SDRealness Podcast Episode 21 Graphic Horizontal - Having the Right Conversation with Prospects with Taylor Dahlem from Pickle AI

Episode 22 Transcript

Greyson: Hello, and welcome to the SDRealness podcast, brought to you by sales development revolution. Where we talk with sales development practitioners in the space about important topics that matter to us today, my name is Greyson Fullbright, as always, and here with me is my co-host, Alex Ellison.

Alex: How are you doing, Greyson?

Greyson: I’m pumped; I’m super excited to talk about this. We’re having a conversation today, and today’s topic is actually about conversations. So to kind of step back a little bit, we’ve been running on this podcast theme for the past several months called see action, take action.

Where the focus here is to talk to an expert who uses specific tactics and processes and goes into specific areas of the sales development field every day. Really to get some awesome insights from them. And today’s topic is all about having the right conversation with prospects.

As we all know, SDRs, your job is to connect; your job is to start and have conversations. There’s a big difference between having a good conversation and a productive one for your brand. Joining us to discuss this is Taylor Dahlem, who’s the director of growth at pickle, which is a conversational AI software to give customers a seat at the table and improve experiences with voice. Taylor, thank you so much for hopping on with us today.

Taylor: Absolutely, appreciate it, Alex, Greyson, for having me on. I don’t know how much of an expert I am, but hopefully, I get through this un-scattered. But excited to talk to you all.

Alex: Awesome, I’m sure we’ll pull some good advice out of you as long as we ask the right questions.

Taylor: Right, I could use all the help I can get. But yes, looking forward to it, and hopefully, this will be a good one for your listeners.

Alex: Sweet. Well, to kick things off, and I know we’re just going to start with a nice broad question and let you take it where you want. But I want to learn a little bit about what you think separates the good from the bad, generally speaking, when it comes to having cold phone conversations and going through the cold outreach process.

Taylor: Yes. I would say a very good broad question; we can take this many directions. But you know, at least in today’s day and age, right? Like the LinkedIn cultures that we’re all super familiar with.

Everywhere you look, there’s a, I don’t know if it’s a an epidemic, but at the moment, there’s always prophetic lessons handed down by sales leaders that are saying, hey, this is the right way to approach a cold caller. Hey, I just got this call from this SDR; here’s how I’m tearing it apart.

And yes, there was early use for that, and in terms of exploring, how do we make sure everybody’s doing their job as professional as possible? Or how do we make sure we’re aware of these combos? But it has gotten the point where it’s super muddy; everybody takes in 20 different directions.

And honestly, I try to simplify it as much as possible of. At the end of the day on the reel, so to speak here, every prospect responds differently depending on something as fickle as their mood at the moment.

Were they in the middle of lunch when you caught them? How the heck can you predict that? But you could have the best pitch in the world ready to go, but if they’re like, I have no interest in talking to you right now because of something you can’t control. How do you pull that out of them, right? How do you just have a good conversation? That’s where it’s hard.

On a LinkedIn message, how do you convey that? You can’t, really. Because if you can’t get from one sentence to the next, you’re not going to be as effective as possible. So how do we make sure every sentence matters?

Which I know, Greyson, you’re big on the copywriting side of things; it’s the same concept in that world. How you just get your audience to listen or read to the next sentence, and that’s what makes you more effective.

Greyson: Exactly, yes. And I think there’s something to be said too of actually having conversations, like exchanging information between two parties. And I feel like the aggressiveness of sales, the die-hardedness of sales, I feel like has turned a lot of today’s reps into literally conversation robots.

Taylor: Yes.

Greyson: Like if there is a place in sales that totally shouldn’t be automated and isn’t using any robots, but sounds like it’s using a robot. It’s when SDRs are having initial cold prospecting conversations because they’re so far looking at oh, I want this outcome, I need this outcome, I need this outcome that like they either love the rejection which some people are like that, they’re okay with picking up the phone.

But otherwise, I feel like a lot of reps will just totally numb themselves to human social interaction and to emotional responses and just be like I’m in a blank face until I get my yes. And I think that’s a really good call out of like there’s a big difference between having a conversation with a person, and being present in a conversation or being present in the same place with a person.

