Developing Your Strategy with Tom Slocum, Part 2

About This Episode

Director of Enablement with Milestone Inc, Tom Slocum knows a thing or two about developing and creating effective strategies to grow your pipeline. So much so, he co-founded Outbound SOS to help train and develop sales talent.
Tom and Brad continue their discussion on Milestone Inc, as well as what led Tom to help to found Outbound SOS. Tom breaks down the issues he sees in the current development strategies and explains the difference between what is true, and what’s not true, about the sales world, and how to develop an effective strategy for you to be successful navigating it.

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Developing Your Strategy with Tom Slocum, Part 2

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Brad Seaman: So my ears are going to perk up a lot because I think there’s so much it, particularly in the tech space, I think there’s so much focus on the meeting that you just got into. The intangibles is like interacting with the prospect about the things that, you know, we’re so focused on. Like, let’s get you to the meeting.

Let’s get you to the demo. But, but that little, that little move right there. Hey, have you thought I liked it. Hey, have you thought of EDU Google, Google it or your computer? Google. What? That.

[00:00:29] Tom Slocum: Well, could you never think about it, right? You’re always doing your own little world, right? You’re out there creating the content.

You’re putting it out there, but have you ever looked at it from the shoes of the audience you’re trying to get to come in, right. Like when you do an experience, when I worked at Yelp as an account executive, we talked about it all the time. What do you do when you go out to restaurants? Do you Yelp reviews?

Well, yeah, I do all the time. Okay. And when you see negative reviews to business owners, how does it make you feel? Well, they shouldn’t be responding. Oh, they shouldn’t be, oh, so you should be to write on your own page. All I got Tom, I get it. And I’m like, there you go. Like, you have to see it from that other experience.

And so when you’re selling digital marketing, it’s the same thing. Tell them the dream of what it should look like. I don’t need to listen. I know you have pain and I want to talk about your pain. I get that. That’s going to sell you. No, no, no. If you don’t know pain, you don’t have no sale, but there’s a way to talk about the dream world too.

And focus on action. That’s going to move them to where they want to go, not away from what they want, but more towards what they want. You know, I can inspire you and motivate you to take action on what the dream world looks. Or I could sell you the fear of what the past life looks like. It just depends, but more people will be receptive to the dream than the, than the nightmare.

In my opinion,

[00:00:00] Brad Seaman: So my ears are going to perk up a lot because I think there’s so much it, particularly in the tech space, I think there’s so much focus on the meeting that you just got into. The intangibles is like interacting with the prospect about the things that, you know, we’re so focused on. Like, let’s get you to the meeting.

Let’s get you to the demo. But, but that little, that little move right there. Hey, have you thought I liked it. Hey, have you thought of EDU Google, Google it or your computer? Google. What? That.

[00:00:29] Tom Slocum: Well, could you never think about it, right? You’re always doing your own little world, right? You’re out there creating the content.

You’re putting it out there, but have you ever looked at it from the shoes of the audience you’re trying to get to come in, right. Like when you do an experience, when I worked at Yelp as an account executive, we talked about it all the time. What do you do when you go out to restaurants? Do you Yelp reviews?

Well, yeah, I do all the time. Okay. And when you see negative reviews to business owners, how does it make you feel? Well, they shouldn’t be responding. Oh, they shouldn’t be, oh, so you should be to write on your own page. All I got Tom, I get it. And I’m like, there you go. Like, you have to see it from that other experience.

And so when you’re selling digital marketing, it’s the same thing. Tell them the dream of what it should look like. I don’t need to listen. I know you have pain and I want to talk about your pain. I get that. That’s going to sell you. No, no, no. If you don’t know pain, you don’t have no sale, but there’s a way to talk about the dream world too.

And focus on action. That’s going to move them to where they want to go, not away from what they want, but more towards what they want. You know, I can inspire you and motivate you to take action on what the dream world looks. Or I could sell you the fear of what the past life looks like. It just depends, but more people will be receptive to the dream than the, than the nightmare.

In my opinion,

[00:01:46] Brad Seaman: You know, I had somebody, I had this conversation with somebody. When who were there was a Kendra Warlow. So so Kendra is on and we’re having this conversation. And I said, Hey, look, when I get it, a couple of things. When I get into the the pain funnel, the Sandler pain level, oh man.

