[016] How To Use Consent-Based Marketing To Gain Higher Quality Leads, with Adam Chickman from Active Prospect

Episode 16 August 30, 2021 00:41:44
[016] How To Use Consent-Based Marketing To Gain Higher Quality Leads, with Adam Chickman from Active Prospect
Scalable Call Center Sales
[016] How To Use Consent-Based Marketing To Gain Higher Quality Leads, with Adam Chickman from Active Prospect

Aug 30 2021 | 00:41:44


Show Notes

What is consent-based marketing and how does it work? You’ve likely heard the term “permission marketing,” but what does it actually entail?

Consumers who have given their prior express written approval to be contacted, are the ones only contacted in consent-based marketing. The goal is to ensure that only effective clients, or those who have demonstrated an interest in hearing from you, enter your funnel.

In this episode, Adam Chickman from Active Prospect and I, talk about how to gain higher quality leads. We also talked about his experiences as the VP of Sales relative to the call center world.

Learn more about internal team management and leadership, and also about growing the client base for your company.

Find out if your Sales Operation in Scalable

Buy Selling With Authentic Persuasion: Transform from Order Taker to Quota Breaker

Get help with your sales team

Connect with Jason on LinkedIn

Or go to Jason’s HUB – www.JasonCutter.com

Connect with Adam on LinkedIn

Adam‘s Bio
Adam is the Vice of President of Sales at ActiveProspect. In his role, Adam leads the Sales and Client Success teams at ActiveProspect and is focused on ensuring the success of ActiveProspect’s clients and continued 50% YoY growth for ActiveProspect as they continue on their mission to make Consent-Based Marketing the best channel for customer acquisition. Adam is originally from San Francisco and currently lives in Austin, Texas, where ActiveProspect is headquartered.

Adam’s Links

Jason: What’s going on everybody so glad that you’re joining us for another episode of the scalable call center sales podcast on this journey. Uh, it’s really fun because I get to put together some interesting content, interesting guests.

[00:00:15] And in doing this show, one of the things I did, if you’re familiar with the show that I had before called the authentic persuasion show originally called the sales experience podcast, um, is looking through. List of guests that I’ve had on that show that are also applicable. When we talk about call centers.

[00:00:33] When we talk about sales and sales leadership, and so very excited to have a past guest on the previous show, Adam Chickman from active prospect on the show with me today, it’s going to be fun. Now he is the vice president of sales of active prospect. And when I had him on the previous show that previous series episode 358, make sure to check that out.

[00:00:54] There will be a link. In the show notes. If you want to go check out that episode. The fun thing is, is that when we talked and that came out in December of 2020, he had been with in a leadership role for about a year. He had made the move in March of that year, 2020 to Austin, so that he could be closer to his team to work in the office.

[00:01:14] And then, uh, the pandemic hit, which meant he was then working remote in a new city where he had no idea what he was doing and still not around his team. And so I know obviously a lot has changed and so excited to talk about call centers, the trends, everything going on, Adam, welcome to the scalable call center sales podcast.

[00:01:34] Thank you,


Adam: Jason. It’s great to be here and it’s great to be back, live on air with you. So.


Jason: Yeah. So, uh, update everybody. And I’m curious is, um, since December, since we recorded for the last show and pandemic restrictions, hopefully lifting, you know, safely where you guys are at in Austin, Texas. Uh, have you been back in the office?

[00:01:56] Have you met with the team? Have you guys gotten into some, you know, previous in-person.


Adam: Yeah. Well, funny you ask about, have we met with the team? We actually have our very first offsite for the sales team coming up in just two days here, out in Austin, Texas. So I was just meeting with our director of sales last night, planning the final touches for that.

[00:02:16] And, um, we’re really excited, especially after wrapping up, uh, Q2. It’s going to be a great opportunity to really kick off the second half of the year as a team, but with restrictions lifting, we have been getting back out on the road. Um, obviously it was great seeing you just two weeks ago at an industry impact event out here in Austin.

[00:02:35] So it’s been great. Being able to have those in-person meetings that we had to take about 14 to 15 months off of. So it feels like the world is getting back to normal.


Jason: Yeah. And there’s that interesting kind of tipping point. I know a lot of people are not struggling, but they’re, they’re looking at both sides, which is okay.

