Building an Effective Sales Machine

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Michelle L. (Conkle) Page, Fractional Business Development Leader, and SalesChasers LLC Principal Consultant, shares her insights and strategies on how to build a successful sales machine.

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Michelle L. (Conkle) Page, Fractional Business Development Leader, and SalesChasers LLC Principal Consultant, shares her insights and strategies on how to build a successful sales machine.

Michelle is an accomplished business development leader with over 20 years of experience in the B2B space. She has helped companies of all sizes achieve their revenue goals and is passionate about sharing her knowledge and expertise with others.

In this episode, Michelle discusses:

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  • How to define your ideal customer profile
  • How to develop and implement a sales process that works
  • How to measure and track your results

Damon cordially welcomes Michelle to his show and initiates the conversation by asking the guest to share her background. Similarly, Damon highlights her expertise in fractional sales efforts and how Michelle helps people with their sales processes. In response, the sales guru reveals that she started her selling career in telemarketing, making phone calls to potential customers during dinner hours. After a few experiences in telemarketing, she decided to transition to business-to-business (B2B) sales. For about three decades, she has been actively involved in the selling-by-phone industry, gaining experience with various products and methodologies.

Similarly, Michelle recalls her enjoyable experiences in sales, mentioning one of her longest and most cherished customers, Court Furniture Rental. For approximately six years, they worked together on multiple projects, starting with a single office in Atlanta.

Damon asks the guest about the most challenging product she ever sold.

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Michelle provides two examples of challenging products she sold in the technology industry. Firstly, she was involved in selling on-premise software systems for manufacturing companies back when email was still a new concept. Despite being unfamiliar with the industry and software, Michelle’s team handled lead generation, giving her valuable experience in learning the industry quickly and how to prospect effectively.

The second challenging product she mentions was a software company with a founder who was knowledgeable about the product but lacked a clear understanding of the ideal client and use cases.

While talking about the gap in a company’s tangible and desired goals, Michelle says the company’s lifecycle, product nature, target audience, and sales type (e.g., transactional or consultative) impact sales strategies.
To bridge the gap, Michelle suggests assessing the existing sales team, including Sales Development Representatives (STRS) who focus on prospecting, and Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR), a critical metric for subscription-based businesses.

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Damon raises an important question about the role of hunters and closers in the sales process. He mentions that some businesses believe hiring a salesperson will solve all their problems. However, he acknowledges Michelle’s point about the importance of having both hunters and closers. When a business has a list of potential clients, the host wonders if it is the right time to hire a closer or if they still need a hunter to initiate the sales process and qualify leads before passing them to the closer.

Michelle explains that the response to a given list of potential customers or prospects depends on various factors. The list might include network connections, past customers, leads, or prospects from previous interactions.

If the list consists of warm leads which were previously qualified as Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) or Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), it could be passed to an Account Executive (AE) or closer for follow-up. However, the status of the list is uncertain due to potential changes in the companies or the influence level of contacts. In that case, a Business Development Representative (BDR) or data specialist might be better suited to research and qualify the leads, ensuring the best results for the effort invested in the task.

Damon inquires about common problems companies face when their sales are not meeting expectations.
Michelle says assessing before coaching or training sales teams is crucial. Moreover, she mentions the three critical aspects of successful sales communications:

  • Market (identifying the right target audience and personas).
  • Messaging (personalizing the message to be relevant to the recipient).
  • Medium (choosing the appropriate communication channel).

Coaching on delivery with a good understanding of these three elements may be effective.

Michelle advises clients to build a strong foundation by identifying their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and tailoring their approach to specific target markets rather than using a broad approach.

Damon inquires about companies’ approach to the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) or persona development. He asks if Michelle observes companies investing sufficient time in this process or if they often fall short.

“Typically, they do fall short,” responds Michelle. They may base their ICP on existing clients or product features, but that might not necessarily identify their ideal client. In Michelle’s view, an ideal client profile is one where the company’s product or service perfectly fulfills the client’s needs. This alignment results in a shorter sales cycle, reduced expenses, and opportunities for upsells, cross-sells, ARR renewals, and long-term relationships. Rather than being transactional, such clients become raving fans, leading to more referrals.

Damon asks Michelle about trends sales leaders adopt and areas where others need to catch up.

Finding the query “really great,” Michelle discusses two often overlooked essentials: a dynamic data source and a customized CRM system. Selecting the right data source with accurate information is crucial. A tailored CRM system aids in comprehensive data tracking. Michelle advises against unnecessary tools, emphasizing the importance of these foundational elements for effective sales, drawing parallels to the past.

Damon inquires about the role of a CRM system in tracking the sales pipeline accurately.