Taylor: Yes. And I joke a lot because it really is somewhat of what you’re saying Greyson, it becomes this defense mechanism of my job is to make fifty dollars to a hundred dollars a day, have X amount of conversations. Move X amount of prospects down the funnel. And when it becomes a metrics game like that, yes, that’s the reality when you have a large team of SDR’s, and you just want to make sure you can put on your report to your decision-makers or your bosses of here’s how we’re progressing on, here’s the hard numbers.

But there really hasn’t been a good way of tracking conversations and understanding what’s happening in them. But there are tools out there, and I’d shamelessly plug pickle here. But the thought is, if you can understand what’s happening in the conversations, that should matter way more than how many dollars you’re making.

But to your point, Greyson, the thought is you end up numbing yourself 99% of the time, to I’m just dialing and only focusing on the next call, not the current call. It’s hey, I’m leaving a voicemail, or I’m just going to drop this pitch if he says no or she says no, moving on as quickly as possible because you have to because humans hate rejection, but that’s a part, that’s literally your job is to be rejected, 99% of the time.

With the hope of that one percent, it converts, and then from there, you’re so excited that they’re even interested in talking to you that you end up screwing up the pitch anyway. So again, it’s about how do you control the outcome, and by that, we’ll get into it here in a second, but asking open-ended questions and really phrasing it to where they tell you what they’re looking for.

Greyson: Exactly, yes. And before we kind of dive into some process questions to really understand the details of how to navigate a conversation. I did want to kind of follow up on this first question since I know that you, Taylor have unique experience as someone doing full-cycle sales.

So you’re not always kind of listening to the front lines and always focus on the front lines. You actually get to see the impact of bad conversations or conversations that don’t get enough information or qualifying boxes checked.

And so could you speak maybe a little bit to kind of looking at the bad here, but what’s the impact on the overall sales team? When an SDR is either not generating enough depth in the conversation with prospects or not generating enough momentum.

Taylor: Yes. It’s funny because right now, pickle, we’re a small team, right? We’re growing kind of startup, a lot going on. But our experience, even on the small team, is if the process is not followed in terms of hey, here’s what we need to know prior to hopping in like we always say there’s no pain, why are we wasting time showing a demo, right?

Or what value do they get out of this 30 minute to 45-minute long conversation when there’s just really not a need. It’s more of the SDR kind of set an attentive, hey, you know, hop on this call maybe you learn some cool stuff. There’s got to be some significant need. And a lot of times most people want to know hey, how do you, at least in our world, right?

How do you have more insight into your conversations? How do you make sure it’s not just metrics that are being passed along. It’s more depth than that and making sure the customer is always at the table there or the prospect. And so for me, it makes my life, yes, quite a bit harder when on my first initial call, my first impression is hey, I heard you you’re just interested in checking out our tech.

From there, it’s all right. Well, why? And then now the onus is on me, which yes, I can navigate those conversations and have it. But instead of spending that 15 minutes pulling out some more value, building more, or pulling out more pain and building more value, right? It’s now the niceties of what could have been done on a cold call that could have saved both of us.

The 15 to 30 minutes to make sure that they’re actually looking for what they’re actually looking for. And can we offer it, right? Because by the end of that call, they could be like, oh, this is totally not what I was thinking it was. And that’s not on them; that’s on us for not explaining.

And that’s kind of where it is imperative, and I make a lot of my own cold calls, so I try to tee myself up for success there. But even talking to, putting the SDR hat, and then going full cycle, it’s funny because it’s like, man, I really botched explaining that on the initial outreach, now I got to make up for it. So it’s hard to punish myself, but I try my best.

Alex: At least when you’re doing the full cycle, you can make up for it yourself, you know?

Taylor: Yes. But as the team grows, and kind of as most larger, medium to larger size companies, that is a reality of if you have certain metrics to hit or if you have ARR to me or goals to meet, every minute of those initial conversations matter. So the thought is, as long as you’re having more conversations, you got to build the brand.

One brand awareness, I always equate the most successful outcome of a cold call is brand awareness, right? It’s just knowing you exist, knowing what you do. Even if that conversation doesn’t lead to a meeting, it now creates a multi-touch point of hey, I’m going to hit them up on LinkedIn, I found a little bit more about what they care about, that gives me a little more weaponry to my arsenal of making sure hey, this is a target, it’s possible.