[00:02:53] In an industry or in a role that is primarily face-to-face or primarily going to events, conferences, trade shows, sponsoring events, being like the title sponsor. And then, you know, having that presence. Not having that for the period of time that we had, and then it being available again, you know, it’s interesting to see companies who are like, yeah, we don’t need to do that.

[00:03:14] Or it companies were like, yes, please let’s do it. And, uh, yeah, it was great. One of the things I love that I’ve been doing recently in the past few months, and we’re recording this early July, so people understand kind of a timeframe for, uh, the events. Um, but. Taking these kind of virtual remote relationships like you and I have did that podcast before.

[00:03:34] And then, like you mentioned a couple of weeks ago actually meeting in person, which is such a fun transition to go from virtual to in-person and those events were great. The leads con leads, council industry impact events, and yeah, it was very cool meeting you there.


Adam: Agreed. No, it’s a, it was great.

[00:03:53] Finally getting to meet you in person. And I think one of the things that we’ve noticed, um, we were all surprised at how productive we were able to be in 2020 in spite of the pandemic and not being able to have those face-to-face interactions. Um, we were also surprised at how, um, how prevalent zoom became versus previously.

[00:04:13] Most of our virtual, uh, meetings would happen via phone and we found that. Even variable to have a much more productive meeting on a zoom call. And most people actually turn their cameras on. So for a secondary, we almost forgot just how impactful in person events and in-person meetings are. But now that we’ve been traveling for about the last six weeks in seeing this, how much more gets accomplished when you’re there in person and how much more trust you’re able to build.

[00:04:40] It’s just been awesome. Getting back on the road. It, it feels like old times.


Jason: Yeah. And, and that was fascinating because I was wondering as the pandemic restrictions. Went on for a while, if people would just get used to not needing to go to events, uh, not needing to go to a conference, realize they can get some value from it or from zoo video, you know, phone calls doing all that stuff, remote.

[00:05:03] Um, but it is, it is so much different in these last few months of getting back to events and meeting people in person. Quickly that that builds relationships and trust, like you said, so, yeah, it’s, uh, we’ll, we’ll see when, uh, as events go on and they get bigger. And if you know, people are returning in mass, just from a company standpoint, I know some companies that are still not sending people out because.

[00:05:25] Realize there can still be productive. So a couple of things I want to focus on in our conversation today for the people that are listening that are running call centers or leading sales teams is you have two parts. This is why I love these kinds of conversations. Uh, two parts of your, your business life.

[00:05:42] If you will, you have the internal management and leadership of your team, right? Which we talked a lot about at that previous episode, which was fascinating, especially as a new ish leader and everything you. And so part of the conversation I want to have today is around that part of it also is the sales, the business development, the things that you’re doing to grow the client base for active prospect for your company.

[00:06:06] And so you have that dual role, right? You’re not just managing a team. You are. Selling. And so let’s start with that part. And I want to know what your seeing, as far as trends go with the call center community and call center, just, you know, my standard caveat could be five people on the telephones inside sales.

[00:06:27] It could be a thousand people, whatever that looks like, but what are the trends that you’re seeing for the companies that are successful right now in telesales?


Adam: Yeah, absolutely. And I should also probably clarify that, you know, our, our sales team, we are predominantly focused on outside sales. So that kind of gets back to the point you brought up, uh, in-person meetings, but our software, um, being a consent based marketing platform, we’re really focused on helping call centers, um, make what we call consent based marketing the best channel for customer acquisition.

[00:07:03] So with that, we work with a lot of different call centers. And what we’re seeing is the call centers that are really embracing new technologies and getting deep into data insights, adhering to those new industry, best practices. Those are the ones that are really exceeding or succeeding right now. And able to hit that kind of hockey stick growth.

[00:07:24] So that’s really our goal when working with different call centers is helping them implement the new technologies, be able to take advantage of new insights that are available to them in a productive way so that they could continue to hit cost per sale metrics. Make sure that they’re doing it in a safe way, avoiding litigation, and then also making sure that they’re scaling.

[00:07:46] So, um, that’s really where we’re helping these, these different


Jason: companies. So if you’re talking about consent based marketing, right. Which means that somebody gave their approval to be contacted hopefully explicitly for that offer or by that company. Right. Um, what’s the other mode, if it’s not consent based, is that just, you know, getting lists and dialing numbers and just spray and pray.