Michelle explains that in an ideal situation, accurate and substantial data within the CRM empowers sales leaders during one-on-one sessions with team members. This data provides insights into activity, results, and forecasts. Consequently, the one-on-one meetings become opportunities for coaching, training, and support rather than mere discussions about activities and plans.

Damon intends to explore further into this concept and understand its implications for sales organizations and individuals involved in the sales process.

While answering, Michelle provides an example of personalized outreach for a current client targeting C-level executives in different operational roles. She explains that CEOs, CFOs, and founders have distinct concerns and objectives, even though they may share some similarities. Effective personalized communication involves addressing each persona’s unique pains and gains, tailored to their specific goals and needs. Michelle emphasizes the importance of discussing industry-related matters that resonate with their roles and relationships with customers and suppliers.

Damon believes that personalization and understanding the ICP can lead to successful communication, even using relatable terms and experiences. He raises a question about integrating personalization into the sales process to resonate better with clients.

Michelle advocates considering a prospect’s psychographics. She notes the evolving nature of emails, which are now shorter, more interactive, and occasionally cheeky. Tailoring email styles based on the recipient’s role and company culture is crucial. “Meeting them where they are” ensures meaningful interactions and engagement.

The guest explains the potential of a sophisticated automation tool to create sequences and cadences tied to specific CRM groups. For instance, tailored communication for groups like “SMB tech, female lead,” or “manufacturing firms under 10 million in rural America.” However, this requires significant programming and creative efforts. Implementing such a strategy demands a robust business development infrastructure.

Before wrapping up, Michelle points out the value of dynamic online data sources for gathering information about companies and individuals. While personalization is important, she emphasizes avoiding crossing into stalker territory.

Additionally, Michelle discusses the evolution of outbound sales efforts. While traditional methods rely on high call volumes, the modern approach focuses on data quality. Cleaning and segmenting lists before loading them into the CRM is crucial. This results in actionable accounts for sales reps, allowing them to make targeted calls and achieve an average of around 8 to 12 calls per hour while maintaining accurate records and lead statuses.

The show ends with Damon thanking Michelle for her time and valuable tips.

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Michelle Page, Damon Pistulka

Damon Pistulka 00:01
All right, everyone, welcome once again to the faces of business. I am your host, Damon Pistulka. And I am excited for our guests today, because I’ve got Michelle page here from sales chasers, and we’re going to be talking about building an effective sales machine. Welcome, Michelle.

Michelle Page 00:20
Thank you, Damon, thank you. We’re happy to be here.

Damon Pistulka 00:25
Oh, I’m just I’m excited to have you here. Because, you know, if there’s anything that is critical to the business behind having something to sell, it’s the selling of that. So I’m excited to go through some of the things and you know, looking through your background, you’ve been helping people develop sales, teams develop sales systems being both in inside outside and just around the the topic from all angles in some interesting real world setting. So as we always like to start this off, Michelle, why don’t you tell us a bit about your background? And how you got into helping people today with your fractional sales efforts?

Michelle Page 01:15
Absolutely. Well, I actually started selling by phone, back when that awful word telemarketing was the term for it. And yes, I was that person that called you at the dinner hour. And after a few hours, and of that, I said, Okay, business to business is where I want to be. So I have been in the selling by phone industry for about three decades. So I’ve seen just about every type of product, every type of methodology, good, bad and ugly. And I’ve learned I’ve learned what works, what doesn’t. And if you run into this challenge, there’s there’s a lot of ways to overcome it. So when I got into it, it was it was because you know, I’ve been selling since I was a kid. And I’ve found that it’s something I enjoy. When you’re selling something, it’s because somebody can benefit from it. And I enjoy that.

Damon Pistulka 02:28
Very cool. So what’s the most interesting thing you ever sold? Oh, wow. Are you enjoyed selling the most

Michelle Page 02:44
enjoy this sewing? You know, I I’ve enjoyed almost all of them. I would say the the one that I probably enjoyed the most was one of my longest customers, which was court Furniture Rental. And it was fun, because there were we spread out that engagement. It was probably six years. And we started with one office here in Atlanta. And you think, okay, it’s Furniture Rental. How exciting can that be? Well, every time you hear why companies use it, and then we started bringing in higher education and military, and government and all these different applications about how they’re so useful. You learn and then you spread over a bunch of different geographic markets and, and what’s pertinent to that market. It was fun, and and the teams that I worked with was fun, and I just really enjoyed that experience.

Damon Pistulka 03:54
Very cool. Very cool. And then what do you think was the hardest thing you ever had to try to sell?