I turn into like a, I turned like a cost phobic crazy man. I’m like, I just want to fight the fight. Like my heads go up, like obviously my hands go up and I just started, I started. But, but the one thing and I, and there’s a lot of stuff about Sandler that I really liked. But I, and I said this to her.

I said, Hey, when I buy, you know what there’s, there’s definitely, I’m not saying I’ve never bought on, on pain, but I have a tendency to sorta thinking about optimization of, of the way things should be. And so like when when when a pro, when a sales guy tries to get me to talk about pain, that’s just like totally irrelevant.

And she said she said, Hey, that’s ideal as a buyer, as a seller, that’s what you want. But she’s like, Hey, that’s a, that’s a unicorn experience. Most people are not like that. You know, most people need they need a little pain. I don’t know if I w I don’t know if I believe or don’t believe that, but I know for me, I have a tendency to want to.

I mean, there’s definitely, like I said, pain. I bet I make some decisions by paying. Optimization, but I, I just don’t think about pain when I’m purchasing.

[00:03:05] Tom Slocum: It’s not, you know, and that’s the thing about knowing your buyer persona, right? That’s why it’s so important to do your research really put on the cap of who you’re reaching out to and knowing their world and finding out is more of your audience and pain driven buying process, or is it the, the optimization side of things and the motivation to be ahead of their competition, making the adjustments they need to, to progress.

And so once you understand that world, and most of the time, you know, in, in the world of digital marketing, we do live off the pain. They don’t like a poor experience. They don’t want to be punished by Google. They don’t want to be having to deal with all the pains of the coding changing and you know, their jobs being on the line because they have to balance budget, but making these big moves in.

And so pain is tough for them, but at the same time, you can sell them on the dream of what a good SEO experience does look like. And they want to see that. And they’re like, well, I want that. I know what you do, Brad. That’s why I called you. Right. I want to talk you through this and show you how you can get there.

I know some things are broken, but I just want you to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, there is a way to achieve 98% success here, and this is how we can do it. And they’re like, oh, that would save my life. And it felt, kind of goes back to the pain, but in a different. Because you’re, you know, you’re selling that vision right of, again, it was forward-thinking when selling cars, I’m not selling you on the pain of your car.

You drove in today, I’m selling you on what your future can look like in this new car. Right. I don’t care about the old carts and over there, we’re going to take that junk or give you 5k for it. And it’s going to move on, but let’s talk about these new experiences you’re going to have, and this amazing three road truck, right.

With your kids and the DVD player, and the vacations are going to look like. I’m not talking about the difference between that and your old card. That’s irrelevant

[00:04:49] Brad Seaman: right now, I think. And I think you nailed it. It’s like you gotta be in touch. You gotta be in tune with your, with your buyer. You gotta be paying attention to what the buyers are saying.

Y Y okay. So most mortgage companies that I have experienced with kind of have an uppity nose to outbound sales, you’ve obviously been in a in an environment where you build out a pretty strong. Around outbound at a service business what’s the intimidation, why do more marketing? It seems like a no brainer.

What a more marketing companies not have sales development. And what are the, what are the keys to sell and service? Over the phone.

[00:05:24] Tom Slocum: It’s interesting, right? Like milestone before I got here with very driven by referrals, business internal, right. They were a hospitality industry and they didn’t need outbound, but you know, a lot of startups.

And a lot of times when you first get building things, you tap into your network, you tap into referrals. Nobody wants to start cold calling people and trying to sell them they’re off. Even when I’m doing an outbound SOS, right. It’s much easier for me to tap into my already network and find people that I’ve built relationships with versus, oh my gosh, you just want me to start cold calling people and like tell them about this business.

And so digital marketing is the same thing as they start with just powering their network. They start to look going after bigger brands, building relationships with the account executives and they get one hotel or one brand that opens them up to 200 hotels now. Right. So now they can help them in their marketing efforts with their service.

A client of mine that I worked with back in March was a marketing agency called, was having some email issues and messaging. Right. But didn’t want an outbound team. He just wanted to figure out how to tweak some automated messages real quick. Hey, can I just throw together a sequence of the automate and go out?

