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Lucy Literado
VP of Marketing
3 months ago

Reply Q&A Session: Sales Ignition

Today we’re having a Questions & Answers session with Joe Milam, Managing Partner of Sales Ignition and his colleagues: Steven Wagner and Derek Landers.


Lucy: Joe, Steven, Derek thanks for joining this Q&A session with Reply. Today we are going to discuss cold sales processes for SMB, coaching sales teams and implementing sales automation software. So, basically, what would you recommend in the first place when people are just starting to use automation tools, I mean those that haven’t used anything like this before?

Are they capable of doing that themselves or should they rather get a coaching program? Is there a perfect balance between those two? Are they able to reach more or less the same results without a service like yours after some time maybe?

Steven: I’d like to answer this question. I would say that we recommend that they start with a company like our own. And the primary reason is that they’re new to doing this type of work, there are very very many questions that have to be answered. And without a really thorough understanding of what the vital thesis of using the program outreach are, you will miss the opportunity to get the results right off the bat.

Some of the most commonly overlooked things are:

  • using and copying the campaign data from someone else
  • the quality of leads and the data that you’re using to create your contact lists
  • what you do over responses – the replies you get from your campaign – this is very important to establish before you push the “Run” button and the campaign starts out

These points are commonly overlooked and it causes teams (and even individuals) a lot of hardening that could be easily solved if they worked with someone who knows that.

Also, there’s quite a bit of reporting within the application and knowing what it really tells you is the key, so there are very vital info pieces that you can use within Reply to know whether or not the messaging you’re sending is going to actually develop your sales pipeline.

For example, if your emails are getting forwarded quite a bit that means you’re probably not contacting the right person.


Or, if you get a lot of opens and not replies you probably have to re-evaluate what you’re putting in the body of the email. If you’re not getting many opens then you need to look at the subject lines. So, these are all things that, if you’re new to using sales automation, you probably would not know or have a focus on them that you would with a company like ours.

The other thing is, since we see thousands and thousands of emails sent out, as well as replies and companies using it, we know what kind of strategies are working and others that are not, so messaging can be streamlined and developed for companies as well as what their CTA’s need to be. Also, helping advise them once they get these replies, what actions you should probably take, and whatever campaigns you should have that can actually compliment your program.

So, when you don’t know what the best results are and you are doing all of that on your own, we can gather more information – we send up to 10,000,000 emails over the course of a company, so, we know and we have seen quite a bit more than just one or two campaigns or one or two companies’ campaigns and it has to work for that. So, that is why we advise getting started with it professionally if you are serious about doing this.

Lucy: Great. Thank you very much. So, basically, you would advise your services as an important process to get to know the application and how to achieve the best possible results and guide them on what comes next? Would you recommend users to come again if they start a totally different campaign? Do you have any other packages, for example, a one-time consultation on the new project or one-time consultation on new campaign structure?

Joe: Yes, following up with the Fast Start Program, we would like to continue an engagement with them, we can offer that and it depends on the number of sales and how large the team is, because the way we do our pricing is based on the number of team players they have. So, we can absolutely carry along after the Fast Start.

We also have packages to provide programs for companies, so, typically, they want results; we also do coaching programs and offer other options based on the size of each company.

Lucy: I see. And do you have a certain target market? For example, your main target users or teams, mid or small business, some industry – do you have this information?

Joe: Yes, sure. We had the best results with teams larger than three. They know their products and services. So, a higher executive team is typically of three or more individuals that are closers, they are focused on closing and selling, not on prospecting.

Lucy: Great. And do you have any special types of coaching for the founders and c-level executives that also perform sales in their companies?

Joe: Yes, we do. That’s another option that we have under our coaching Umbrella. So that is something we can help them with.

Lucy: Also, do you happen to often start working with campaigns to have some previous experience with automation tools, so, you can basically make a comparison in a “before and after” manner?

Joe: Yes, that’s true for our most successful clients – their results are amazing. Their markets are amazing, their sales are amazing. A lot of our clients come to us with a question – “Why is my market automation tool not producing the leads, not allowing me to do the reach out that I need?” Yes, some of our clients have experience with it …that’s good and bad at the same time. People have certain things in their mind that you should do to accomplish their goals. So, it’s important to educate the prospect on what true, smart automation is.

I can give you one example. So, first thing from my automation perspective, what people did was they would contract somebody to retell twenty or thirty thousand people; it’s what we call a “spray and pray” campaign and basically, they get very poor results from that.

And some people associate that type of behavior with sales automation rather than what we have today. We would have a very critical approach to sales automation when we can define exactly what our target is and do it in a systematic way to make sure we get engagement. And it’s all possible. You know, we saw the “spray and pray”
campaigns from the past getting 6% or less in terms of feedback and replies, now we get them up to between 26% to 40%, because we are asking the right people the right questions at the right time.

Lucy: Great results! And, from your point of view, what is the most recommendable range of people to contact within one campaign on a daily basis? What will be your estimations, for example, one hundred people per day or, maybe, five hundred people per campaign?

Joe: Sure. What we found the best is 50 new contacts a day per rep and then follow up. With a hundred and fifty additional follow-up touches per rep.

Lucy: How many follow-ups do you set up?

Steven: What I found most effective is to have between 5 to 7 follow up emails go out and we can change the date based on the necessity or time associated with a campaign. The time changes from client to client. But, anyway, from 5 to 7 emails in a chain, so 4 to 6
follow up emails.

Lucy: Great! How often do you use the schedule option and reply? Do you find it useful, or not, to boost the number of opens and replies?

Steven: I find it useful. I will say there is a small lay down in that we can change the send times on different days. For example, you can only select the certain time frame to send on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and it’s always the same time. That’s one feature I would like to see added for the time. Basically, we are looking to know exactly what time we’d like to send the campaign out.

Joe: It depends on the client too. What the geography is, sometimes you start a campaign, you know, at 11:30 a.m. and sometimes you want to check up on the campaign that started at a different time, so you just have to talk with each client looking for the target market, then evaluate looking at what time should be set up in that staff.

Lucy: Thanks, Joe. And as for the reporting. Do you use the reports section to provide benchmarks for your customers? Or do you use the analytics on a per campaign basis?

Joe: Both. Of course, we use the active reporting for each campaign, whether the campaign sits; at the very end, we like to use the analytics to get the big picture of everything that is going on within the campaign.

Lucy: Do you consult your customers as for the email content?

Joe: Since the Fast Start program is the evaluation of what we’re doing, we try to understand, to picture for a second, what we are using right now as the best way to sell their product and service. And then to understand for those success stories how to frame up the content for the emails. So yes, we are absolutely telling clients, or making suggestions once engaged on, how to improve their content. But usually, the answer occurs after we go in and understand more about the true value and pain we are solving for our customer. And only then do we understand how to perfect the content.

Lucy: Ok. Do you provide this type of service on a constant basis?

Joe: Yes, that is what we would negotiate after the Fast Start. Yes, absolutely, we can carry out the campaign, we can manage it and take care of any campaign that we start with them and manage the process for them moving forward as they wish to engage.

Lucy: Thanks for the answer. And are you dealing with the outbound sales only or are you also able to provide your services for inbound sales if your customers want to do it via Reply?

Joe: At this point we are always doing outbound work. So, there are lots of customers, there are lots of suggestions from an inbound perspective, but our specialty is outbound.

Lucy: I see. Great. Thank you very much for your time. It was really really useful for us to hear that, and I think our users will also find a great value due to all your experience, the benchmarks, the advice and the recommendations that you have provided. All in all, people will be glad to know that there is a service that can help them with that certain product.

Joe: Bye. Thank you so much.

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