Michelle Page 04:06
I’m gonna give you two examples. And they were both technology. Okay. The first one, I started that job in my team 9192. Email was new at that point. Yeah. Position it. And we were selling software systems on premise for manufacturing companies. Wow. They were they started out at like quarter million dollars. And we were doing lead generation. So I was completely out of my element on the industry on software. And it taught me how to learn it industry and how to learn how to prospect and that was the first situation where we were teamed as business development with an AE territory. was territory. So it was a great learning experience. And I learned how to learn fast. Yes. The other frustrating one was also technology. And this was a founder who knew his product. It was it was a software company. He knew his product, but he didn’t know who his ideal client was. He knew who the person was as far as the psycho Rafi. But he didn’t know what type of industry or how they were going to use it. And he didn’t haven’t narrowed down into use cases. So me building out a sales strategy and messaging was just completely challenging.

Damon Pistulka 05:48
Yeah. Yeah, that’s, oh, wow. Ask those two questions. And we have tons to talk about just in those two or three questions there. So let’s, let’s back up, let’s back up a little bit. Because I there’s a wealth of wealth of conversation points there. So when when we’re talking about building an effective sales machine, something that’s going to be able to, you know, expand your customer base and continue to build your, your sales over time? What are your key? I guess, people pieces in that, you know, we’ve got sales and business development marketing, we’ve got inside count or customer service people, what are the, you know, few just said, we really see in most of the kinds of business I work with, we have to have bump, bump, bump bump, to really keep the things rolling like we want.

Michelle Page 06:51
Well, that is gonna vary widely, depending on a lot of things, the lifecycle of the company, the type of product or service, who you’re selling to, if there’s a big customer service element, if you’re doing a lot of repeat business, a lot of repeat orders, if it’s more transaction or transactional, consultative selling, if it’s an ARR model. And of course, with lifecycle if you’ve got one or two STRS. Or if you’ve got 25. Yeah, so So the first thing you need to look at is where are you? So current state? What is your desired state? And I’m not talking about 25 years from now, if you if you’ve got an aggressive revenue goal for the next 12 months or 24 months, okay, that’s your desired state. Let’s quantify that. Okay, what’s the gap? And what’s the bridge to get there? So we need to build that roadmap, then we can identify what our sales strategy is. Then we’ve got to look at what do you have in place, if you have to AES two closers. They’re probably not prospecting as much as they could, because if you hired a good closer, they don’t like to prospect. That’s, that’s kind of a known fact, for the majority. You either have the drive and the personality to hunt or the drive and the personality to close fullcycle sales does work. In some situations. What I have seen perform best has been defined roles and responsibilities. You can build better metrics, you can manage better, you can coach better, and you can get better performance. So you know what, what does your makeup look alike? So what is the best fit? Yeah, results.

Damon Pistulka 08:59
So you said a couple of things in here, then I like to expand on this a little bit, because some people look at, they think they hired a salesperson, and all their problems are going to go away. But you brought up I think a very important point about hunters and closers. And when I’m sitting here with a business, and I’ve got a plethora of people, I know who I have to contact. Is that really a time to go okay, I can just hire a closer and I can close these or do we still need a hunter at the beginning of the process. It’s going to talk to you know, 100 of these clients a day or however many a week or whatever the right number is, and then if they’re interested, we we pass them on to the closer to talk about, you know, how they would talk about to actually get to a sale. is full cycle sales? I think it’s tough and a lot of sit Yeah. Like said,

Michelle Page 10:05
Well, you know, Damon, I’m gonna make a lot of responses as well, it depends. Yeah. So you’ve got this list? Are they network connections past customers? Has probes prospects that you talked to three years ago? And maybe they’ve forgotten who you are? Did they sign up on your website? And maybe they forgot they signed up? They signed up for a webinar never attended. So you’ve got to figure out okay, what grade? Would you give this list? Yeah. If it is a warm list of people that at one time were qualified MQ ELLs or SQL, so marketing qualified or sales qualified, you could give that to an AE, a closer, if you don’t know, the status of that list, you know, there could be people on there that have left the company. Yeah, maybe they’ve gone to a new company and you want to research where they went? Or maybe you’re talking to a lower level employee that’s on your list that maybe they are an influencer? Maybe they’re just kind of ancillary to a decision making team and you really want to go a level up? Don’t have your age, do that. Have either your BDR or perhaps a data person do that. So you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, for whatever role is doing a job?

