The Sales Side of Bots: An Introspective [Podcast]

Reading Time: 12 minutes

Guest: Scott MarkSeasoned executive with experience running large organizations.

Overview: This week on digital conversations our guest is Eliav Cohen of Ultra Cool. He teaches how to get started using keywords for Drift and 3 key points to getting the most value from chat.

Reference: 13yrs Strategic Technology Sales and Account Management experience in complex business markets. Specialties: client relations, revenue growth, revenue retention, direct sales, inside sales, channel sales, c-level selling, account management, enterprise account manager, lead generation, sales prospecting, complex sales, outside sales, contract negotiations, consulting.

Billy: Alright everybody, welcome to the show today. Today we have Scott Mark, the director of digital sales at Xant. Scott, welcome to the show, man.

Scott: Billy, thanks for having me. I’m excited. It’s a good day outside.

Billy: Yeah, it is. It’s a nice day and good day to always talk about sales and how sales guys and chat bots can work together.

Scott: Sure.

Billy: Before we get into it, can you just mind telling everybody just a little bit about yourself and about Xant?

Scott: Yeah, so myself, my name is Scott Mark. That’s two first names, so I like to confuse people, everyday about that. I am a director of digital sales here. I have been with the organization for close to eight years coming up next month, so been there a while.

And Xant, Xant is a cadence platform that is for any type of sales team, any type of business development team all the way over… across the funnel, right? So, your bidis, your sales guys, your sales reps, all the way over into your customer success reps as well. So, we want to make sure our cadence platform touches if you’re building pipeline, closing pipeline, or retaining pipeline, we definitely want to talk to you.

Billy: Yeah, it’s good stuff. We use it. We use it with our sales team. So…

Scott: Yeah. Beautiful. Yep.

Billy: Okay, man. And then before we start talking about our topic, what’s one thing that if we decided to do a little social snooping online to see who Scott Mark is that we’re probably not going to figure out about you?

Scott: Oh, social snooping? That’s a fun word going. I would… Oh, I don’t know. Oh, let’s see. Fun facts, I had scholarships for art, coming out of high school.

Billy: Wow.

Scott: So, yeah, that’s one thing that’s… yeah, who knew, right? I became a sales guy. I became a sales guys instead. My dream, Billy, my dream is not on social snooping of it.

Billy: Okay.

Scott: My dream was to go design shoes for Nike and I took a huge left turn somewhere.

Billy: Somewhere? You did, man.

Scott: Yeah.

Billy: What kind of art, man? What were you doing?

Scott: Oh, you know, fun pencil, the pen, like charcoal, all that fun stuff. So, yeah, man, that’s…

Billy: Interesting, man.

Scott: Yeah.

Billy: I didn’t know that about you, though. So …

Scott: There you go.

Billy: Awesome. Okay, so let’s hop into this. So, you’ve been using, you guys been using drift over at Xant for almost two years?

Scott: Yeah.

Billy: And your team specifically was the first ones on it, and they’re still on it, using it. So, we’ve worked with you guys, but I want to get, you know, have you guys share your insights on what you like about it as a sales manager where it benefits your team, lessons learned. So, let’s just start with like, what do you like about having the bot feeding you guys leads?

Scott: Yeah, well, for any sales, individual sales, leader that is out there. A wise man once taught me and told me, “Time will kill any deal that you are working” Right? So, I mean, those buyers that will come to you come through some sort of landing page or come through your website, those are hand razors stuff. We can collect that as quickly as possible and get them in front of an individual who that we pay money to sell, right?

The chances of us selling that specific individual or company go up, right? I mean, speed delete, you know, whether they’re going to win fast or lose fast, we want to make sure that we can have a shot at that in which if both allows us to, hey, those hand razors that know exactly what they’re looking for, they can give on one of our sales reps calendars right away, and we can get on that call pretty quickly with them.

So, because we understand, right? We understand that the buyers journey as… I mean, what was this study? I just read it a couple months ago that the buyer will go through a 65% of the buyers’ journey before they even talked and stuff, right?

Billy: Yeah. Yep.

Scott: So, I bet if we can capture that very quickly, and say hi to them very quickly, I mean, our chances, we’re going to play those odds, right? And that drift bot allows us to do that, for sure.

Billy: Yeah, I mean, usually they’ve got anywhere from 12 to 18 data points about you. And usually, all you’ve got is like a name and an email right off the bat. So, the drift definitely lets you engage right away so that they don’t move on to your competitors.

Scott: Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely.

Billy: Okay, man. So as a manager, you’ve been using this for a while, like, share some of your insights on what you like, what you don’t like, where were the bumps in the road as you guys were implementing this?