Or the second best is finding out they’re not a good fit. And then, from there, you can take that off the list and move forward. But that’s where an SDR’s job of finding out as much as possible gears us up to positions us to success, or it puts us in a position for success because you’re saving the 15-20 minutes that initial first impression could have been everything. And now it’s you’re doing backpedaling, and you don’t look very professional.

Alex: Yes. And then on top of that, when it is an SDR that’s doing it, now there’s this extra disconnect, where you know if the SDR says oh, you’re interested and then doesn’t do any qualification, hands them off to an AE.

Now the AE doesn’t know really why the prospect is there; the prospect doesn’t really know why they’re there. And the one person who might know might not even be on that call because they’re already on the next one, right?

Taylor: Yes. No, super true, and that’s kind of where there’s always the argument of where do SDRs fall under? You know what department are they? Is it marketing? Is it sales? Anything like that. The truest form is yes if you can perfect that SDR AE relationship, probably a little bit of both, marketing sales at the same time, you’re qualifying leads.

But as you said, Alex, it’s also setting up for success and being a part of the conversation. If you can thread that relationship or at least create an atmosphere where you’re not just all demanding as an AE, maybe you should get into some cold calls as well, right? Or maybe understand here’s the process that I’m asking for, what are the questions you actually want me to ask and the information you want, and how do we have that open relationship in a super communicative way.

And again, I have the true pleasure of having access to what our SDR would say on a call; I can just go look at it real quick. And from there, pull it out and be like, all right, I’m ready for this. But not everybody has the access to this, and that’s where you need to create that relationship.

Greyson: So I’m really excited to dive into this next question then because there’s so much ambiguity in terms of what actually happens when a rep is live in a conversation with a buyer. Just all talk about cold prospecting, doing the research, getting that outreach to start the conversation.

But I want to kind of transition into what happens when an SDR is in a live conversation with a buyer? Because I think what we’ve already talked about, so much of these pieces of kind of how SDRs tend to conduct these, and the word that I use is rigid. They seem to have a very almost like because of the predictable revenue, kind of monitoring trend that has taken over, in terms of kind of building a foundation for SDR programs.

It feels like they’ve kind of overdone it now, where it’s like when you are on a call, this is the script you use; these are the paths you can take. Here are the directions you can go based on those paths. And I just feel like, over the years, conversations have become harder, more rigid, and the push to be more predictable, I feel like is getting harder from leadership.

So I’m curious from your perspective, where you fall in terms of process for navigating and conducting conversations. Do you focus your reps on being well scripted and well planned? Do you focus on just giving them the soft skills to be able to just manage discussions in general? What are your thoughts about that in terms of actually getting on these calls?

Taylor: Yes, a great question. We’re still figuring out the perfect mix of yes; there are some ways you can tee up a prospect say they’re this position, in this type of organization, and this type of industry, selling this type of product. Yes, there are some similar questions you can ask and build a process in your sequence. But in reality, I equate it to the boxing world, right? Where everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.

And the thought is, you drop your pitch, or you interrupt their day in some way, you jump right into the pitch or some kind of scripted thing to where if they don’t answer in a certain way, that calls done, right?

If you’re that regimented, if you’re that process-oriented, there’s no way to save it because you’ve trained these reps or these reps themselves have just again back to our numb conversation, if I don’t even need, I’m not going to sit here and sell this because I got 50 other dials to make.

They either want it, or they don’t. And if I ask the series of questions and they don’t respond the way we want, boom, I’m gone.

But what we found is some of the craziest industries that we wouldn’t even think just from our own experience, could use something like pickle; we wouldn’t have known if we didn’t just ask a couple more creative questions that were based more on what they said or how they responded over here’s what we hope they respond with.

So you never know what they’re going to say, but the thought is as long as you’re opening up with, I always, at least my personal processes, how can I equate humor in it early on, right? Or some kind of way to open them up a little, and maybe it’s because I’m a middle child, but I’m always seeking; I’m always looking to pull out a laugh or something like that. And kind of the ones I’ve been using recently is, what was it?

Maybe in Chris Boss’s book, but Josh Braun definitely talks about this stuff. But the thought is like labeling yourself in this kind of negative light, to where they’re like no, you got me at a fine time.