Damon Pistulka 11:31
Yeah, yeah, I agree. Do you see in? Because I know on some of the the smaller companies that we work with, I see where they might have someone that’s more like a business development person. And they’re actually using some of their sales slash operational people to close I see this in oil and gas. How do you think? Is that effect? Have you seen that done effectively? Or is it really, you should separate that sales from the operational aspect,

Michelle Page 12:04
the operational or technical side can add a lot of value when they accompany the sales process. So think about a sales engineer. A lot of salespeople, they’re salespeople, because they know sales. Those sales skills are transferable to a lot of different industries. They may not be intimately familiar with your industry, but they know sales, they can learn an industry. Now, if you have someone that is a software engineer, they know software. They may not know sales. Yeah. So you can learn an industry much easier than you can learn sales. There we go. Stay in your lane, call in the resources that you need to stay in your lane. That’s why a lot of founder led sales organizations struggle. The founder knows their product or service, they can sell it to somebody who wants or needs it. But finding those opportunities. It’s not their core competency.

Damon Pistulka 13:17
Yeah, yeah. So when you’re coming into companies, and they’re saying, hey, our sales just aren’t doing what we normally need? And I know, it depends. But when we when we look at it, is it usually when you go when we’re talking about common problems? Is it because they don’t have a good business development aspect? And they’re not really refreshing? And an understanding and collecting? And collecting is not a good word, but really getting introduced to more potential customers? Or is it? Or is it typically that they can’t, you know, explain the product or service right and get through the sales process?

Michelle Page 14:03
That is something that you would need to do an assessment first. So when when I start working with a company, a lot of times I’ll be asked to come in and coach or train. I can absolutely do that. I enjoy it. I I actually get a lot of personal satisfaction out of that part of what I do. But if you’re coaching or training someone who doesn’t know what job they’re supposed to do, or don’t know how to do their job, you’re a little bit heavy yourself. Yeah. So does that person have the right resources available to them? Do they have the right knowledge available to them? So peel it back a little bit. So I always look at the foundation. Yeah. Are they call on the right people? Are they saying the right messaging? In my view, there are three M’s to successful Sales communications, there is, first of all the market or talking to the right people that goes to your ICP, and the personas within the ICP. The second one is the messaging. 2023 is all about personalization. If your message is not relevant to the company and the person that you’re communicating with, is going to fall short, you need to personalize, you need to be relevant. The third is the medium, you’re not going to communicate the same way over the phone as you would by email or leaving a voicemail. So all of that has to be right. So when you’re coaching someone, if you don’t, if they don’t have a good understanding of all that, coaching them on their delivery on the phone, if they’re saying the wrong message to the wrong person is not going to be helpful. Yeah. So I always advise a client or potential client, you know, go back to the basics, you wouldn’t get to build a house on quicksand. Look at your foundation. Who is your ICP? Now, if you’re a car dealer, you may say, Well, anyone that has a license and watching needs a car. Okay, well, that’s your addressable market. But what if you’re a Lamborghini dealer? Is that your ideal client profile? No. To get specific.

Damon Pistulka 16:30
So do you see the SOC about the idea of customer profiler? Or persona? Do you see companies spending enough time on that? Or is it typically they fall short?

Michelle Page 16:45
Typically, they do fall short. They, they oftentimes, they’ll either look at their client base and say, this is a good client, we should get more like them. Or they’ll look at their product or service features or benefits and say, Okay, this company could use that. So that might be a good clients, it would be applicable to them, but is it their ideal client? So Michelle, Michelle has her own definition. So, in Michelle’s world, and ideal client profile would be a company that their need is so perfectly filled by the service or product that you provide as an organization, that they are going to minimize your sales cycle. They are going to reduce the expense it is for you to sell to them, service and support them maintain, and any part of that relationship. And it’s also going to have an opportunity for upsells, cross sells ARR renewals, that sort of thing. That’s all going to lead to a long term relationship, rather than traction transactional, where they evaluate based on price every year, they’re gonna be so pleased they’ll become a raving fan lead to more referrals. So can they use your product? Are they going to fit that description?

Damon Pistulka 18:36
That’s a lot of there’s a, there’s a long, there’s a big span between those two.

Michelle Page 18:41
Now, I’m not saying that’s the only ones you want to market to. But you want to make sure that that is a big chunk of who is in your prospecting list?

Damon Pistulka 18:51
Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, in some of these, I mean, some companies, I mean, especially if you get into manufacturing or other b2b kind of companies. I mean, they don’t they’re not trying to find 10,000 customers there. Some are trying to find 10 or 100. And when you look at that, and obviously, it’s much different than if I’m trying to find 1000. But this becomes more and more important, I think.

Michelle Page 19:23
Absolutely. Yeah. Especially the smaller your sales team. You want to be very pinpointed in where you spend your time because you know the saying Time is money. So if you have limited resources to invest in your success, make it a wise investment.

Damon Pistulka 19:46
Yeah, good point. Yeah. So we’ve had lots of things change in in sales since sales in the past few years. What are some of the things that You see that people either the leaders are getting on board with or, or people that aren’t need to get on board with?