Like I have business, I just want to up it a little bit and it’s weird, right? They don’t, I don’t know why they don’t go outbound and establish a team to go out and start selling their services across the competition. I think it’s a cost thing. They just don’t want to invest in it because marketing service searches are, are high.

They’re very in demand, right? They happen all the time. People are looking for website services wanting to beat the SEO game. So maybe just inbound, so natural for them that, you know, they’re just hoping the luck of the draw of Google search or marketing, and they want to live out their method to if they’re, if you’re a marketing company trying to sell me on your services.

You should be booming yourself, right? Like that’s just a natural thought, is that, well, your own marketing tactics should work. Right?

[00:07:13] Brad Seaman: Right. So the best contractors, I know those houses. Aren’t nice. And Taylor’s got the kids don’t have any shoes.

[00:07:22] Tom Slocum: It’s weird, but you have to, you know, they have to have that brand.

Right. You’re trying to sell me well, how is your site experience? Look, how does your stuff look? Right? How are you appearing in search? And I think it’s just, they lean a lot on it. Until they realize, oh shoot, you know, we could really go big here. If we started going out and getting larger brands, businesses, clients, you know, larger Tam, right.

That, that addressable market by implementing something outbound. And that’s what we did, you know, here at milestone. Now they switched and started going after enterprise companies and looking for that outbound methodology of, okay, now we’re just going to go out there and bring business to us. Right.

Go get it. And it’s working out very well.

[00:08:00] Brad Seaman: What, when you think about when you think about the two or three things that you’re building an outbound strategy, that you would coach your clients on what are the two or three things that come to come to mind? So you got a new client they’re getting ready to build the team.

What are the three tips of advice that you would, you would give somebody?

[00:08:17] Tom Slocum: One is going to be your process, really define it, right? What is it going to look like? What do you want the SDR to be responsible for? What’s the whole point of this outbound engine going to be? And how is that process going to work?

And when you’re looking at that too many, make a mistake of building. Right. They’re looking to bring in a player coach. So they just build out a process for one person and that’s okay. I understand that. Right. You only have one body, you just get it to work for them. But I have scalability in mind. How is this going to impact when you have a team of 30, what is this process going to look like?

It may not impact you right now to have it in the system, but it will in a year from now when you have your team of 10 and you start cranking. So looking at scalability in your process, To messaging. Number one thing that needs to be worked on is, is your go to market messaging. What is that going to look like?

Who are you going to put nurse in charge of that? Is that going to be your marketing team? Is that going to be this director you’re bringing in? Is it going to be up to the reps or is it going to be, you know, from you or are you going to bring in a third-party service to say help, help us define this messaging?

But you need to know what that go to market strategy is going to look like, what are your value props? What are your actually solving for your client? And then giving that information to this person that’s going to go outbound, right? So they can speak to their audience the right way. And then three is your tech really looking at what you’re going to invest in.

There is a way to MacGyver a lot of things. There are some ways that you don’t have to invest in all these big fancy tools right away, but understand where the market is going right now. A lot of SDRs are going to be asking in an interview. What is your tech stack and they will come to work for you. If you don’t have the right answers, it’s just happening.

Right. Phil’s development is in demand right now. And those reps get to play a little hard ball, and they’re going to pick people that set them up for success with the right tech. Now, do you

[00:10:07] Brad Seaman: think part of that is the amount of money going into the market that the, you know, The VCs obviously have some, you know, have preferred channels, right?

So they’ve got channels. They’ve seen work, specific markets are gonna market those. I think outbound tends to be one of those plays that works. And do you think that’s part, do you think that’s creating, you know, all these sales development reps to sort of hit the market and have have an opinion about the Texas.

[00:10:34] Tom Slocum: Yeah. I mean, you know, the world’s changing in the, in the, in the world of sales development, it’s evolving more and more companies are investing in it. But a lot of trying to keep up right. And understand how to make a successful and what it’s going to take. But now you’ve got these reps being able to dictate a lot of the terms of what it’s going to look like because of how much success companies are finding by, by developing these teams.

Right? You said it earlier, there’s so many teams that these big companies are launching these outbounds. And our pipeline is fantastic. Right? They’re doing well. They’ve got, you know, a steady flow of business coming in. And so it’s a hot commodity people want to bring in that role. And so how do you set these people up for success and, and be competitive to bring in that talent?

