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Helping Your Sales Representatives Thrive in the World of Virtual Sales

August 12, 202244:26

In case you missed the memo…virtual sales is here to stay. Which means supporting your sales representatives as they embrace digital sales tools is paramount. In this episode, we chat with Josh Fedie, CEO and Founder of SalesReach and host of the Buyer Enablement Podcast. Listen as he shares how marketing can better support sales, the importance of embracing new technologies and digital strategies, and the market gap that led him to create SalesReach.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

April Williams:
Hi, and welcome to the From Hello to Yes podcast. Today’s guest, Josh Fedie, not only understands how vital it is to empower sales leaders with the tools they need to go from hello to yes, but he created a SaaS-based sales enablement portal to meet those demands. I always love someone who sees a problem and then goes ahead and creates the solution. Enjoy my conversation with Josh.
Josh, thank you so much for joining us today.
Josh Fedie:
Yeah, you’re welcome. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.
April Williams:
Oh, I’m just thrilled. I love to open each episode asking our guest, from where you sit today, what advice would Josh of today say to the 20-something-year-old Josh?
Josh Fedie:
The advice I’d give to the 20-something-year-old Josh is, “Stop questioning yourself. Stop doubting that you are going to be able to do the amazing things you dream of doing. Start acting upon your dreams today, but allow yourself another 20 years for any of them to actually come true. Just be a realist about it.” Yeah, because 20-year-old Josh thought, “Well, if it doesn’t happen tomorrow, it’s never going to happen.” 40-year-old Josh realizes that it was the 20 years of things I did that brought me here today, and I just needed to be more patient and give myself a little more grace.
April Williams:
Love that answer. I think probably there’s very few 20-year-olds that are patient, so that’s the advice we probably could all give to our 20-year-old selves, for sure. I also would love to start with you taking a minute and sharing why you started SalesReach and what gaps you see it filling in the marketplace before I get into my other questions, kind of giving that foundation to how you got here today.
Josh Fedie:
Yeah, it’s a fair question. I’ll try to keep it short because it’s a long story. SalesReach comes from literally 20 years of different things that I did in my life that all came together in this way where it was like, “Wait a minute. If you bring all those things that you’ve learned how to do into one place, you’re going to be really productive. Why don’t you do that?”
I started as a musician, that’s where I started in my background, recording, writing songs, learning how to use editing software in the music industry. I absolutely loved that and I thought that’s what I was going to do because the 20-year-old Josh thought, “Well, I’m going to be a rockstar, obviously. Look at me, I got rockstar written all over me.” But that turned out to not really be the case. Actually, my wife, who I’m married to now, met her when I was 19 years old, told her I was going to be a musician. Her parents kicked her out of the house. They said, “You’re either going to move in with him or you’re going to continue living here and you’re going to leave him because we sent you to college, you’re not dating a musician.”
While we started that relationship, I was still playing music, but I started getting into marketing and creative services. That was just really luck for me. I had never gone to college. I didn’t know anything about marketing. I knew about sales only because I was working some really crummy sales jobs in telemarketing and car sales, things like that. Which, if anyone’s in car sales, it’s not a crummy job, but when you’re a 20-year-old, it is, right? They’re teaching you some of the things that we now know you would never do.
So I was working those types of jobs. The bass player and my band’s father owned a marketing agency, and they needed help, they needed some sales. My bassist had told his father, “Hey, Josh, he knows how to sell. He’s a good salesperson.” So his dad asked me, he’s like, “Hey, do you want to come work for me?” I was like, “Yeah, heck, yeah.” He’s like, “Can you sell marketing?” I’m like, “Yeah, I can sell anything, whatever, it’s fine.” And it turned out I was really, really good at it. I now know that the reason I was really good at selling in a creative services environment is because I am a creative, I think creatively. I think quickly. I think on the fly. It’s really easy for me to riff with people when I’m in a room trying to identify what their challenges are and how we could solve for them to get them to a place where we all agree that this is how we should move forward, and then we just move forward.
For creative services, it was just a natural fit. So I learned about how to sell in the creative space and I learned about marketing by working in marketing agencies. The reason this happened is because I absolutely hated my sales process. The further I got into my career, I actually started my own marketing agency for a time, for five years. While I was running that agency, the number one thing that was bogging me down was people continually asking me to resend information that I had already sent to them. It was literally driving me nuts because I thought I was doing a good job. I would meet with people, every meeting ends with, “Sounds great. Send me information.” I’d go home, I’d send them a whole bunch of information. There’d be long sales cycles. “So here’s more emails with more attachments. Here’s a video. Here’s some links to things,” whatever it might be.