Scott: Yeah. I don’t see… there’s a… The bumps are a little bit out of our control. I’ll get into that in a second. But what I like about it still is, as a leader, a sales leader, we’re able to basically tell everyone ourselves that we’re going to talk to you through drift. Meaning that we can put up some guardrails and say, this type of individual or this type of organization coming through, obviously, we’re going to sit down with marketing and have those questions ready to rock and roll, right?

But those questions that those individually are answering through, now the bot allows us to be very specific of who needs to have that conversation, right? So, if I have a bunch of new sales reps that aren’t quite to that level to talk to anywhere to a 500 to a 1000, 2000 employee organization, that’s a pretty complex sale for a brand new guy coming, who’s still learning.

And the message in how to position certain things, I can keep certain individuals on certain sales conversations. I really like that so I can be very specific of who’s talking to who. At same time, I guess reverse that is those new sales reps that are coming in.

Now, here at Xant, we do have a minimum of price point that we are looking for that we can sell to. We are able to go to the individuals who come to the bot and say, maybe they’re trying to just get information or maybe they’re just trying to get through the bot really quickly just to talk to somebody so that the information they give us, not so good, right?

Billy: Yeah.

Scott: But we still want to get that. We still want to grind through that and see if we can find anybody within those. So, we’re able to get those in front of our newer reps, the reps that, I guess want one more of that. And that bot will allow us to be very specific in that regard as well. So…

But again, going to the flip side of that, going to another flip side of that as well, your other question was, what are the bumps in the road? Well, I mean, it’s technology, right? Technology is technology, it’s never perfect. But when a live human being is coming to a drift bot, you know, some sort of robotic individual who’s trying to act like a human, it’s not a real human-human conversation, right?

And we would love that to be. There’s some AI or some sort that can get there at some level. But again, the human element is as close as it possibly can be right now. But again, those are the bumps in the road. So I mean, having an individual or bot answers those questions like a human being, that might just be wishful thinking right now.

But as of right now, I mean, the ability to put up the guardrails that we want to put her up and have the right sales reps talk to the right, I don’t know, opportunity coming through, I love it. It’s great.

Billy: Yeah. And like, that’s a great point about like, hey, I can choose who’s talking to who. And you can also make those changes, like so quickly with the bot. It’s like, hey, we’re overloaded. We got a little pickier.

Scott: Yeah.

Billy: We can just to like, you go get marketing to go in, they can tweak. It’ll take them 10 minutes, and you can change it right then. So…

Scott: Absolutely, yeah. And you bring up a really good point. So, here at Xant, we want to have a line of communication with our marketing team as open as possible. So, sales leadership and marketing, we have handfuls of meetings with the marketing team throughout the week.

In one of those meetings, we sit down and we understand… We call in stage twos that are qualified opportunities. So, where are these qualified opportunities coming from? Are they coming from a draft board? Are they coming from our sales team? Are they coming from a business development rep? Are they coming from website? Like, we’re able to really speak to those levels. And we have a goal. It’s a reach throughout the month and throughout the quarter of these states opportunities. And drift just allows us to tweak that.

Like you said, like, all right, well, maybe the messaging is off a little bit, and maybe we can say this, or do this where we can potentially get one or two extra stage two opportunities that month. So that’s what I love about it too. It’s just the analytics behind the scene, full report, full data, full stories being told.

Billy: Yeah. So, let’s dig into analytics a little bit. I mean, I don’t know if you have these numbers, but do you find that deals that come in through the drift by close, any faster, any slower than the rest of your deal flow?

Scott: Yeah, I mean, again, the answer is a yes, they’ll close faster in a fully qualified opportunity when people react. And that’s the thing. I mean a drift, wheelers would come, tire kickers, or wheelers, they’ll come through. We’ll get that. And that’s fine. And that’s weather to capture those wheelers there to help market to that. That’s individual as well.

But really, I mean, those individuals come and raise their hand, say, man, I’m ready to rock, yeah. I mean, of course those are going to close faster. I mean, because they’re already putting them, the buyers are already putting in the self as a very qualified opportunity to talk. They’re ready to talk. They know who we are, they know what they want. It’s just easier to get to it.

So, instead of having to go through… Excuse me. Instead of having to go through maybe multiple touch points with a human interaction, I just write to my sales guy, sales got to close right into implementation. Right, So…

Billy: Let’s rock and roll.

Scott: Yeah

Billy: Okay, man. Okay. So, you’ve been using drift for a while. I mean, you’ve been in sales for a long time. Do you think this is like going to stick around? Because we’ve seen other feds come and go. Like, what’s your opinion on it?