But it’s introducing yourself, hey Taylor from pickle, you’re probably going to hate me, or this is going to be the worst thing in the world, but this is a cold call, and you picked up, you’re the winner, right? Something like that where they’re like oh, dang, they start laughing. It’s just that pattern disrupt from the normal hey; this is Taylor from pickle, you know you got a quick second to chat.

Or hey, here’s what we’re doing. Is this interesting to. You get them to laugh; you get them open up. They give you permission to proceed, and then from there, it’s a conversation, right? So it’s hey, can I ask you just a quick question? Or feel free to hang up, whatever. Again, you’re asking that question to get them to the next question. And then from there, if I’m getting permission to proceed, which 99% of the time they do, you always get the one who is like no, I’m hanging up.

Which is fine, because again, they probably weren’t going to be the best use of the next five minutes of your time anyway. And then ask another question, right? You’re controlling what the outcome of the call is, even though you have no idea where their mind is at or whether they’re eating lunch.

But the next question for me is always, hey, hopefully, I’ve done some background research. But it’s hey, I know you’re in charge of XYZ; here’s some say initiatives that I notice on Crunchbase or on their LinkedIn profile or on their website. How are you ensuring your team is delivering on that at the end of the day?

Again, super broad, open-ended question. But it just allows them to say yes, great question, here’s what I’m doing. A lot of times, it’ll lead to here’s how I’m tracking the metrics to meet it because, again, everybody is so metrics-driven. From there, it’s headed in here; you mentioned anything about understanding what’s actually happening on the conversations; this is again a personal experience.

But a lot of times, if they don’t mention some conversation intelligence tool. It’s hey, I noticed you didn’t mention this. If a rep does get a hold of somebody, sounds like you got the metrics locked down. But once they get a hold of somebody, how do you know they’re asking the right things or explaining or positioning yourselves in the right way? They’re like, well, either they listen to recordings or they don’t, and then from there boom, I’m killed.

We’re having a conversation of here’s the value we can add. But it’s all because I asked three open-ended questions, let them explain it, and then from there, take it. But yes, that hopefully answers some of your questions, but I’d love to hear some of your all’s process as well, and that’s the way I approach it.

Humor, three-four open-ended questions, and then from there deliver some value. And either ask for time. Hopefully, you’re asking for time if they don’t have it; it opens me up to know hey when I can multi-thread this across different channels, I now hit them up on LinkedIn. I can now send them an email or some content based on what they told me that they care about. So it makes it a little easier.

Alex: Yes. And I think the whole process is definitely super helpful, and I appreciate the walkthrough. I want to talk a little bit about that first step, that initial stage.

Because I think you have a great example, where your first goal is not to pitch the product or even ask a question about their needs, your first goal is to build that report, right? To sort of like, because if you pick up a cold call, you’re a little on edge, you’re like who is this? It’s probably a telemarketer or a robot.

Taylor: 99% of the time, yes.

Alex: Right? So a lot of time, like when I pick up my own phone, I’ll just wait for a second and then go hello? Because I know that right if you say yes, they can record that and steal it. Like there’s all these things that, like the bot on the other end, they can take it.

So that makes the job even that much harder for SDRs, but we still need to get through it to the point where we’re building that rapport, right? You’re the basically an SDR is the first impression of the company that the prospect’s going to get, right? So it’s a really important job that I think a lot of people overlook, is building that rapport and that relationship, so that, like you said, the follow-up becomes that much easier, right?

If you want to shoot them a LinkedIn message afterward about something sort of tangentially related, you can’t if you didn’t have that sort of small talk or that rapport building at the beginning.

Or that sense of humor. And I think humor is a really important tool for it, but I would like to say if you’re not like, if you don’t think you’re a funny person, it doesn’t have to be humor.

Taylor: Yes, doesn’t make sense.

Alex: Right? There’s other ways to go about, like pretend you’re just meeting a regular person, and you’re not trying to pitch them that; the beginning of the conversation should more or less be the same, right?

Taylor: Yes. It’s extremely transactional, and it becomes the immediate pitch, and everybody talks all day about oh, you got to build the relationship, or you got to actively listen. But how many people actually do that when their whole job is make X amount of calls a day? You can’t possibly be in that frame of mind of if you’re not saying, hey, how many relationships did you build today?