Michelle Page 20:12
Um, that’s a great question. You know, I’m, I’m a, I’m a specialist in the, the building in order to scale. So in order to have a repeatable process for future success, and to be able to kind of predict that success, you need to know that you’re building strong foundation. So I always go back to, okay, let’s not go get 15 sales enablement, platforms when you have bad data. So I always go back to there’s really two tools that you need. And there’s so often overlooked. So the data sources that are available today, a lot of companies will go out and get two or three data sources and say, okay, STRS, BDRs, go out and prospect, these are all the resources you have available. So a lot of STRS or VDRs, will go out there and kind of hunt and peck, and, you know, it’s been 1520 minutes researching, okay, I’m gonna call this one. So, the first thing I think an organization needs to do is they need to identify the best fit, dynamic data source that works for their company. So best fit means that it has number one, plenty of appropriate contacts for what they’re looking for. Number two is accuracy of data. If they only have 70%, accuracy, you’re still wasting your money. And don’t let them tell you what their accuracy is talk to other users. And then best fit is also make it make an appropriate investment. You know, going back to the car analogy, if you just got your driver’s license, don’t buy with Rolls Royce, you know, get something that’s gonna get you through the next year. And then you can upgrade that plan or you can go to, you know, a bigger, better plan. So that data source is so important. The second one is a CRM, you’ve got to be able to track everything. And again, don’t go get the biggest because if it’s not customized to your needs, it was not easy for your team to use to record all the pertinent data, not just that you need to sell to each customer, but also to capture for future marketing campaigns, to analyze prospect, and soon to be client characteristics and performance demographics. You need to plan that CRM, you need to customize it. If you have those two items in place. There’s no need to go put a bunch of tools out there that your team may not need and may not use. So those are the two things that I think are often overlooked. They go back to the beginning of selling by phone. They need to be done. Well. They really do.

Damon Pistulka 23:25
Yeah. So a good dynamic data source is right for you. And then a CRM that’s right for you.

Michelle Page 23:34
But customize it, it’s gotta have the fields that you need. It’s got to, you’ve got to make sure your team is using it. garbage in garbage out.

Damon Pistulka 23:43
Yeah, that’s I’ve seen a lot of that in CRMs, as you’re going to accompany and you go, okay, because we’re helping them evaluate growth and what their what they really need to be doing to get to their valuables and you look at it and you go, Okay, show us your CRM and see why you guys are you’re using it. And it’s like, there’s really nothing in there. Or there’s stuff in there. But there that you go, Okay, this is this is a potential customer is this the customer show me all the interactions you have for them. And they’re no interactions are limited.

Michelle Page 24:19
If it’s not in the CRM, it didn’t happen. That that’s that’s my mantra. I read a report, oh, gosh, it’s been several months, and I can’t recall the source. But business leaders that were polled, something like 75 or 80% said that they rely on the data in their CRM to make strategy decisions. And then they were asked, what percentage of you have confidence in the data in your CRM, and it was something like 30%?

Damon Pistulka 24:56
Yeah, well, you look at your car rm and it should be telling you what your your pipeline looks like. There’s a lot of things I mean, and when you see it done, right, especially if you got something where I’ve seen, in my experience with the longer lead time kind of things where you’re going, okay, or a longer sales process, no longer lead time, but a longer sales process where we’ve got lots of things, we’re talking about a project that might happen a year from now, and how does it progress up to it? And then I’d have you know, how does the quote process working? Do we get the quote to the customer and decision process? You know, there’s all these steps in there? And if you’re measuring what you have it each step, and it’s not accurate? You got no idea what’s in your pipeline, right?

Michelle Page 25:41
Well, there’s in the ideal situation, because of course, we do live in our ideal world, the data in the CRM should be substantial enough and accurate enough. So when that sales leader has their one on one with that individual contributor, whether it’s a BDR to a senior AE, they should be able, the leader should be able to look at that report, and have enough information for activity results and forecast that that one on one is not about what are you doing? And what does the future look like? It should be about coaching, training, getting support. That’s what a sales leader should be doing in those one on ones.

Damon Pistulka 26:29
That’s a great point. You really think about that. And if the data is already there, everything’s working, we’re entering it, or it’s automatically however, the data has to get in there. That sales manager that sales leader can sit down with that person and go, Okay, Damon, you looks like you made 100 calls, and we got X amount of them turned into what we wanted, and that’s great, or how can we help to do this? What do you see? And use you get right past? How many did you make? What were the results? And you’re right into? How are we going to improve the results?

Michelle Page 27:02
Exactly? Oh, you just made me smile.