Adam: Absolutely. It could be. So we define consent based marketing as the practice of only contacting consumers who have given their express written consent to be contacted about a product or service like yours. Um, we think that leads to a better relationship with the consumer. If that’s really the goal of marketing and sales is to build a long-term relationship.

[00:08:34] That’s going to result in a high LTV. It’s best to start that off by honoring the consumer’s privacy and honoring their ability to choose. Do I actually want to receive communication about a product or service like yours? The inverse of that of course, could be any form of spam or just getting a list of consumers.

[00:08:55] A string of PII and kind of smile and dial hoping that you, as a numbers game, you come into contact with somebody who’s interested in a service or product


Jason: like yours. What do you think is, is some of the barriers that keep companies from wanting to go all in on consent based marketing, lead, gen purchasing, you know, consent based data.


Adam: Yeah, that’s, that’s a great question. There are a lot of, um, valid concerns. So I’ll start with why when done properly consent based marketing could be so advantageous and then kind of back into some of the challenges, you know, when thinking about only contact between consumers, who’ve given their express written consent, it hopefully will lead to better relationships with your customers, but also lower acquisition costs.

[00:09:46] If you’re focusing sales and marketing dollars. On only paying for contact with consumers who said, yes, Jason, I want to receive contact about a product that you’re selling. Those should convert at a higher. It should also lead to happier call centers. If your agents are only having conversations with people that are actually interested in a service like yours, that’s going to lead to happier call center reps, and then a better retention as a result.

[00:10:14] The challenge with consent based marketing when you’re paying for a lead. So somebody who’s, uh, say filled out a form on a website saying that I want to receive information about auto insurance. It’s hard to know for certain, if you’re not the one who’s generated that lead, is this consumer actually interested in auto insurance or did they fill out a form looking for a free iPad?

[00:10:38] Did they fill out this form for auto insurance two seconds ago or two months ago? Is this a professional litigator who’s sole purpose and their day job is only filling out forms so that they’ll get calls from call centers and then threaten a lawsuit under the TCPA. So there’s a lot of challenges around, is this a legitimate lead?

[00:10:58] Am I going to be able to contact this consumer without having to worry about getting sued? And if I do contact this consumer, is it somebody that’s actually interested in my product or service or did I just shell out anywhere from 20 cents all the way up to over a hundred dollars, depending on what vertical or what industry you’re buying leads.

[00:11:16] And only to find out that this person isn’t really interested. Well, we’re seeing the companies that are really succeeding here are the companies that are using real time insights to be able to do things like verify. Intent or verified, did this consumer actually give consent to be able to verify, is this a real person and a legitimate lead is their contact information valid.

[00:11:42] So when you augment the lead with all of these different types of insights, that’s when you know, and you can buy with confidence. That this lead is actually the consumer that you want to be getting in touch with. It’s actually somebody who has high intention to buy a product like yours. And you can verify that it’s not somebody who’s currently a customer that’s already working with you because there’s nothing worse than spending money on a lead only to find out their current customer.

[00:12:10] Actually, let me take that back. There are some things such as buying a lead to find out as a professional litigator once a year, but all of those, all in addition to potential lawsuit, amounts of spending money on marketing, that isn’t going to result in a customer. So the short answer to your question, the companies that are really finding success.

[00:12:31] Are those companies that are, um, using the newer technologies to make sure in real time, they know, is this a lead that I want to actually purchase and has a legitimate chance of converting into a customer?


Jason: Yeah, I love that breakdown. And one part that stands out too, is it being filled out by a person, right?

[00:12:49] Not fraudulently. You’re not a fake lead with real information that can be contacted that can be used and it’s going to work. And it’s interesting because over the last couple of years, I’ve had conversations with. Service providers, you know, your company being one of them where I had not realized in the years past, when I used to run sales teams internally, where the data that was being bought and the leads that were being purchased, if they weren’t a warm transfer where Bob was on the phone, and this was Bob.

[00:13:21] There was so many times where my sales team would call somebody and they wouldn’t close the deal. And I would ask them, Hey, what happened? Well, that was Bob Smith, but he said he never filled out a form and he wasn’t interested in anything. And I think back to all the times where I literally thought and or told that rep that I just figured they were weak or they came across as a telemarketer and Bob Smith just put up those walls and didn’t want another call from somebody.