That’s not the metric, which I don’t know what company has that as a metric these days, but I’d love for it to get to that point. But if it comes down to how many relationships you build, that’s a totally different conversation. Because yes, you can make 100 calls and only connect with five people.

But if you had five conversations that led to five solid leads that are either qualified or not ready or not qualified, you’ve got a ton more information rather than just dropping a pitch. And you know, getting sure that sounds interesting, let’s throw some on the counter for Thursday, and then they don’t show up. And then now me as the full cycle guy, my 30 minutes of my time just got stolen.

You attentively set something off of; I bet the SDR is calling me like, oh, I got a meeting, but they’re not showing up to that. They’re just either too nice to say no and just throw you a time, or they were interested, but they’ve now moved on to the 100 other emails that they have to answer, or all the other meetings they got to be in that day, even if they intended to make it, they just might not.

So again, it’s all about the relationship; it’s all about for me; if humor isn’t your thing, yes. How do you approach a human being or ask a question to some total stranger, depending on where you’re at in life. At a supermarket or at the gym, I don’t know, how do you ask a question and not to look like a total weirdo, and you’re dropping a pitch of why you’re asking that question.

And I don’t know, maybe it’s hard, but I think it’s more of a positioning on the sales society at B, which is everything’s got to be a mathematic formula, and everything’s got to be executed in this way to lead to this result. And yes, if you make enough volume and quantity, that’s one thing, but most businesses it’s not realistic to hit the quantity and get what you want out of it.

And that’s where you lose SDRs further out the door. And there’s this whole culture of yes, this job sucks and this it’s hard to do, and there’s so much high turnover. It doesn’t have to be that way; I’m having a ton of fun, just having no expectations of that cold call other than I’m just meeting somebody.

And I’m just like, hey, I just want to know what you care about. Like honestly, we don’t even talk about Pickle. Because I’m sure you don’t care, but what I care about is what are your values? What would help you in your day-to-day? And then, from there, I’ll do the work and figure out my solution can get there. I don’t need you to worry about it.

But yes, it’s not easy to do, it takes some time and practice, but we’ve been doing it every day of our lives; why do we have to frame it in a way of no I have to ask XYZ questions and get this kind of data out of it, and then click next on my campaign to move to somebody else.

Greyson: Right. And I love the picture that you’ve painted here; I feel like you’ve really added a lot of advice in the last couple paragraphs you shared. Because the way I like to think about it is from Chris Beale at connect and sell, he says that the primary job of an SDR is to pave a market with trust.

And I think that this whole storyline you just went through with this kind of backtracks the reason why conversation quality is so important. Because if you need trust with a prospect before any opportunity can happen, well, you got to build rapport with them before you can get them to get even closer to trusting you. Well, before you build rapport with them, you have to have the ability to empathize with them.

You have to have tactical empathy and be able to actually when they respond because they’re a person with their own thoughts and feelings be able to react to it and be able to respond appropriately. And to do that, you need awareness; you need to look beyond the numbness of hitting your number and actually be present, real-time in the call.

And I love kind of that track that you built there when you were talking because you’re right like you can hit your numbers all day. But I mean, a robot can give a call to a prospect once every couple of minutes and say hello, goodbye, and hang up.

And that technically hit some of the, it would hit the number on some of the reporting, like yes and some of the reporting docs, it looked great, right. And so I think you really paint a beautiful picture here about like there’s a difference between just starting a conversation and actually having a professional in sales that can navigate it with confidence. So I really love that.

Taylor: Yes, I don’t know; like I said, I’m just here to talk any way you all want, but hopefully, this is some helpful advice; it helps me. But I always look at it as if you’re not enjoying the conversation; your prospect sure as hell isn’t an excuse for swearing. But that’s how I feel about it. It’s one of those things where again, it doesn’t have to be humorous, you know, full of humor, that’s just the style I approach.

But you know, if I can get them laughing and talking, that’s going to create so much more, even if I make 15 calls that day and I had five great conversations as opposed to 100 calls and five great conversations, that’s what matters more to me. But unfortunately, I think it starts as I’m sure you all would agree. It starts at why the company is setting those metrics?