Damon Pistulka 27:06
There we go. There we go. Well, the I mean, it’s, it’s so incredibly interesting for me, I mean, I started I’m not I’m not a salesperson. But I started doing corporate sales, as part of my job years and years and years and years ago. And the the changes in the process to me, because you were talking about CRM 25 years ago, we may have had, you may have had a you may have had a spreadsheet. With that you you may have been in most of it, when you look at the you’re talking about data, dynamic data sources, I mean, sometimes we’re looking I forget whether are called you know, some big books to try to find different companies and, and that kind of thing, but, but it’s, it’s incredible now, when you see these people that really people because AI companies are just people, but these these were they really put the right things together. So they’re they’re harnessing a data source, like you said that, that gives them plenty of fresh people, or the right people to be able to be reaching out to they know who they should target. First of all, I come back to your, your definition of ICP is really cool, especially when you’re when you’re looking for multimillion dollar customers. It’s, that’s a good way to do it. And, and then you see how this works. Right? Okay, we if we look across the US or wherever we’re selling the globe, and we’re selling, and then and then track that through the CRM and see how that comes from identification of someone to initial outreach to yes, they you know, whatever the process is to get them to the point of Yes, we were talking to them about something and then they turn into a customer. That’s really cool. That’s really cool. How it works. Now,

Michelle Page 28:58
yeah, you can pivot your strategy. Based on that information. You can go deeper and as a successful path, you can use that as training materials for up and coming sales reps within whatever role they may be. You may find that you need to change your infrastructure based on that data, add roles, combine roles, there’s so much information you can get. And again, it’s because you did two things well, you’ve got the right data. You tracked it, enhanced it with your the information you uncovered. You analyzed it and learn from it. And the big difference between a dynamic data source and purchasing a list even if it’s a targeted list of members of a specific organization, the more let you buy that list. It’s out of date, out of date. If you get a dynamic list, they’re refreshed regularly. New information is added when people change organizations, change titles, companies are acquired and they have a new email that’s updated. Have a purchased stagnant list is out of date as soon as you receive.

Damon Pistulka 30:31
Yeah. Yeah. That’s that’s a great point. Because there’s so much more that’s needed now than than just simple contact information to write, like you said, with the need for personalization. Let’s move into that a little bit. Because you talked about 2023 is a year of personalized outreach, or believe I’m covering that right. Are we counting that correctly? What does that mean for sales organizations? Salespeople throughout the process?

Michelle Page 31:08
I’ll give you an example with a current client. Yeah, we are reaching out to an industry where we’re targeting strictly sea level. So the the bucket of owners, founders, President CEO, and then there’s the operations bucket of CEOs, VPs of ops CFOs. And there, there may be administer VP of administration, but that’s kind of like lower level targets. So what is a CEO concerned with? What are what are his or her pains? What are the games that he or she want to achieve? They may be similar to what the CFO wants to achieve, but they’re not the same. They’re not the same. Same with the co founder, Owner, President, they don’t have specifically the same operational goals, they may be higher level, you need to speak to each persona with what he or she wants to or needs to hear. You need to speak about revelant relevant things that are happening in the industry, to their customers, to their suppliers, and perhaps to them.

Damon Pistulka 32:47
Yeah, that’s, that’s a great point. It’s a great example, too, because, you know, your CFO is going to have a, like you said, their, their concerns or challenges around whatever you’re trying to, to introduce them to sell them is really has to come from their viewpoint?

Michelle Page 33:06
Absolutely. Why do they care? You know, as I said, with him, what’s in it for me? So in building the, the business development organization for this client, we started off with, Okay, here’s our ICP, who are the key personas within that, what are their pains, their gains, their key objectives? And within that, each of the personas that they may have three different categories of pains or gains. Okay, so what specifically within the financial pain, you know, what, three items, okay, cost control, increasing profits? Better data, okay. What specifically? Is it about cost control? Okay, well, today’s environment, materials cost and freight costs are unpredictable. Okay, why is that a pain? Well, we can’t set pricing because if we set a pricing today for something we’re going to produce in the future, we have no idea if we’re going to be able to maintain profitability. Okay? There’s your value proposition one. So your first cadence is going to speak to that value prop. They’re going to hear what they want or need to hear multiple times. phone, email, voicemail, and then they’re gonna say, oh, yeah, this makes sense. They know what they’re talking about. It’s not going to be something you know, the spray and pray they’ll say or you’ve got to have a targeted plan for your messaging. So we have a grid. It’s a it’s a messaging matrix of the cadence that I erupts personas all about

Damon Pistulka 35:00
Very, very cool. Very close, good. Need to find it. Well explain that. So lots of people talk about emails, dead phones, dead, whatever, you know, you hear just insert this for a way to introduce yourself or sell sell products. What do you really see in the real world? Are they all still effective, it’s just different for different industries and different kinds of environments, because of the personalization that we need to do, or what’s really what’s really going on there.