[00:13:48] And it turns out as I’ve dove into this and you know, the technology that’s out there is showing that there’s a big percentage of people who their information is being used to fill up forms and it’s not actually them. And I love some of the tools that you have with active prospect, which is the trusted form, which is recording for anyone who’s not familiar with.

[00:14:09] It is that it was recording what’s going on when they’re filling out that form. And it can detect if it’s a real person or not. Right. If it’s a bot that’s flying through. And ultra fast speed. That’s not what a human would do. And I love because you know, now all of a sudden you can feel safe and secure feeling like you can buy that more expensive consent data or leads because there’s also that fraud part that’s removed.

[00:14:34] Right. Is that what you’re saying?


Adam: Yeah, absolutely. So I think whether it’s B2B sales or B to C sales, one of the most common complaints, any sales manager is going to get from their team is that the leads are bad. Um, for anyone who’s ever watched Glengarry Glen Ross, you know, the entire movie was based around these salespeople who were saying, if I could only get good weeds, I could finally hit my number.

[00:14:58] So. That is a legitimate complaint. And especially when you’re buying third party leads, meaning buying leads from marketing partners to generate them on sites that you do not own and operate. It is scary thinking, is this somebody who actually filled out a form saying, yes, I’m interested in home insurance or interested in home secure.

[00:15:20] So part of what we do is, uh, as you mentioned with our trust form product, we’re able to verify what happened on the form and when it happened. So we’re able to remove that information asymmetry that takes place when you’re buying a lead from a third party. And, um, you want to be able to scale and acquire leads from third parties.

[00:15:41] So not just your own operated sites, but in doing that, you no longer have all the information that you would have if you filled out that if somebody filled out a form on your own site. So some of those things that you don’t know, typically when you’re buying a lead from a third-party include, when was it filled?

[00:15:59] What was advertised on the form? Was it filled out by an actual person or a bot we’re able to pull all of these different signals so that we could tell you when and where that lead was filled out, what was advertised on the form. And then by looking at things such as, how long did they spend on the forum?

[00:16:16] And, uh, where are they clicking or tabbing between fields, et cetera. Um, we can give you a pretty good indicator of if that lead was fraudulent or not. And when paired with a fraud detection service like a forensic or an a Nura, you could really have a high degree of confidence that you’re only buying legitimate trials.


Jason: Yeah, I think that’s so amazing. The other part that was really fascinating, I actually talked to one of your, your data scientists and one of the cities of the events that we mentioned earlier, and one of the things he was telling me is that what he looks at and. Parsing out from the data is also how well certain leads convert based on how the form is filled out.

[00:16:58] So did somebody put in their information, did they have to change their phone number? Because they put in the wrong one. Did they take them a long time to type them? Typos. They had to go back and forth, like the ability to fill out the form. And then how that correlates to a closing percentage was some fascinating stuff where, you know, not used to that used to, you know, back in the day, sending out direct mail and you get a phone call and then you just hope for the best, right.

[00:17:23] With each phone call, um, versus the kind of stuff that’s available now with technical.


Adam: Yeah, absolutely. That’s been one of the most interesting things for me and to have a front row view into what different types of data are people leveraging and how are they leveraging it to improve? Conversion rates has really continued to get more and more sophisticated.

[00:17:43] And we work with customers and, you know, across the entire spectrum. So some of the companies that we’re working with. Aren’t augmenting their leads or appending real-time insights at all. So for those companies, they could get massive gains simply by appending something like a phone validation to verify is this phone number legitimate?

[00:18:03] And will I be able to contact the lead others who are already doing that can continue to get more and more incremental gains in conversion rate by doing things like appending data points. Lead age. When was this lead actually submitted and knowing that am I likely to be the first company to contact that lead because it was submitted just in the last two seconds.

[00:18:26] Or is it likely that this fleet’s already been contacted by one of my competitors because it’s two days old or sometimes in a shared lead environment, even two minutes old is going to cut your conversion rate in half. And then to the point that you brought up about. Looking at things like, did they delete something on the form?

[00:18:46] Some of our most sophisticated buyers who are already pulling data or pulling insights around the consumer profile, contactability the lead event. So when and where it was filled out, uh, as well as their relationship with the lead, they’re getting more and more advanced and more granular looking at things.