And then ultimately six, nine months down the road they’d say, “Hey, we’re going to go in front of leadership. I can’t find any of that stuff you sent.” I would literally sit at my computer and just hit my head against a wall. I’m like, “You dummy, type in my name in your search bar. You’re going to find everything. It’s all in your email.” But the problem is email is not an organizational platform, it just isn’t. Most people don’t create folder structures in their email and organize things properly. And also, if you need to share something from out of your email, it’s not easy to do that with a large team.
What I started doing was I taught myself how to code, and I started building webpages for people that I was talking to and organizing specific information for them on those pages. Now, this wasn’t a fast process, it took me four hours every time I built a page for somebody. However, it did greatly reduce the amount of time someone was asking me for something. What I noticed was it was making it easier for them to share all that information internally, and I was winning deals faster. So I was like, “This is really cool.”
But then here’s the problem, when that agency failed and I had to go back to working for other people, marketing teams at that time, this was 15 years ago, April, marketing teams at that time were like, “You’re a sales dude and you want to make a webpage? Good luck. You’re working at the wrong company. We’re not going to let you do that. That sounds stupid.” They didn’t even want us on LinkedIn. So I stopped doing that. But it was further down the line, about 10 years later, I was working for a HubSpot agency learning all the ropes about HubSpot, all the tools marketers have. And I was kicking myself because I was like, “Why did I not build what I had built 15 years ago already? That was my million dollar opportunity in life, and I totally missed it.”
And then I realized they hadn’t done it. They had built a whole bunch of really great marketing tools so that marketers could better delight customers through their decision-making process early, awareness building, but they hadn’t built anything for salespeople to come in once the prospect raised their hand and said, “I’m interested in talking to sales,” for the salesperson to continue to delight the customer. So I just decided, “You know what? I’m going to take the thing that I had built years ago, I’m going to mash it together with my love of video and editing and all of those sorts of things. I’m just going to build a killer platform so that sales professionals, customer success representative, onboard and training specialists all have a hub where they can just properly organize and personalize everything that their customers need from them and really help them stand out and look more professional in their role, which helps build trust, April, that’s what we know. It helps build trust when you look like you know what you’re doing. So that’s the long story…
April Williams:
I love the story.
Josh Fedie:
… mixed with music, marketing, web development.
April Williams:
And still with the girl that believed in you.
Josh Fedie:
She’s still here. She’s still around.
April Williams:
That’s pretty fabulous. I love this story. All-round good story.
Josh Fedie:
I don’t know how I kept her, April. I really don’t.
April Williams:
Let’s jump in. There was a statistic from LinkedIn’s 2022 Global State of Sales that says 31% of sellers have sold over half a million dollars without ever meeting the buyer face to face. Let’s talk about the opportunity we have in this virtual selling becoming a norm.
Josh Fedie:
Right? When you look at that stat, you have to also look at, I deal with this every single day, there are so many reps that are fighting this necessity to actually be effective digitally. They are fighting it tooth and nail. They tell me this all the time, “I can’t wait for things to get back to normal.” I hear that every single day. It makes me cringe every time I hear someone says that.
April Williams:
Same. Same.
Josh Fedie:
Because what world are you living on where you think that this is actually going to go back to the way it was before, where we had to drive across town, we had to lose hours of our day in between every single meeting we were having, we had to inconvenience our customer by forcing them to set aside more time or for them to commute as well, or for them to find times where multiple people were in the office simultaneously for group huddle on this thing. I mean, why would we ever go back to that?
And so, the sad thing about that stat for me is that there’s still, I’m bad at math, but there’s still almost 70% of people that really haven’t embraced this enough. Because if they had embraced this enough, that stat would be much higher, and that stat should be much higher. That stat should be in the 60 or 70% of sellers saying that-
April Williams:
Agree.
Josh Fedie:
… they’ve lost that much money, without any question. Do you know how many times I’ve had in-person meetings in the last three years, April? Zero. Do you know how many times I have planned to have in-person meetings over the next five years of my life? Zero. I don’t plan to ever go back to it. I have found so many efficiencies in communicating in a digital-first environment. Listen, these Zoom calls and whatnot that we’re doing, they’re not fun for anybody. But if we’re being totally honest, neither sitting down for coffee and driving across town and finding a parking spot and finding out that you had a parking ticket because you forgot to feed the meter for enough time, right? That’s not fun either. This is just going to become more and more comfortable for everybody. The fears of being on camera are going to diminish more and more for everybody. We’re going to find ways that we can really use the technology at our disposal to continue to help guide our customers through their processes. That stat by next year, I’ll bet you anything, it’ll double by next year, because I’m not seeing anything showing that people are fighting it as hard as they did a year ago. I’m seeing more and more people starting to warm up to, “How can we better leverage technology to move this forward?”