Michelle Page 35:40
It’s not a matter of the method being dead. It is poor execution. Okay. Let me give you an example. I just posted on LinkedIn about this today, a new trend in emailing and just received a series of these you’ll receive an email from a company they will have a call to action. Let’s set up a demo. The email signature only has their name and the company name, there’s no phone number, there’s no link, there’s nothing. The next email will come. It could be hours later, from a second person at that company. Oh, I hear you’re talking to Suzy. You know, she said we should connect. So you know, what’s a good time to talk to, you know, way of getting in touch with the second person? And then you get another email from the first person. If you hit reply, the email bounces? How do you get in touch with this person? Yeah. What are you spending your marketing dollars? And by the way, they’re offering a service to increase business development? Yeah. Do you know what? So it’s poor execution? It is absolutely. For secure execution?

Damon Pistulka 37:04
Yeah. Well, I mean, it makes a lot of sense of poor execution, because I think they’re depending on your ICP, you should know, are these phone people? Are these email people? Are these Tiktok? People? No, we got some of the Kaimai that said, I had one of these last week. Alright. Kenan, I’m happy that you had one last week because, like, I like 20. Yeah, I like Michelle, I have a whole junk folder that that fills up every day that I try to keep clean, because I get good stuff in there once in a while. But I feel bad looking at it. But they are literally as you said, it’s, you know, and the one that gets me in email is the second third, whatever it is email that comes to you because I’m obviously not interested after the first or the second that comes to me that says something. And it has no sub subject line, the body of the email, nothing tells you why they want to talk to you. It’s it’s how do you really, I was wondering if you had any thoughts about the email I sent previously? Well, I didn’t read the first one. So in order for me to find that, all they would have had is a couple of words in there about blah, blah, blah, you know, rather than, you know, just going like that, because there’s no chance. I mean, how can that be effective? I think to myself, I like to I like to get these things, right. I like to get these things because you understand what’s good and what’s bad. Yeah, I mean, I see when you talk about email marketing, I think there’s, there’s some witty ones that you get that I think are worthwhile, just to see how you can make these things fun. I mean, you can sell a lot of different things. And if you’re personable, if you understand who you’re selling to, you can you can do a good job with it. And I think, and I’m asking you the question now is that kind of personalization and really knowing your ICP well enough to go, Hey, I’m selling to the girl that just went to the Barbie show with all of her friends that the 28 year old girl that just wants to the bar, that’s my daughter. It’s a Barbie show with all their friends last weekend. And do I use those terms and things like that when I’m doing that? Is that really a good strategy when you see these kinds of things is really understanding your client to that point, to be able to integrate into your sales process. Yeah, the

Michelle Page 39:49
psychographics of a prospect are important. Emails, in particular, have dramatically changed over the past even A few years, the style right now is very short. I don’t want to use the word casual, but it’s not that that buttoned up, you know, view of information about who we are what we do, it’s usually asking questions, they’re much shorter. And it’s a little bit some of our kind of cheeky. So you’re not going to send the same email style to the CEO of Hewlett Packard, as you are to the CEO of Apple, different culture. And you’re not going to say this send the same email to the CEO of a $50 million company. It’s different, you know, you’ve you’ve got a phrase that is very popular right now. That is, I think overused, you got to meet them where they are. So if you’re not relatable to them, they’re not going to want to interact with you.

Damon Pistulka 41:18
So in years gone by these email automations, things were used a lot. Do you see them being used effectively? Now? Or is it that this personalization has gotten to a point that where, you know, you really, if you’re selling an item that’s got some some girth to it, and not a product sale? It’s going to be? Do you think that the business development process really needs to be more individualized than an email automation can offer? Or is, is there kind of a steps into it? And then the super personalized works? Or what do you see people effectively doing?

Michelle Page 42:06
The automation tool, if it’s sophisticated enough, you can build in a number of sequences, a number of cadences, and they’re all tied to a specific group in your CRM. So if you name a group, SMB tech, female lead, or something like that, yeah, you can speak to them in this term, if you do manufacturing firms under 10 million in rural America, because we do them in that tone. So if you can afford segment to the best of your knowledge, how your message might be received. But that’s a lot of programming. That’s a lot of creative. You would need to have a strong, talented business development infrastructure to be able to do that.

Damon Pistulka 43:11
Yeah. Yeah. So in some cases, it might be you might still be able to use it, but it really does. Because you talk about personalization. And I think about it, and you know, we’re not talking about selling a 2999, you know, product or something like that. But, but you know, if I’m selling something that’s 10s of 1000s. dollars, or hundreds of 1000s of dollars. I mean, it almost seems to me, like there needs to be a in the business development process. There really mean needs to be a familiarization with who I’m talking to, to speak to them.