[00:11:18] Brad Seaman: Now, one of the questions I wanted to ask you, I know I’ve sort of been hopping around cause I’m making notes to try to be letting you let you talk scripts or no.

[00:11:26] Tom Slocum: Oh, another hot take man. You’re getting me in some trouble here. Brad, people are going to come to me and I, no, I, I, this one’s tough for me because I don’t think there should be a script.

I don’t. I think they’re irrelevant. I think they put things into a box. The whole point of selling is to make a connection with somebody that can’t be forced and that can’t be. And what you do to a rep by making them think that a sales call has to go a certain way, removes all creativity and actual connections with somebody, because I’m not really going to listen to you grad, because I already know my next question that I have to get to.

And if you don’t go that route, then I can’t have that convo with you because I’m supposed to hit, you know, this, this question next. And if you answer this right, they’re, they’re too stuck in this, this formulated plan that at the end of the day, like, no, no, But create a playbook, a conversational playbook for your reps.

What are going to have them peer-to-peer value prop creation, right? Let’s design some value props. So you have them on the fly. What do we actually solve? Right. How do we get those messages? But how you have the conversation that should just be organic. You have your open-ended questions. I think more instead of a script, look at a formula, how you want the conversation to look and then design a formula that they can mold and create themselves, not a script.

[00:12:49] Brad Seaman: You think about script, you think about a one one-page like a one-page paper with, you know, the intro, the body and the, is that kinda what you think about when you think like, if you’re visualizing, when I say script.

[00:13:02] Tom Slocum: Yeah, my world. Right. That’s what it means, right. Is that it’s a formulated thing that, you know, here’s my intro.

I’m supposed to open with this. One-liner Hey, do you have 27 seconds for me to tell you why? I called? Yes. Great. Hey, I’m calling. My name is, you know, and then they go down this line of order. You know, that’s, to me, what a script.

[00:13:20] Brad Seaman: You’re baking. You’re making me laugh. I’m like this. I got an idea for a great video.

It’s like Hey, play the Eminem song. My name is

Yeah, that’s it. That’s like a great, I’m going to work that into some context.

So I think the big mistake that a lot of companies make is they confuse the messaging with the with digesting the message. So you hire a new rep, you’re trying to train them and you give them the script as a web to give him that one-page doc, as a way for him to understand that. And I think that’s where stuff goes wrong.

Because at the end of the day, you have to be able to, I’m going to use the word script, cause it’s going to be easier to talk about. I think you have, you have to know your stuff. Yeah. You have to be able to say you have to be able to have somebody to push up, push the play button on you as a salesperson, and you have to be able to articulate a consistent message about a series of consistent topics.

The challenge with a script is that. And I think a lot of people confuse that with how we’re going to get you the implement because you got to learn it. If you’re an actor, you have a huge giant script that you’ve got to learn because that’s the material then you’re going to get on stage or you’re going to either get on stage or do get in a, in a on the scene.

And you have to be able to articulate that with some. Now if you’re in a, my assumption, I’ve not been on a I have not been on a movie set, but I would assume that there is some free will amongst the actor to be able to take that content into scope, to in a way that fits the character. And I think that’s ultimately the same thing with.

And so I’m pro I am not, I don’t have an aversion to scripting. I cause when I think about scripting, I think about it as, like you say script, I said in my mind, it’s like, know your stuff, you know, you gotta be able to respond. To the, you got to know your material, your, this is your profession. You got to know,

[00:15:30] Tom Slocum: you got to know the scene that you’re trying to get through.

Right.

[00:15:34] Brad Seaman: I love it.

[00:15:35] Tom Slocum: Nixon cram, crannies, right? Like when an actor or an actress, when you think about it, if I read a whole scene, I know the start middle and end. Right. I know how it’s supposed to go. And I’m confident in that because it can’t change. That’s. But what I am going to do in that whole scene is put my spin to it because I’m there because I know what, like, I know how to bring that emotion of crying, because that’s what the scene calls for.