[00:19:03] Did this consumer type in every field or did they use auto-fill and they’re able to see correlations between, um, if somebody just filled out the form manually versus if they’d use auto-fill that correlate to how likely that lead is to convert, and then they make real time decisions for them. So it’s definitely been a really interesting to see how that’s continued to evolve.

[00:19:26] And I really enjoy our part in the process with helping companies decide what data points do you need to be appending and what kind of decisions do you make based off of that.


Jason: And here we’ll be right back to the podcast in a moment, but first, are you ready to help your insight sales team closed more?

[00:19:41] In my experience, there’s a certain percentage of your team that acts more like order takers than sales professionals. The first step to creating a scalable sales team is to equip your reps with the right mindset and proven strategies to transform them into quota breakers, to build a team of authentic persuaders that will crush their goals.

[00:19:59] Email [email protected] or go to www.Cutterconsultinggroup.com. In your experience so far, why do you see or hear that companies, the call centers you talk to or deal with aren’t augmenting, aren’t enhancing the leads or the data that they’re getting any reasons that, uh, you know, people are saying why they just don’t.


Adam: Yeah. I mean, um, cost is always going to be part of it. I think it usually comes down to, they just aren’t aware that these types of technologies and data services exist or they’re aware, but they’re concerned about the cost because depending on the data service, you know, it could cost anywhere. A penny to 20 30 cents to append certain data points.

[00:20:48] So that’s where we really come in and helping understand what kind of lift in conversion are you likely to see from each of these different data points? How is it going to help you avoid wasting anywhere from 10 to 20% of your entire budget on leads that don’t convert? Because on average, across our customer base, we see that, um, by appending additional data points, we’re able to help people identify up to 20% of leads that they would have otherwise purchased, but just have no shot at conversion.

[00:21:19] So that’s a 20% savings right there, off the top. And then as people understand these different, uh, the, the economics behind different types of data pens, and how they could actually help them avoid wasting money on media or increasing conversion rates. That’s when we start to see that people start embracing these different services and technology.


Jason: Got it makes sense. It usually comes down to either that awareness or that ROI conversation. Right? What makes sense? And the companies I’ve seen that are successful with their lead buying and conversion game is, uh, where they’re looking at the value of the lead, not the cost, right? Because if you’re buying a lead, that’s more expensive, but it’s a higher quality lead and all the stuff that we’ve been talking about then is it worth it to buy.

[00:22:11] Less leads at $10 a piece or more leads at $1 a piece. Right. And what is that doing to your organization, to your, your staff, to the number of calls being made to the downtime? Whatnot. Are you seeing anything? This is regarding your customers, so not talking about your internal team yet and your sales.

[00:22:29] Are you seeing any trends or any changes over the last few years? With how the consumers, your clients, consumers, B to C or B2B, how they’ve changed as a buyer. Do you have any insight to that or have you seen that or have any ideas and thoughts around it?


Adam: Yeah. Well, I think one of the major trends, and this is coming across in a lot of the legislation and you look at like TCPA, GDPR, CCPA, um, they just expect and demand a lot more privacy and control.

[00:22:59] Their data, how it’s being shared, who it’s being shared with and when they’re being contacted. And by whom I also just wanted to touch on the last point that you. About a lot of companies who are looking at the value of the lead and how that compares to conversion. One of the trends that we’ve been seeing is the proliferation of real time bidding or pin posts in a lead ecosystem, which is an auction based model for buying leads.

[00:23:26] Um, similar to the way that digital display advertising started embracing real time data. And programmatic buys. Uh, we’re seeing that in the lead space as well. The idea being that there’s no such thing as a good lead or badly there’s leads that are priced right. And leads that aren’t. So if your cost per sale target is a hundred dollars, why do you care?

[00:23:48] If you’re buying a $1 lead that converts at 1% for a $10 lead that converts at 10%? What our customers, who are most successful are realizing is that there is such thing as a backup. If that person is a professional litigator, that is a bad lead. If that lead has an invalid phone number, that is a bad lead.

[00:24:09] So even taking away the cost of the lead, when thinking about things like call center efficiency, and what’s the cost of handing off leads to your high paid call center agents or your sales team that have no chance at converting the companies. Realizing the overall cost we’re taking operational cost into account.