April Williams:
And I think they’re seeing it, Josh, as a necessity. Sheevaun Thatcher, formerly of RingCentral, was a guest talking about sales enablement, and she said something that I love, she said, “The only people that still want in-person sales meetings are salespeople.”
Josh Fedie:
And that’s a problem.
April Williams:
The faster we can get on board as sales teams to understand that is the reality we live in and how do we do this well. So I think that’s why today is going to be a really great conversation with you. We are clients of yours, so I’ll make that statement. We are using SalesReach. Yes, as a sales tool, but we’re also finding helping us with onboarding our clients, helping us with onboarding our employees, helping us actually pitch podcast, looking for guests and actually helping me be a guest on. So we’re seeing ways that we can just keep multiplying this tool. And yet, when we were leaning forward excited, those of us that engaged with you, and brought it up to leadership, they said things like, “Why is this different than a landing page or a microsite?” So I’m going to let you address that answer right here because we fumbled. We would not have made you proud in how we answered that. So why is this different than a landing page or a microsite? What have you done here?
Josh Fedie:
There’s so many different ways I could answer that one, but I do get asked this question a lot. Typically, where I start is, okay, fair question, April, who on your team makes your landing pages right now? And the answer most likely is going to be someone in our marketing team.
April Williams:
Yes.
Josh Fedie:
And then I say, “Okay, great. How is that built? What platform are you using to build those webpages?” Okay, then they give their answer. It’s going to be a HubSpot page, it’s going to be whatever it might be. And then I say, “Okay, do you need to know a development language to build using those templates in most cases?” The answer in most cases is yes, not all of them, some are wizzy wigs, some are drag and drop, whatever. But then I ask, “Okay, where are the materials that go on that page coming from?” And in all cases, all those materials, the marketing team has those things saved in a library and they use those things very strategically and specifically because they control the brand narrative and they’re more concerned with those things than sales.
So then I just asked the question, “Okay, is the tool you’re using right now easy enough for any of your salespeople on your team to use themselves? Or are you telling me, ‘I don’t want to use SalesReach because our sales team can go to marketing, marketing can whip up those pages.’ Okay, well then if that’s what you’re telling me, then marketing’s going to be your blocker to success, because marketing is far too busy to turn around and build this page in less than a week for every opportunity you’re going after. How many opportunities are your salespeople going after every single week?” “Well, they’re going after five or 10 opportunities every single week.”
“Amazing. So are you just planning to not respond to 99% of them, or are you going to get back to them in a month after they’ve already decided to work with somebody else? The efficiencies we’ve made in our platform is that literally anybody, even my son when he was 10 years old, was able to build a page using my platform. You don’t need to know anything about code to build a page with our platform. We needed to make it so simple that literally anyone from the age of 10 to the age of 99 could use this platform successfully. We have guidelines in place so that marketing and brand teams can step in and make sure that certain things stay persistent on pages or are used appropriately and that people building the pages can’t modify company-specific and brand-specific elements of the page. But ultimately, what we need to do, and this has been an uphill battle, I mean it was in the early days of SalesReach, was convincing marketing teams that your salespeople are smart.
“They’re smart enough to know what the customer actually needs to receive from them, and they’re smart enough within the guidelines to make a page that you would be proud of. Because you’re going to set this up, you’re going to forget it’s going to be fine, and they’re going to be able to move fast. What marketing teams always forget is that in sales, time kills all deals and speed wins. And if you can’t respond quickly and effectively, then you are going to lose the deal hands-down to whoever does respond quickly and effectively. It’s just the way it works. It’s just the way it works.”
So that’s why it exists. It exists so the people that are actually having the conversations, whether they’re in sales, customer success, onboarding and training, whatever it might be, can respond quickly and effectively without having to bog down your marketing and development team and copywriting team and design team and all those other teams that traditionally, 10 years ago when companies were building things like this, were doing. They were using this on their elite huge dollar projects that they were going after. They were doing it maybe four or five times a year for just those huge ones. And they’d spend a whole week building a custom page like this for. That’s a lot of resources. I build pages in three minutes on average now with custom videos, documents, two-way communication, proposal agreements, everything, all on the page. Simple.
April Williams:
We should have had you at the meeting. That was a really great answer, and I would concur all you said is true and we can build pages in three minutes. But it also, I think you said an important thing, you wisely allowed us to lock certain things down. I’ve even heard you say, “Salespeople sometimes can’t fully be trusted. They go rogue.” And so how do we actually protect them to stay within the brand? And your tool has been built to do that too. So I think that’s really a tremendous answer, but something we have to get on the table because I think it is one of the questions that often comes up and people ask that.
But going down that path, I regularly speak on bridging the gap between marketing and sales. In a podcast interview you talked about marketing being far more equipped with digital pathways. You talked about that it was really much more difficult in comparison to sales. My question too is, why do you think that is? Is it part of what you just said, because marketing can actually build them? What’s the main reason this is existing today?