Michelle Page 43:47
Yes, yes. And, and a lot of those dynamic online data sources. There’s a tremendous amount of information about the company. There if you use LinkedIn just to find out about the person, you can be more personable, personable with them. Now, I wouldn’t start an email saying, Oh, I’m from Ohio State or from from Columbus, Ohio. Oh, I see. You’re a Buckeye too. Oh, how about those? Yeah. How about that gate? You know? Don’t be a stalker. Yeah, you don’t like that? You know, but you can, you can understand kind of where, okay, so this is a Midwesterner, you know, they’re there, they’re probably not, you know, that that fast paced as if they were from the northeast. You can get a little bit of feel for them. The data sources I’m speaking of, there’s a lot of information in there. There’s, there’s intent buying, there’s current tech stack information. So you could say okay, this As you use QuickBooks, if you happen to be a QuickBooks user, yeah, yeah, there you are. You know, many of our QuickBooks users have said or have found. So

Damon Pistulka 45:12
it’s a good point. Yeah, that’s a good point. It’s just it just seems like to me the reason why I asked questions around this, I know I kind of wandered around it, but it seems like the the being personal is hard. In business about it’s hard. It’s a, it’s it’s a lot of work to, you know, just say, if I wanted to prospect 20 customers a day if I was a business development person, and we’re selling something of significance. And I don’t mean that I mean, dollar wise and dollars. That that’s a tall order for somebody to do.

Michelle Page 45:52
Well, it used to be the common number would be 80 to 100 dials a day. Yeah, people would smile and dial, give me a name, company phone number, we’re good. Today, that’s not going to cut it, it’s just not. So what I found to be much more cost effective, is have someone spend some time on the data. So before you just load something into the CRM, pull the right list, clean it, take out anything that somehow got in that list that doesn’t belong. So if you pulled on the state of Texas, because you’re calling Texas, and someone from Vermont, snuck in there, take it out, don’t even let it get into your CRM. Yeah, if you’re targeting finance people, and a plant manager got in there. Take it out. Why would you have your BDR? Call them? Or why would you put it upon your BDR to make that decision, if you can clean it first, if if somebody doesn’t have a phone number, pull it out. If email is critical to your strategy, pull it out, you can research it later, you can enhance it later, pull it out, when you’ve loaded into that CRM, your sales rep should have accurate to the best of your ability. actionable accounts to call. And they should be able to average depending on the CRM anywhere between five and 15 calls an hour. Make all the notes, you know, track it update the lead status. Five would be on the low end, it’s probably going to be more like eight to 12.

Damon Pistulka 47:57
So but what you’re saying and this is this is this is relevant. And some of the some of the people we work with is is is really take the time getting that data rates, your CDRs are not wasting their time hunting down emails, they’re not wasting their time trying to find a phone number or fill in some information that they don’t have. Just give them the leads are potential people that they got all the data, they can do what they need to do. So they’re going through their process rather than stopping and oh, I need to find this. I don’t have it now. And go on through that way.

Michelle Page 48:31
Okay, invest in one person creating clean data for for sellers, rather than people waste. And then the the garbage does not go into your CRM for somebody a year from now finds it says, oh, this person hasn’t been called.

Damon Pistulka 48:47
Yeah, yeah. Good point. Wow, Michelle, awesome talking to you about this. I mean, I could get into the details because you’re so so good at this i If people want to talk and because we’re right, we’re overtime. I just looked for overtime. No, no, it’s me. It’s me. Because I think that there’s it’s so challenging right now, I think it’s challenging for a lot of people because we don’t want to be called by people that are given colonists with irrelevant things that we really don’t want to. And then on the other side of this, it’s there are people that are trying to call us that we probably would want to talk to and it’s it’s interesting exploring it and really beginning to understand how can how can companies be more relevant, they don’t want to waste their time calling. Call me about something or emailing me about something that I don’t want. They only want to if I’m a good potential customer, so thank you. Thank you. Absolutely. So, Michelle page from sales chasers. What is the best way to get ahold of you?

Michelle Page 49:52
Well, the simplest way to get my contact information, if you go to Sales My email info A number of Athan, they’re awesome. You can also find me on LinkedIn. My profile is under Michelle l Konkol. Page, because I had a whole career before I got married. A lot of people know me by my maiden name co en que le conch. Alright. All right.

Damon Pistulka 50:21
Well, Michelle, thanks so much for being here. I want to thank the people that were listening. Thank the people that commented today Keenan and Mia. Thanks so much for being here today. And we will be back again with another awesome person talking about things on the faces of business. hang out for a moment, Michelle, on we’ll wrap up after we get off this. Thank you.

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