in the correct way.
Brynne Tillman 15:21
We use automation in our email, not in LinkedIn, just for the record.
Bill McCormick 15:25
Right, we use it to pass on information, we use it to be informative, we never use it for relationships and it’s so, so, so great to hear that.
Yeah, I mean, there are two things. So one is just as a reminder to the reps, it’s like, or the CEO, or whoever you’re discussing the process with is, what’s the value of that lead? I mean, some of the value of the lead value can be in that, you know, 10s, 20s, $50,000, it’s like, you’re gonna throw automation at a $50,000 opportunity, like no way at that point, you stop and you put it… that is a human being’s job to be intelligent about what they’re doing.
So you have to know that it’s not, you know, automation stops at a point but the other part is, when you think about automation, it’s something that should be used very carefully but also, when you’ve got a process that you know, is tried and true, and a human being is going to be doing otherwise. Like if there’s a set of steps or a manual process that someone is doing day in and day out and the old Chief Product Officer at LinkedIn Deep Nishar sat with me in my cube for an hour one day, and I showed him a thing that I was doing, there’s a customer service queue and thousands and thousands of emails where people are asking the same questions, and I was bulk selecting them and giving them all like the canned, you know, response. I was like, “Is this okay to be doing? You know, I’m going through thousands of emails,” and he looked at me and he said, “Any chance you get to get off the rat wheel, you take it” and I do that, always just stuck with me, and again, not everything. Now when I did that, and then I got responses back, now I was having real conversations. Now the customer is like, “Thank you, you solve my problem” or “Excuse me, there’s something else we need to be dealing with here.” And if I wasn’t doing it that way, we would have had to hire five, six more customer service reps to deal with that queue of people that were all asking the same question. So any chance you can get off the rat wheel, you take it.
Brynne Tillman 17:20
And we actually teach all of our clients that one of our core beliefs is we need to slow down our outreach, to speed up the outcome. And so a lot of people do, “But it’s so much easier to hit a button and go fast, fast, fast.” But the chances of those converting into conversations are slim to none. If you slow it down, and you’re purposeful, and you’re reaching out, taking the time versus dropping the names of the shared connections, but as Bill was taking the time, to talk to your shared connections and find insights that you can leverage, that’s where the real value of LinkedIn can play a part in that. But to your point, a lot of what’s happening, I think, Patrick, if I’m understanding is, a lot of people are starting on LinkedIn without being informed on who’s really interested.
And I think if you don’t have an enormous amount of traffic, and you’re relatively new, you have to start there because you have to build a database of people that you can message to see whether or not they’re engaging. But I think if you have a mature business, and you’ve got traffic coming into your website, and you have people that are you know, being emailed, I think the idea of being smarter, even before you initially reach out on LinkedIn is a really great way of social listening.
Patrick Baynes 18:50
Yeah, it’s definitely a direction matters, direction over speed and when, you know, when you look at B2B organizations, a lot of them I mean, I would say a lot of them like 100%, almost. They grow off of the same metrics, right? It’s the number of net new prospects that you’re getting in front of, and this is a number all sales managers are always trying to get a handle on right? “How many prospects do we have to reach out to get a meeting?” “How many meetings to get an opportunity to customers?” And of course, you want those ratios to be as good as they can be, right? And you don’t want it to be a thousand outreaches to a meeting. And then you know, you got to do 5000 outreaches to get five meetings. You want to get those numbers as compact as possible so that your sales reps can make less outreaches of a higher quality, get more meetings, more opportunities, and convert. And so we try to make those numbers as good as we can for the reps. So, again, they’re working smarter, making better use of their time.
Bill McCormick 19:46
Working smarter is always better. So listen, this has been fantastic. We could keep going but we’re just about out of time. So Patrick, thanks so much. Tell everyone that’s listening how they can connect with you and find out more about you and about Nerdwise.
Patrick Baynes 20:06
Brynne Tillman 20:14
Thank you for your insights.
Bill McCormick 20:15
Fantastic. Well, thanks, everyone for listening, and join us back next time for another session of Making Sales Social. In the meantime, as you’re out and about this week, don’t forget to make your sales social. Bye-bye, everyone.
Bob Woods 20:29
Thanks for watching, and join us again for more special guest instructors bringing you marketing, sales, training, and social selling strategy that will set you apart. Hit the subscribe button below to get the latest episodes from the Making Sales Social podcast. Give this video a thumbs up and comment down below on what you want to hear from us next. You can also listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Visit our website socialsaleslink.com for more information.