Josh Fedie:
I think there’s so many things getting in the way. So for this podcast, I think what I’m going to stick with is, for the most part… And I’m a salesperson, so when I say things that might be offensive to salespeople, it’s not offensive because I am a salesperson. But for the most part, when we’re talking about sales professionals, they are not as technically savvy as marketing teams. Because historically speaking, and even today, honestly, for the most part, the tools that are purchased for sales teams many times are purchased by marketing teams.
April Williams:
True.
Josh Fedie:
Many times they’re set up by marketing teams. And many times sales teams don’t even see them until marketing teams have already set them up and said, “Here it is. We paid for it, you better fricking use it.” And it’s like, “Well, what am I going to do with this?” This is a big one with tools like Gong. Can I talk about Gong for a second or would that cross any bridges? I don’t want to-
April Williams:
No, you can do it. Go for it.
Josh Fedie:
Okay. I don’t want to burn any bridges, Gong is an incredible tool. There’s so many useful things with Gong. But listen, in sales, we are chameleons, we echo what our prospect is saying. We try to bring ourselves into their world to become more relatable. And many times, they’ll say something that is off-putting, not part of our personal brand, but we got to roll with it and go with it. I’ve seen so many teams where their company embraces a call-recording software where it automatically transcribes the conversation and puts it in the CRM for the whole company to see, and then they’re like, “Whoa, I totally said that, didn’t I? That’s embarrassing.”
So here’s why I said that, “The customer said that, and I was just trying to be his guy. I don’t feel that way.” or “I don’t say those things.” Those types of technologies are scary. And so, it’s really important that we’re talking to the sales team when we’re selecting these tools. But I’m getting off track. These tools are selected by marketing teams. They’re highly proficient with these technologies. They understand how to align all of them and make them all communicate properly and better. And then for the most part, they’re handing them off to sales and they’re saying, “Good luck. Move forward. Make some money.” And if those tools are too technically demanded, many, many teams just don’t use them.
BDRs should be making more money than they make. I’ll put that out there, and I think a lot of people have put that out there. Being a BDR is the hardest job in sales, without question. How many AEs, if you asked them, “Hey, do you know how to start a sequence in your CRM?” would be like, “What are you talking about right now? What do you mean? What do you mean?” “Could you start that workflow? Could you start that automation?” “What are you talking about? I just closed deals. Those BDRs do all that stuff. I don’t need to know how to do that.”
Well, the problem here, though, is the sales professionals that have been in the industry the longest, that claim to be proficient enough to close the biggest deals have allowed themselves to get lazy with staying on top of utilizing technologies like this. And that’s why that stat in LinkedIn is the way it is, because as those younger sellers in the environment right now grow up, have more success, have more wins, get promoted, they’re going to be promoted and they’re going to say, “I’m not doing this job without those tools that I had access to before.” So now you got to bring them in to here.
April Williams:
I’m always looking for what’s causing the tension between marketing and sales, and you just hit on a couple that I loved. One is certainly that sales are not often staying ahead on the technologies that actually could help them embrace what has happened to sales today and is not going back. I think it was about six years ago we talked about the speed at which marketing was changing and how it was just blowing our minds as marketers, but sales is in that today more than ever. So I think that’s one, is it’s on them. But second, you said too, “How interesting that marketing is the one picking the tools that sales should be using and not even inviting sales to the conversation.” So clearly the technology stack here to support sales, sales should have a seat at the table for that, but then be willing to actually embrace the tool.
Josh Fedie:
I deal with this every single day. I look for the hustlers at companies. So if I get an inbound lead on my website from a BDR at a large company, I think most SaaS companies would be like, “Whatever, pass it off to somebody else.” I love taking those meetings. I do. Because if I can get someone that’s hungry to learn something new, to try something new, and to get the approval of their boss to actually try something new, if I can get them to a point where they actually see success, that’s the easiest way to land those enterprise level deals for me. Every single large customer that I have started with one to two young, hungry individuals at an organization where the bulk of the organization said, “That looks stupid, I don’t want to do it,” and those two people came in and said, “Well, I’m going to try it because I think it’s going to be great.”
And then what do they realize? “Oh, our buyers actually prefer this type of experience. Our buyers actually want to feel like they’re in control of the narrative. Our buyers didn’t need to be sold to, they just needed to have a better guide to get them through this process. Wow, miraculous.” And that’s how they grow. The hungry people, we need to support them. I think some of the friction is that marketing gets in the way and says, “No, no, no, no, no, no.” One of the biggest things I see with my platform is marketing will jump in and go, “Well, but can we move the CTA three pixels to the right?” I’m like, “What did you just ask me?” “Well, and could I have this over here, and could I add a little buffering here?”