I know what it’s calling for and I can put my spin on it in a sales call. It’s the same thing, right? Like, you know how it’s supposed to go, but guess what? It’s not always going to go that way. That’s the issue, actors and actresses know exactly how that scene’s supposed to end so they can be. And so the way you say it is know your stuff, when you know your stuff and your ICP, you know, their pains, you know, the angles to go with them, you know, the leading questions you get to be fearless on that phone call and really actually get to be yourself.

Because you get to be free in it because you know, your stuff know how it should end or no matter which way the scene goes, you know how to get to go to the end point that you need to creativity.

[00:16:43] Brad Seaman: Yeah, no, I think, I think that’s great. I just, I was just super curious. I know it’s I know I covered a couple hot, hot buttons.

I loved her. I loved her take on that stuff. It was great. All right. Well, since we’re kind of coming to to an indie, or is there anything specific that you’re super passionate about or that you want to cover before we, before we come to a close?

[00:17:04] Tom Slocum: Oh, you know, I mean, I love films development. I’ve been doing it a long time.

I’ve been doing sales for a long time. And I just love being able to help people find their lane and be passionate in, in understanding how they can bring their own. You know passion, their own skills, their own art to what they do. I think too many try to make too many copies of people. You know, you get a sales team, you want to make 30 of the same person.

You promote somebody because they were the best on the, on the field. You think they could make 20 more of them. But I’m very passionate about just helping people find their identity. You know, we’re all actors and actresses in sales, but how do you bring your own. You know, stuff, your own, you factor or spice to these scenes.

And so how can we empower that? But yeah, that’s what I’m excited about right now. It’s just kind of changing the world of sales development, helping people, you know, change this new adaption of being more human, making, more real connections, not being the spray and pray person anymore. And find themselves on the right side of the, the AI and the APIs that are going to be coming out in the near future, as they say, for the future of sales development, you know, Just empowering you to be you and finding the success in it.

If, if sales developments, your lane or sales is

[00:18:15] Brad Seaman: awesome, do they call your Tommy?

[00:18:18] Tom Slocum: They call me Tom. I changed it a few years back. It’s legally Tommy, but it was just very amateur hour when I was working at Yelp. So I changed the tolerant and I started getting a little bit more respect on the phones.

[00:18:30] Brad Seaman: Is it possible?

Did I, could I have seen Tommy somewhere? I feel like I saw

[00:18:34] Tom Slocum: Tommy somewhere.

[00:18:38] Brad Seaman: Oh, I’ll call you. I will call your time. Cool, man. I this was great. I love thanks for coming on. This was, this was awesome.

[00:00:00] Brad Seaman: So my ears are going to perk up a lot because I think there’s so much it, particularly in the tech space, I think there’s so much focus on the meeting that you just got into. The intangibles is like interacting with the prospect about the things that, you know, we’re so focused on. Like, let’s get you to the meeting.

Let’s get you to the demo. But, but that little, that little move right there. Hey, have you thought I liked it. Hey, have you thought of EDU Google, Google it or your computer? Google. What? That.

[00:00:29] Tom Slocum: Well, could you never think about it, right? You’re always doing your own little world, right? You’re out there creating the content.

You’re putting it out there, but have you ever looked at it from the shoes of the audience you’re trying to get to come in, right. Like when you do an experience, when I worked at Yelp as an account executive, we talked about it all the time. What do you do when you go out to restaurants? Do you Yelp reviews?

Well, yeah, I do all the time. Okay. And when you see negative reviews to business owners, how does it make you feel? Well, they shouldn’t be responding. Oh, they shouldn’t be, oh, so you should be to write on your own page. All I got Tom, I get it. And I’m like, there you go. Like, you have to see it from that other experience.

And so when you’re selling digital marketing, it’s the same thing. Tell them the dream of what it should look like. I don’t need to listen. I know you have pain and I want to talk about your pain. I get that. That’s going to sell you. No, no, no. If you don’t know pain, you don’t have no sale, but there’s a way to talk about the dream world too.

And focus on action. That’s going to move them to where they want to go, not away from what they want, but more towards what they want. You know, I can inspire you and motivate you to take action on what the dream world looks. Or I could sell you the fear of what the past life looks like. It just depends, but more people will be receptive to the dream than the, than the nightmare.

In my opinion,

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