[00:24:29] Those are the companies that are retaining their sales teams at higher rates, continuing to increase conversion rates and avoiding litigation. That could be something like a game changer in a negative way for you. So that’s just one of the trends that we’re seeing.


Jason: So talking about your client. Let’s say a call center wants to put in some kind of technology, like what we were talking about.

[00:24:52] Right. And they want to be able to track this information. They want to buy higher quality looking at the whole picture, looking at the holistic sales operation, because I’m thinking, okay, this sounds great. Let’s get this tool or let’s get enhanced data or let’s get something like this. What else do you see that call centers really need to think about or put in place?

[00:25:15] To support that kind of tool or data or initiative, like either other tools, other trainings, other, other things, right? Cause it’s, it’s not just enough to buy this. Let’s say just buy this fancy thing and then just have it be unsuccessful. So what are the other parts around it? In the whole ecosystem of the sales off that a call center would want to have.


Adam: Yeah. Great question. So you do need to take that holistic approach because you could use a platform like active prospect. That’ll help make sure you’re only acquiring the leads that are most likely to convert, but if you don’t have a contact strategy in place and you’re buying these high quality leads.

[00:25:54] But taking an old fashion approach, say fast finger dialing, or you’re not doing things like leveraging a omni-channel phone call and SMS strategy. You’re just not going to be competing at the level you need to, to efficiently convert these leads. So depending on the vertical and, uh, We really split out our customers, looking at direct to consumer companies.

[00:26:19] Um, that’s like retail, CPG companies that are buying leads to feed email marketing campaigns versus what we call our considered purchase division. So those are verticals that have a call center and they’re buying leads to feed a sales team. So a much different approach, but, um, I’ll focus on the considered purchase verticals for now.

[00:26:39] We always advocate that you absolutely have to have a dialer in place. If you’re a fast finger dialing, especially if you’re in a competitive league environment, you’re just not going to be the first to get in contact with that lead and speed to lead there. As you know, lots of studies show that the longer you wait to contact a lead, the lower your conversion rate SMS platform.

[00:27:01] We’ve been seeing a lot of SMS platforms enter the market and companies that are taking advantage of these platforms, uh, are doing really well. One of the keys there is making sure that it’s Omni channel. So you don’t want a text being sent to a consumer that doesn’t reference the fact that you just called them or even worse.

[00:27:21] You just got in contact with them. And then you’re going to have an SMS going out to, Hey, let’s, let’s have a conversation. So making sure that each interaction references the subsequent references, the previous, um, interaction and even gives a heads up on the subsequent interaction that’s coming has been really efficient.

[00:27:39] And then also the need for a CRM or lead management system. We still see a lot of, uh, call centers that don’t have an LMS or CRM in place. And it just becomes really hard to effectively manage your leads and make sure that you’re getting the appropriate amount of touch points in. So you’re fully.

[00:27:56] Maximizing conversion for each one of those.


Jason: Got it. I love that list. So before we talked about the internal sales leadership and what you’re doing with your team and your focus, I know that you have a very consultative sales approach. I mean, we’ve talked, we’ve talked several times in the past, obviously had you on the show, met in person.

[00:28:18] I know what your sales style is outside of the list that you just gave of. Hey, if you buy them. Tool, make sure you have these other things in place. I know that I know that when you see a call center operator, That there’s probably other things you want to give them some advice that they can just succeed.

[00:28:36] Is there anything these days, let’s say 20, 21 that jumps out, which is non lead non-consent data, non anything where you’re just like, yeah, this is the one common thing I’m telling people outside of the list that you did.


Adam: Oh, the one common thing outside of that list, you know, that that’s a tough one. Um, you know, I think outside of technology, it’s, um, really embracing third-party leads.

[00:29:03] Uh, if you’re looking to scale and, you know, to getting back to the beginning of this conversation, um, some of the fears around consent based marketing and specifically. Acquiring leads from partners, so leads that you aren’t generating on your own. Um, we just see, uh, customers to only want to work. First party leads.

[00:29:23] Just face that scale challenge. So that’s something that, you know, a lot of people have tried in the past and they’ve struggled with it for some of the reasons that we laid out, but that’s where a platform that allows you to verify authenticity, verify consent, and intent is really helpful in making sure that you’re able to scale in a safe and a cost effective way.