And I said, “Listen, listen, this is not a webpage builder to build the most beautiful webpage ever concocted with all the bells and whistles and everything. This is a webpage designed to be built by a sales professional that is not a designer so that your customer has a pleasant way to go through the information they need from you. That’s all it is.” So sometimes marketing just needs to get out of their way with my platform and just realize that there are certain things we’re going to be able to keep on brand. There’s other compromises we’re going to have to make outside of a typical webpage builder because we don’t need all that functionality when we’re talking about the user base that’s actually using it. How much functionality do we actually want to give that user? Because again, if you give salespeople the control to do things, they’re going to do it. They’re going to have a lot of fun. And that’s when the brand team steps in and goes, “What are you doing right now?” So we don’t want to get in that position.
But yeah, I think just to sum it up, my thoughts right now with sales and marketing and the hardships, the hardships still exist, there’s still companies that are telling salespeople to stay off LinkedIn, which is absolutely asinine and I can’t wait for them to go out of business. But I think that ultimately marketing does need to put themselves in the same service mindset that sales professionals put themselves into their customers. Marketing needs to understand that they are in this business of supporting sales and servicing sales in their needs to close the deals, not just drumming up the interest early and then walking away from it. They really need to be there holding sales hand just as much as sales needs to hold their buyers’ hands through that journey to help make sure that at the end of the day, this brings in revenue for the organization. Otherwise, all the efforts that everybody put in were for nothing.
April Williams:
You are just absolutely singing my song, because marketing does need to understand they work for sales. I think we’re also in an interesting time, Josh, when we’re talking about rev ops and how we’re actually going from marketing to sales to really looking at the client experience and looking at that across the entire journey. You’ve said some interesting things, that it really is about the client experience. If clients can’t find the information they want or they don’t have a great experience with sales, we all own that. We all own that. So that is a game changer. And it goes further, you encourage salespeople to create their own personal brand. We’re not talking about a company brand, but you’re asking them to create their own personal brand. I 100% lean in with you, but I’d love to hear why you encourage that in today’s world of selling? What is so important?
Josh Fedie:
There’s two reasons why it’s important. Number one, people buy from people, they don’t buy from businesses. Every LinkedIn “group guru” is saying that. I hate even saying it, but it’s true. People buy from people, they don’t buy from brands. Nobody ever made a purchasing decision going to your LinkedIn company page. They made decisions because they ultimately ended up on one of your employee’s pages or your page where you were bringing them value in helping them understand where you can bring them value and support them. And they determined that, “Yes, I want to work… ” They didn’t say, “I want to work with your company.” They said, “I want to work with April. I’m going to reach out to April. I like April. I’m going to work with April. Oh, this is where she works, okay, whatever, that’s cool, but I like April. That’s who I want to work with.”
So number one, your employees have 10 times the reach that your company page has on a social channel. So if your employees are encouraged to be putting out messages and kind of building their tribe and getting people interested in the things that they do and the things that they say and trusting their authority and trusting that they know what they’re talking about, it’s only going to help your business, so why wouldn’t you invest in that? We’re at a point right now where a business thinks their investment in their employees’ social strategy is just giving them the allowance to do it. I think that’s BS. I can’t wait for that day to pass. “Are you kidding me? You told me I could go on LinkedIn and that’s the extent of what you need to do? No, no. How about equipping me with a videographer, an editor, with a shooter, with somebody to help me with a content calendar, with somebody to help me plan this thing out? Listen, I’m going to be your personality, but we need to treat ourselves like a media company here and I need a producer. I need somebody to help me do this. Because otherwise I’m going to talk about my cat on LinkedIn and it’s going to get a million posts, and it’s not going to do anything for your brand.” Right?
April Williams:
Right.
Josh Fedie:
Or I can find a way to talk about what I do professionally in a way that’s not repulsive to everybody on LinkedIn through marketing support, and it can actually bring in revenue. I say that, and at the same time, how many marketers do you know on LinkedIn that are crushing it right now because I don’t know many? I don’t. And it’s really sad. Marketing talks the talk all day long, but who are the people that are actually producing content that’s getting engage with? Salespeople, they’ve figured it out.
So number one, we got to stop getting their way. We need to stop saying that allowance to be on there is your strategy. We need to actually help them build a strategy around it, and we need to put money and resources into helping them build that brand. And then every employer out there is saying, “Well, Josh, but what if they leave us tomorrow?” We’ve all seen it, right? I’ll mention the name, Ryan Scolero. Ryan Scolero, if you don’t know who he is, he’s an incredible sales professional. He’s moved into management now. He’s job hopped about, I don’t know, four times during this pandemic, which might sound like a bad thing, but why has he done it? Because he is so absolutely incredible at what he does in driving awareness for brands and in building trust with buyers that every SaaS company in the world wants him to come work for them.