Scott: No, yeah, I see it staying for a really long time. Like I said, it is a software, and the speed delete is a real thing. Especially nowadays, the buyers’ journey is like 60 ish % of getting through that buyers’ journey. And I see that going up, right. I see the buyer going through being ready to buy something, or maybe going through 75% of buyers’ journey.

So, instead of having to try to find a way to navigate through, maybe a phone tree to get to a sales guy or maybe a direct message through LinkedIn or an email, like, again, someone coming in, I’m not ready to buy this, or potentially, I want to buy you or somebody else, I’m going write to a sales rep and I’m ready to have that conversation. So, I think they’re here to stay. I really do. And I can only see it getting better, honestly.

Billy: Yeah.

Scott: It’s already gotten better for the last two years that we’ve been using it.

Billy: All right.

Scott: and I just see it, you know, the years to come, I just see it getting stronger and stronger and stronger, for sure.

Billy: Yeah, I mean, I’m a little biased, but I tend to agree with you.

Scott: Of course.

Billy: The bots are here to stay.

Scott: Of course, Billy. Yeah, it was a good set up. I like it. Yeah.

Billy: But… Okay, so one more question before I let you go. If you’re going to talk to a sales manager, his marketing team, like, let’s say it’s demand Gen manager said, hey, I bought drift or intercom or some bot, I’m putting on the site, I’m going to start sending meetings to your team, what would be your advice to that guy to help his demand Gen set it up the right way for his team to have success?

Scott: Yeah, I would… I think the messaging is really key with sales and with marketing. I love marketers to death. I love sales guys to death. But there are those times where a lot of four letter words that are thrown back and forth and they’re not left, right? with someone who has an opinion, or someone who has opinions.

So, I would recommend when you are having a drift bot of some sort as capturing these individuals, these handlers who was coming through, how the messaging really tied down, right? and both of you, both parties come to the table saying, yes, I agree. That way, you can get to success faster, instead of either marketing or sales saying, no, I’m right, no, you’re wrong scenario.

I think it really needs to be a collaborative thing. Because when it comes to a sales rep without having to go through any a lot of marketing touches, I think they need to be ready to talk, right? They need to be ready to talk about the right things, instead of trying to recap and to go through some sort of a checklist of questions, if you will. Right? So, I really think the collaboration between the two parties, I think is key, especially how to get, for sure.

Billy: Dude, I couldn’t agree more. If you’re going to set this up, like everybody’s got to be on board. Marketing can’t just set it up and like shove it down sales throat, you know?

Scott: Yeah.

Billy: So, awesome. Good point.

Scott: In one other point, I would love for any marketer or for any sales leader that’s out there, who’s on business development, leader that’s out there, I know it’s a robotic software, right? if you will. But I would still, don’t take away the human aspect of it. Right? Meaning like, having a human individual on the other line, keeping tabs of what is actually happening.

Billy: Yeah.

Scott: If someone’s chatting, make sure someone is maybe over that. That’s their full job, right? titles to look at that. So, I know there’s a lot of times where, even myself, I’ll go to any website and just test it out and I’ll hit a bot, even our bot right?

Billy: Yeah.

Scott: I’ll hit it up and see who’s going to respond to me. All the time, I’ll hit a bot and see how long it takes, right? But yeah, but like, again, to me, time kills all deals. I want to get to deals as quickly as possible. So, yeah, well, it’s captured one way very with a software and very robotically. But really, don’t take away that human aspect away.

Billy: No, that’s so true. The bot, really, all it is just a means to connect people to people faster.

Scott: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Billy: That’s all it’s about. Like, we’re going to put the bot in, whether it’s qualifying and booking meetings, let’s get you on someone’s calendar and get your solution right now. Or, you know, a live chat and you’re right. Like, if you’re going to have live chat, you can’t have somebody horsing around. They’re like, oh, yeah, I’ll get to it. Like, you got to be on it, because…

Scott: You got to be on it.

Billy: You’re not going to get a second chance. Like, having someone dedicated, that’s usually the best solution. So, whether it’s one person or a small team, yeah.

Scott: Absolutely. Absolutely. 100%.

Billy: Okay, man. Well, thanks for the time, Scott. If somebody wants to get a hold of you, learn more about Xant or continue the conversation, how should they reach out?

Scott: Yeah, obviously Xant.ai is our website. Obviously, check us out. If you want to get hold of me, my email is smark, m a r k @xant.ai. So, smark@xant.ai. LinkedIn, LinkedInme, again, Scott Mark, not Mark Scott. I know I confuse you, but yeah. I love the chat. I love the talk. I love talking about playbooks, which is our software, our cadence platform. I love to talk about it. So, anybody who’s in that market, yeah, reach out.

Billy: Okay. Thanks again, Scott. And we’ll chat later.

Scott: Billy, it’s a pleasure. Talk to you soon.

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