Jason: Got it. That’s awesome. So let’s talk about the internal sales team and you as a sales leader there at active prospects. What is some of the successes that you’ve had add in this year? 2021? Right. So far through the, you know, the first half given this remote work from home distributed workforce. And also this transition to hybrid where maybe some days you have people in the office, other days you don’t, um, what’s been some success from you as a leader in the ordinance.


Adam: Yeah, well, uh, let’s see. It’s July 6th here. So just five, six days ago, we’ve wrapped up our largest quarter from a new bookings perspective, uh, in 17 year history. So that was obviously a very exciting success. Um, but looking at your, the question around, uh, hybrid models in person remote, uh, I think one of the biggest successes is just being able to meet with the team in person now and get on.

[00:30:46] In looking at the way that we’re able to build trust with, especially these larger enterprise customers. So thinking back on 2020, we saw a lot of success and we didn’t really see conversion rates fall when looking at prospects that we already had ongoing conversations with. And we’ve probably met with them two or three times in person already that trust was largely done.

[00:31:11] When entering conversations for the first time with people in the remote environment, that was 2020, we’d have great conversations, but it was just hard to build the same level of trust without ever getting to meet them in person. So now, as we’re starting to get on the road again, we’re starting to see a lot of these conversations accelerate and especially, you know, one of our goals is.

[00:31:32] Really continue focusing up market where we have lots of enterprise customers already, but really focusing on that fortune 500. And we’re seeing those conversations just progressed so much faster by being able to go meet with them in their office. So that’s, that’s probably been the most exciting piece over these last couple, three to six weeks.

[00:31:51] And, uh, that’s probably going to be the largest focus for us looking to the second half of the year.


Jason: What do you see as the biggest challenge for you? As a sales leader, the rest of this year, maybe going into 2020.


Adam: Yeah, I think, uh, focus. So we thinking about, especially my first time as a sales leader started in the, uh, the fall of 2019, and then just three, four months in the pandemic hit.

[00:32:21] Um, the pandemic brought a lot of challenges for sure, but one of the blessings in disguise, which silver linings. Was that, um, everyone was stuck inside and there wasn’t a whole lot of opportunities for distractions in now that the world’s opening back up again, it’s people are excited to go outside again.

[00:32:43] People are excited to have these wonderful lives, um, which we absolutely want to encourage. But with that, especially as people are just starting to go on vacation again, just starting to have all these distractions. And we really dove into this remote first culture, making sure that we still maintain that focus, um, has all of these new distractions that weren’t present for all of 2020, uh, come back.

[00:33:07] I think that’s going to be the biggest challenge. Um, so a healthy balance of encouraging the team. Beyond the road, take vacation, you know, take personal time while also making sure that we’re able to stay on top of every opportunity and close out quarter strong. So, um, that’s just kinda my, my initial reactions to that question.


Jason: Yeah, makes total sense. Cause I can see that in a normal environment, which is where we’re going back to expecting people to work all the time, expecting people to be on the road all the time. You know, at some point it’s too much, right? Like you’ve got to let people have their downtime during the pandemic, when everyone’s basically working remote, they can’t go anywhere, which is essentially what you’re referencing.

[00:33:53] Then everyone’s more focused, right? Not, not just overworking or working excessive hours. There’s there, you know, little distractions as far as like outside movement. Uh, internally obviously there’s a lot of people parenting, uh, teachers. You know, kids at home and those kinds of things, you know, occupying them.

[00:34:12] But I could see where that, so, you know, as things open up, I will say this week in sending emails, uh, I’ve gotten a lot of out-of-office replies from people who are on vacation. And, uh, it’s weird now that you mentioned it, it’s weird to see that many come back because for the last, let’s say 15 months, that wasn’t a thing, right?

[00:34:33] It wasn’t a.


Adam: Yeah, absolutely. And actually, um, one of the things we did last year, We ended. We ended our fiscal year, uh, eight days early actually, so that we didn’t have our end of quarter end of year, um, in between Christmas and new year’s. So that void, if people are on vacation, trying to get that contract across the line when people are, you know, in The Bahamas somewhere, Undecided yet if we’re going to do the same this year, but I think this year it would probably be more applicable because even though we gave everyone the time off, not that many people were actually able to take advantage of the vacation this year.