Why is this important? And really, it’s the only measurable thing that they’ve had so far, and that’s where again, shameless plug, you should understand what’s happening in the conversations, and that’s what gets me passionate about it because that’s what matters. How many conversations you have? How many calls have you made?

Or how many conversions did you make off those calls? Because as we talked about, those conversions might not matter because they might not show up to the call. They could set it, and you could say we set 15 appointments today. If 10 of them don’t show up, you set five appointments that day. So it’s false data; if I as a leader can go back and look at what actually happened on the call of those 15 appointments and say they only end up responding to you know half of the questions you asked, and then it sounds like a pity acceptance of an invite.

You knew about that beforehand; you can probably redirect maybe approach that prospect again, deliver some more value, see if it really does matter. And save yourself that 30-minute calendar slot.

That’s coming up next week that you know they’re not going to show up to because they haven’t accepted it yet. But we were freaking pumped that they said yes, and it’s on the calendar, so it counts. And that’s where our leadership is in terms of that’s what matters; I think that’s just the wrong way to communicate it.

Alex: Yes. There are definitely some metrics that, and I think we’ve talked about this in the past podcast, but I can’t remember. But there are definitely some metrics that they maybe made sense for sales development 20 years ago when you’re just kind of giving a list.

The internet didn’t exist like LinkedIn didn’t exist, the way you could research and plan and make your outreach such high quality. But now that that’s all there, it’s up to sort of the reps and the SDRs to use it, right?

Otherwise, what’s the point of it being out there. Before we wrap up, I wanted to see if you had any last sort of bits of, you’ve already given a ton of great advice and stuff. But if you had any last bits of actionable advice or best practices that you’d be giving to an SDR looking to improve their cold call conversations.

Taylor: Yes. I would just reiterate, you know what we’ve been talking about; one, it’s just always keep it on them, make the job easier by just asking the question, and have them tell you what they care about. Don’t pull it out by saying, hey, here’s all the stuff I offer; what do you respond most positively to?

Because if I just saw again grace like you said, just have a robot do that, and you can crush your metrics there. But always keep it on them open-ended questions; if you’re not asking how, what, why those types of first words, you’re not asking an open-ended question. And then from there, it’s do some research, understand probably what goals they have that you truly won’t understand until you ask them.

So the thought is maybe ask a leading general question as we started off this podcast with, something super broad of hey, I know you’ve, you just hired ten new reps, or you have these types of AR goals that you met last year, I’m sure you want to double that next year. How are you doing that currently? Super broad, let them tell you.

And then from there, you might go nuts because they might ping on like half your pitch while they’re talking, you’re like, I’m just ready to pitch. But hold off, say, well, you just mentioned XYZ; why do those matter to you? Why do you care about that? And then from there, you might notice they just name like 15 tools that they’re using to measure, but they really only check in on one.

And then from there, you’re like, why does that matter? And they’re like, well, here’s what I get out of it? From there, yes, sure, I’m selling another tool, but this is how you position your tool to relate to the one they actually care about as opposed to the 15 they just told you, and you’re like, hey, we integrate with this, and we could do this. They might not care because they don’t check that.

I certainly don’t check half the tech stack we have because I’m not good at that, right? Like I have my process, could give me tools. But at the end of the day, that’s what we want, that’s what you need to do as a sales rep, and figure out what tools they use, why do they use it? What goals are they having?

How are those tools helping them get there? Because that’s what you’re ultimately trying to do, is how do I become a value? That’s the way you find value is. What are you actually using out of the 15 you just told me? Why are using it that way? Hey, if it’s cool, here’s what Pickle does? Maybe this is something we can add to that one tool; you really find some value in those 15 minutes on Tuesday or Thursday?

You make that ask to say, hey, not right now, overcome your objection, etc. But it all starts with the conversation that’s kind of the most actual advice I can give, and just always challenge them. I think I brought up we’re big on the mom test book here at Pickle, and it’s much more of, it’s a very startup oriented like product-oriented, discussion of your customers are probably lying to you, and you ask them hey, do you like this or you like that about our features?