I don’t know what he makes right now. I know him, but I’ve never asked him what his salary is because that would be horribly unprofessional. But I can guarantee you he’s one of the highest paid salespeople I know. At this point he better be. If he’s not, he will be in the next couple of years. Because brands are looking for people that know how to do this, know how to create stories, capture attention, create awareness, create suspense, get the meetings booked. I don’t book meetings out of email, April. I book meetings off of LinkedIn. That’s where I book meetings off of. And do I ask people for meetings? Nope. Not most of the time. Sometimes I do a little bit of a cold outreach on LinkedIn. Most of the time, I’m either commenting on other people’s posts or putting up a post on my own that helps them understand the challenges that they have and how I can be a solution to those challenges, and they just book time with me. That’s how that works.
I recently got mentioned by four of my customers on a Jason Lemkin’s post on LinkedIn. My demo bot has been beeping nonstop ever since that. I have so many requests for a free license or a demo right now that I literally haven’t had time to even follow up. I had one guy today that reached out to me that’s filled out the form four times and reached out to me on LinkedIn. He’s like, “Dude, I just need a demo of this thing.” And I’m like, “I’m really sorry, but I got 70 people in front of you right now. But let’s get this thing on the calendar. Let’s go. You’re hungry. I get it. You’re a hustler. Let’s go.” But that’s where the interest and intrigue is coming from. And if your business is sleeping on that, then again, can’t wait to see you go out of business because then we’re going to be moving forward in the right direction. If we’re not there when a buyer wants to learn more about us, then we’re not helping our buyers, because they want to be self-informed.
April Williams:
Josh, you said it again, and I think it’s so important for us to hear that giving a salesperson a license to go ahead and start posting on LinkedIn is not setting them up for success. Marketing has often the skillsets, the content, the videographers. We need to start looking at this as a team sport and stop looking at this as an individual sport. So I just love you just calling that out again. This is going to be probably our salespeople’s favorite podcast that follow us. So I can’t wait to see. It’s probably going to go viral for you as they-
Josh Fedie:
We’ll see.
April Williams:
… send it to everybody in the marketing. But you made one comment about you being out on LinkedIn. I would be remiss to not point out this gem that we’re going to talk about, which is how you joined a conversation with Chris Piper, the CMO of Scribe Media, who was asking a question and you used the SalesReach magic and did a post and a video post right in that LinkedIn and got him to actually comment because it was a unbelievably beautiful pitch in the middle of a comment string.
He celebrated you and said, “This is an example of great selling.” So tell us about how this tool could even be used in social selling, which is a hot button for many salespeople who are leaning forward today.
Josh Fedie:
Yeah, it’s a fun story. The reality is I do this all day long, but why this is such a fun story is because it happened literally in front of one of my customer’s eyes while I was onboarding them. I had a customer who was challenging me. They were like, “So how to use this in social selling, because all we hear all day long is messages on LinkedIn saying, ‘Don’t connect and sell. No more pitch slapping. Don’t do any of this. No more sales on LinkedIn.'”? I’m of the mindset that, “Look, we’re all trying to make a buck, that’s why we’re here on LinkedIn, but we just have to have a little bit more decorum and a little bit more creativity around it. We can’t just blast everybody. We have to be a little more intentional about it.” So they were challenging me, “How do you do this? How do you do social selling using LinkedIn?” I was screen sharing. I said, “Let’s just go to LinkedIn right now.” His name was Chris, right? And at the time-
April Williams:
Yeah, Chris Piper.
Josh Fedie:
… I wasn’t even connected to him. I was just scrolling through my feed and someone I was connected to had liked his post, so I quick stopped on it and I read it real quick and I said, “Okay, well here’s an example of a post that I could bring some value to.” I said, “So what I’ll do then is I copy a little snippet of text from that person’s post. I’ll go create a SalesReach page where I’ll put that snippet of text so that I show them I know them.” If you know Sam sales, right, show me you know me. So I put a little snippet of text on the page that says, “Hey, I read your post,” and then I put it in quotes, “Here it is.”
And then I record a custom video that just says, “Hey, I read your post. I really liked it and here’s how it made me feel. Additionally, this is what I’m focusing on this year. Some of the supporting things that I’ve been looking at that are helping me with that decision, I’ve loaded them on this page to help make it easy for you to digest that information. Clearly we’re into the same sorts of things, so I figured if I found value in it, you probably would too. By the way, this page, this is my platform. I can build these pages in three minutes. It helps me in sales and communications, dot, dot, dot.” Not a hard sell. It’s at the end. Most people don’t watch that long anyways, so they don’t even get offended.