[00:35:11] You know, I would anticipate, especially come the holidays as people continue to get vaccinated. Um, you’re going to see a lot of people going on vacation and things Q4 I would anticipate is going to be a lot of out of office days for, um, Prospects and employees from Thanksgiving, Christmas, and new years.

[00:35:32] So that’s going to be something we’ll all have to be mindful of.


Jason: So I know that we’ve covered a bunch of things. Is there anything that comes to mind as like a lesson you’ve learned as a sales leader with your own team or about yourself since the conversation we had in December? So not even remembering what we talked about, just you in December versus you now as a sales.


Adam: Yeah, that’s a great question. I think the biggest shift, since we had that conversation in December, um, we’ve actually promoted a director of sales, so that now I’m one level further removed from the actual front lines. And for me personally, uh, that’s, that’s been probably the biggest challenge because I love being in those conversations so much.

[00:36:18] So being able to. At times, take a back seat and provide the support without being as hands-on is, has been a struggle. But I think the biggest learning is that if you hire right, um, both the individual contributors and your management team, it’s a lot easier. And personally, you know, um, could not be more pleased with the performance of our, our management team and individual contributors.

[00:36:44] So that’s made it a lot easier when you have that confidence that people are going to have. Great. Consultated conversations with their customers that if they need that support it’s there. So I think really just, um, the lesson that I have reiterated is it’s so important that you hire the right team and as you grow in org, um, making sure that you get your management hires right.

[00:37:08] Is critical.


Jason: Yeah. And I appreciate what you said too, which I seen a lot of people face. I know that I faced. Um, many times in organizations where like for yourself, you were in sales and then you’re promoted to a leader and then. Instantly handed a team and, you know, you’re their peers one moment. And then all of a sudden you’re their, their manager, the next, and then now you’re even removed in that side that made people successful in sales.

[00:37:34] That part that they enjoy, right. There’s the hunters that just like to go out and get the kill. And then there’s the people actually just, you know, on a day, Version of that is the ones that love interacting with customers. Love helping sales people, close deals, love, you know, just, uh, you know, helping companies transform their clients and, um, to be removed from that.

[00:37:53] It’s a tough one. That’s a tough transition. You know, a lot of times you’re just missing that piece that, you know, you did to get you to where you are now. It’s a totally different hat. It’s a totally different focus.


Adam: Yeah, and I think that’s probably, uh, just what I just shared is probably just a slightly different way of saying the number one lesson in sales management.

[00:38:14] I believe I shared last time I was on your show, um, which is actually something I learned when I was 20 years old, uh, going into my senior year of college and coaching a 12 year baseball team, which is. You put a great team on the field and when they win, you look good. So I’m just making sure that you really put a great team on the field, but the right folks and the right spots and then support them.

[00:38:37] And that’s, that’s going to continue to be my vote.


Jason: Yeah, I love it. And one other lesson to throw in there too, is where I see a lot of people in sales management or leadership or hiring roles. They tend to think that everyone is like themselves. They want to hire a lot of people like themselves, put those people in place where what you want is the best people in the role and the people who are really good at what they’re good at.

[00:39:00] Not just clothes. Of the leader or the manager who, you know, thinks that they know what it takes. So I appreciate the fact that you guys have a very diverse team of salespeople and, uh, you know, from different perspectives, experiences, backgrounds, and points of view. So that’s awesome. Well, Adam, thank you for coming on the show for being a.

[00:39:21] Crossover guests from the previous podcast over to this one, I know for people who are interested, they can go to active prospect.com to find out more information about active prospect. Also lots of content, lots of information on there, just in general, regarding leads, consent, things like that. Uh, how about if people want to get ahold of you and chat with you more, uh, find out more about the stuff that we talked about, about sales and leadership and, or, you know, client inquiries, people who want to know more about activity.


Adam: Yeah, absolutely. Uh, my email is easy. It’s just [email protected]. So please don’t be shy, reaching out. Jason, you can tell, I really enjoy chatting all things. Consent based, marketing lead generation, um, call centers, sales, sales management. So, um, please, you know, feel free to reach out also gladly introduce you to anyone on the team.

[00:40:10] So, uh, hope to be talking with a lot of folks.


Jason: All right. Thanks Adam. Appreciate it. And, uh, I appreciate you coming on the show and taking time to talk to everyone today. Thank you,


Adam: Jason had a great time chatting with you.

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