Because I just want to be nice, not hurt your feelings. But if you can ask the real questions of why do you care about this one thing, that’s where you get the honesty. Not hey, you notice this, here’s what we’re doing to fix that, they’re like oh, that’s cool, I’d love to check it out. They’re lying to you; they don’t have time to check it out.

But if you ask why, and then they start telling you here’s why it matters or here’s why that doesn’t matter. So again, tangential here, but passionate about asking an open-ended question and having a conversation, and hopefully that helps.

Greyson: Yes, I love it. The quality of conversations is everything, and I think it really speaks to not only the success of the rep and the ease of the rep’s job. But you know a lot of salespeople like to worry about this, but there are usually customer success or client services or account management teams that have to deal with the people that you close.

And so if you can do the hard work, and you’re in the startup world, and I’ve lived in the startup world as well, so it’s especially true in our world, where it’s like if you can put up a little extra work at the front just to get rid of obviously bad fits or maybe people that have red flags and might not be ready, and you don’t want your reps to sell to them too quickly.

I think it’s so worth it long term for a business to just put that process upfront so that you’re ensuring that deals don’t leak, that just end up being problems for the brand.

Taylor: Yes. And even if they do close, they churn in a month, and you’re like, wow. We went all the way through, and then we just lost them in a month. So again, how do you, at least in the startup world, Greyson, is just saying that’s what we care about, it’s yes we could have the best sales cycle in the world.

But if it doesn’t translate to when they’re actually a customer, that’s a huge issue too. And it always again starts with how did you set expectations on that first call? How did you under pull out what they care about? What they’re looking for? What tool do they actually use and why? Or what you know, consulting service or whatever you’re selling? Why are they using it? Why do they care about it? Why do they not care about the others? I think that’s the other important question. Like you got 15 of these tools, why the heck are you not logging into any of them?

Oh, because this doesn’t deliver this for me, that’s a ton of information from like a five-sentence question I just asked that they’re given to. So that translates as you said from the expectations you said on the sales side, all the way through the sales cycle. When they become a customer, you’re now setting up your customer success team or experience team, which as a small startup, I changed my hat from sales to Mr. Customer success as well.

So I care about how I just set up my own expectations, and I could have sold them a pot of gold, and they’re like oh, they’re salivating for it, and then they sign and then from there they’re like oh wow, you can’t deliver half the things yet. Yo ho, we’re still building it, but we’re getting there.

And then they’re gone in a month, and it’s no good for anybody. So that translates to large enterprise, medium businesses as well. It’s how do you make sure the customer experience and the customer always has a seat at the table? Well, ask the right questions, understand what they care about, sell to them in that way, set the expectations correctly.

And then from there, they’re a customer for life. And Pickle’s just trying to make that a little easier for everybody to know exactly what happened in those conversations, which has been kind of cool to offer to people.

Greyson: Awesome, Taylor. Well, thanks so much for joining us today. And I wanted to get a little shout-out for Pickle before we sign off. So you know where can people find out more about pickle AI or get in touch with you personally if they want to practice some conversations with you.

Taylor: Yes, just head over to Pickleai.com. I said Pickleai.com because there’s other Pickle.AI and all this all kinds of noise out there, but Picleai.com is our website. LinkedIn is where we live. If you follow us at all or connect with us at all, you’ll probably see some kind of poster comment from one of us every day. So the thought is we’re always out there, we’re always trying to engage.

So connect with me on LinkedIn, follow our, we’re super proud of our LinkedIn page that we’ve built. Like, I don’t know why it matters to me because it’s a vanity metric. But we got a solid following people seem to like what we’re saying.

So if you want to at least have some entertaining posts and something that’s less corporatized, we try to go after the how do we make this a human, relatable piece of content that, at the end of the day, you might pull something out of that’s not just hitting some metric or making sure that we get two likes on it.

It doesn’t matter to us for us, how do we make this entertaining, how do we make it engaging, then feel free to follow us if you’re interested in that.

Greyson: Awesome. Well cool, so for everyone listening, I’ll make sure to include those links in the transcript and today’s lessons. Make sure to focus on conversations, be present in the conversations, and don’t forget about your customer success team.

They’ve got to deal with those customers that you close. So thank you so much, Taylor, for joining us today; this has been Greyson and Alex for the SDrealness podcast, until next time SDRs, keep it real.

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