Then I put up a comment on his post, because I always tell people, “Don’t worry about posting original content as much as being the best comment on a trending post. That’s the best way to get leads.” So I put up a comment and then I put up a comment on my comment and I said, “If you’re wondering what I said looks like in real life, here’s a link that I’m talking about.” And I put a link directly to a page I built on my platform. So then at that point, he literally sees his name on a sign. My favorite secret weapon is this whiteboard. always have a weapon like this. He sees his name waving at him in front of everybody in the feed. Everyone that sees the comments sees that video GIF. It stands out. It’s a total pattern interrupt. He literally responded while I was still on the demo call with that customer and said, “Now this is how you sell.”
Now let me ask you this, sellers, how much do you love getting blasted every single day when you send out horrible, automated LinkedIn connection request with the sales pitch in it immediately and you have somebody that blasts you, takes a screenshot of it, puts it up on LinkedIn, says, “This is how you don’t do things right.” or responds and says, “I would never connect with someone that does this. Learn a better sales strategy. Talk to your sales manager today.” These are the things that sellers hear every single day. Wouldn’t it be better if you use a little bit more creativity, led with more value, actually speak to the thing the people are talking about so that they know that you actually took the time, right? You’re doing what they want you to do. You’re liking their post, you’re feeding the algorithm for them, that’s all they ultimately want, is the dopamine hit of that. But then at the same time, you’re bringing them additional value. That guy responded with this is how you sell. And then he private messaged me and he said, “Dude, this is really, really cool. I’m not going to lie.” He’s like, “I’ve got a couple things I got to get off the desk right now, but he’s in the next couple months, I do personally want to meet on this.”
But April, here’s why I do that. I didn’t do that because I wanted a meeting with Chris. And if Chris is listening, I don’t want him to take offense to that. I do want to meet with him, but that’s not the only reason I put that page on there. I put that on there because if people find value in the thing that he commented on, then they’re probably going to find value in the thing that I put in the comments as well. I’m probably going to get meetings with them. I’ve booked seven meetings off of that post already. That’s why I do those things. I’m not forcing myself into anybody’s thing. I’m just like, “Hey, here it is. Here’s some more content for you. Here’s some more value. If this makes sense to you and you want to have a conversation, here’s everything you need to get on my calendar right here in front of you, it couldn’t be any easier. But I’m allowing you to buy your way and become self-informed and then engage.”
April Williams:
So good, Josh, and I think the other is salespeople, we’ve so often been taught in sales, “It’s a numbers game. It’s a numbers game.” No, it’s a quality game. It’s a value game. The numbers game is losing. I think when you talk about the people that are getting shamed, it’s because they’re just blasting because it’s fast and it’s easy and they’re hitting some quota that someone put up as opposed to doing what you did, really looking where you provide value. So that is another, I think, real brilliant moment of this podcast, is just resetting what it means to be out there social selling. It is not a numbers blasting game.
Josh Fedie:
No.
April Williams:
I think you just showed a perfect example of that.
Josh Fedie:
There’s so many sales technologies that are developed around the idea that it is a numbers game. Many of those tools, if you look at the founding team, are not sellers themselves. And even when they are, they come from an old school methodology where it used to be a numbers game. My entire career I’ve always been of the mindset that less is more, quality is better than just sending this out to a bunch of people. I’ve had countless sales managers in my lifetime that have come up to me and been like, “How many emails did you send today?” And I’ll be like, “I sent five emails today, and I had a couple conversations on LinkedIn.” “Oh, well, you need to do more. You need to make at least 40 calls tomorrow.” “No, I don’t, and I’m not going to. My meetings booked. My calendar’s booked. I’ve got some really great meetings with prospects that actually need our services. I’m going to have some meaningful conversations, and I refuse to waste my time. I’m not going to sit here and smile and dial, smile and dial, smile and dial, because I’m going to feel horrible about myself at the end of the day. I’m not going to feel successful. And if I don’t feel successful, I’m not going to sell for you. I can’t.
I mean, I can look at my pipeline over the years of running SalesReach. The months where I’ve just been in a fog mentally, physically, whatever, are the worst months. I feel stressed about finances. I feel stressed about a new push that we’re trying to develop, a new release on the software. I’m stressed about a customer that said they might be leaving and I’m just like, “Ah.” They’re the worst months ever. Versus this month, I’m in an amazing head space right now. I haven’t done any cold outreach this entire month. I didn’t do any cold outreach last month either. I have only been having conversations with people through LinkedIn, through podcasts, through referrals, that’s where a lot of my business comes from, and I’m having the biggest month in company history right now.
April Williams:
Congratulations.
Josh Fedie:
It’s mindsets, right?
April Williams:
Love it.
Josh Fedie:
But you just got to slow down to go fast.
April Williams:
Our From Hello to Yes final question, what has you stumped today, and who and where are you going for answers?
Josh Fedie:
That’s a really good question. I mean, I get stumped every single day. I have a growth mindset, so I actually like getting stumped because then I get something new to find answers on. What continually has me stumped though is how hard it is for sales professionals to start embracing video in their sales process. I don’t understand, I’m stumped why everybody thinks that video is the silver bullet for cold outreach when everything that I know about video is that it makes for a better guided buying journey for a customer, where the real true value of video is in having the conversations. But it doesn’t matter how much I talk to people about this, there is still a large percentage of people that are terrified to turn on the camera and to talk to the camera. I’m super stumped by that.
I’m actively trying to build a solution to that problem because I’m sick of fighting the problem. I can’t identify exactly what the ingredients are that make this such a hardship for people. If you’re in a customer facing role your entire career, you’ve literally been sitting across a table from a customer face to face. And I don’t understand why turning on a camera and being in a separate room or a separate part of the country is any different than literally sitting across from at a coffee shop. I think that what it comes down to is that people just get very anxious in front of the camera. I don’t know why they don’t get anxious face to face, because me personally, I do get anxious face to face. I’m a horrible introvert. I cannot stand working events. That’s why scotch is the company mascotch, I call it the company mascotch, because I’m famous for never going to a networking event without at least quick having one drink before I go in because I just get so nervous around people.
Anyway, I’m trying to develop solutions right now and we’re about to release another update to the platform. I won’t say too much more about it right now, but we’re about to release it in the next four weeks, that I think is going to finally be a solution to help some of those nervous sellers with the technology component to more quickly create videos that are really powerful, but also just to be able to utilize them more in their process. Every idea that I have is just focused on, “Listen, sales has changed. We’re trying to move forward in a more digital-first environment. We need people to understand that helping our buyers is more important than being self-serving and making our life easier.”
Now, that’s the other thing that keeps stumping me, April, is why are sales team so focused on these tools that make their life better, and why are they not asking, “Is this making my customer’s life better?”
April Williams:
Yes.
Josh Fedie:
These are the things that I look at all the time where I’m just like, “April, you don’t get a deal unless that person wants to buy from you. So why are you so concerned with how your automated messages went out and your tasks for follow up and dot, dot, dot? Do you have the recording in the system? Was it logged properly? Was the CRM conversation there? Those things are not helpful to your buyer. It’s helpful if you follow up and you said you were going to, but otherwise this is not actually helping them.” We say the number one quality of a good salesperson is empathy, but that has to be a fabrication. That can’t be true. Because if that was true, it wouldn’t be 2022 and we’re just starting to figure out that we need to focus on the buyer’s needs. It can’t be true.
April Williams:
Amen. Amen. Absolutely.
Josh Fedie:
Was that like four hot takes for you right there? I mean, come on.
April Williams:
No, that is good. Thank you so much, Josh. I hope you’ll come back and chat with us again, especially maybe with this new release, we’ll talk about if this is actually solved. Where can our listeners find you, follow you?
Josh Fedie:
Yeah, best place is LinkedIn. I mean, if I didn’t talk about LinkedIn enough, please connect with me on LinkedIn, and when you send me a connection request, please tell me that you heard me on this podcast because I do filter my connections on there. I don’t connect with just everybody. I like to know where they came from and why we’re getting connected. So let me know you heard me on here.
If there was any part of this that was valuable, just let me know what it was so that I can help myself in explaining and educating people around the topic of buyer enabling more. You can always check out our website, it’s salesreach.io. Don’t go .com. Can’t get the .com. They won’t sell it to me for a reasonable fee. So just go to salesreach.io, you’ll find us there. If you want to try the platform, you can sign up for a free seat. If you want to review it for your team, we can schedule the demo, no problem. I’ll do the demo myself. It’ll be a lot of fun. I promise you’ll be a lot of fun. April, if there’s one thing that I do, it’s focused on having fun in demo.
April Williams:
Absolutely. Positively. Probably the most fun demo I’ve ever had, so I will concur with that.
Josh Fedie:
That’s what I’m saying.
April Williams:
So Josh, on behalf of From Hello to Yes, thank you again for joining us today.
Josh Fedie:
Thanks for having me.
April Williams:
I hope you enjoyed that conversation as much as I did. We are sales… or users of salesreach.io, and it’s a game changer for our salespeople, giving them back more hours in the day. If you’re a salesperson that is constantly searching for what you need to engage with your prospects, you’re welcome. So that’s a wrap. Remember, in this fast-paced world of marketing and sales, we are better together. Thanks for joining us today on From Hello to Yes. I hope you’ll join us again soon. Until next time, have a good one.

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