Jeremy Weisz 10:16
The part of the club is powerful, right, there’s a FOMO involved. What do you do, as far as creating this club?
Scott Scully 10:28
Yeah. So let’s take one of our industries roofing, I think we have, I don’t know 102 commercial roofers around the country that we work with. In our sales process, we’re talking to them about our sales enablement, capabilities and the process that will run on their behalf. But also a big part of it is we know your industry, and we’re plugged into some of the best players around the country. And when we get together with you on a monthly basis, not only are we going to understand the problems you’re facing on a daily basis, we’re going to try to plug into that network and bring best practices and good ideas, things that other people are doing, maybe you’re in Des Moines, Iowa, and this person’s in Kansas City, and we want to make sure to share. And then a big, big part of that, too, is people like to share things that are working for them as well, they may like that, and more, more than getting the ideas and so we try to do a little bit of both and create a club, if you will.
Jeremy Weisz 11:44
Selling the appointment, you talk about, what mistakes people make on sales calls. When they aren’t doing that I guess?
Scott Scully 11:56
Many pitching, I’m just a firm believer in I literally just yanked you out of the middle of what you’re doing. And even if you say you’ve got a little bit of time now, you weren’t prepared for me to call, we don’t have a set time, you don’t know me, you haven’t done any research on me. I may not know you the way, like I should and, and so I’m just a firm believer and actually calling that out. Look, the only reason that I’m calling today is I’m trying to shorten my interruption with you today. But it’s important for us to get together within the next week or so, at a set time. I just think that what happens is people get into many pitches. The worst case scenario is it’s a sales enablement person that doesn’t even know all the ins and outs of the sales presentation itself. And so now I’m many pitching and the prospect could be making a decision when I get off the phone to not show up based on what happened there. Or if I’m a salesperson setting my own appointments, because I do know about the product or service, I may give in and give up a little bit of what I’m going to talk about next. And then when I get with you on that next time period, you as a prospect may feel like I’ve already talked about some of those things. And I may not have your full attention and participation on the next meeting. I just think, sell the appointment, overcome the objections of why you don’t want to go into particular things now and why that meeting is for that and build up. Why others have found that it will be a good meeting to attend, which is super easy if you’re in niches. You may be calling somebody that’s at the number one HVAC company and the Brock’s and they have been for years and why the hell do I want to talk to you? And it’s like, look, I get it and you don’t know who I am. I’m calling you out of the blue. But the reason that you would want to talk to me is because we specialize in your industry, because I hear that same thing from all the top players and all the other states. I heard that before we got together but then they gave me the 45 minutes. They looked at what our program has to offer and very quickly realized that they could strengthen their lead and protect their lead and that’s why we should get together next Tuesday at two o’clock.
Jeremy Weisz 14:44
Scott, how do you determine exclusivity for you do it via a certain miles or radius when you’re working with a company and you go in to like the best or the biggest one in the Bronx and say we weren’t, what are you say as far as exclusivity, and how do you do that with your company?
Scott Scully 15:05
It’s usually to a target market. There are, I’d say 15 or so markets around the country where we would run multiple programs, like New York’s a great example. You might have Manhattan in the Bronx, and Queens and right. But we may only run one program in Toledo, Ohio. Most of them are one-program markets. So it have a lot to do with the number of companies that we need to be able to work the process?
Jeremy Weisz 15:41
Yeah. When you’re reaching out, though, that is that part of what you say is like, we’re going to be working with one company in this area. And it could be you or one of your competitors.
Scott Scully 15:53
Yeah. Yeah. And calling out who you may have meeting set up with already, you have to do that in the right way. It’s not a threat. It’s just a lot of those industries are super competitive. And if they feel like other people have committed to sitting down and having a discussion with you, then they’re going to want to do the same just to be safe.
Jeremy Weisz 16:22
Yeah, I don’t know a threat anyone in the Bronx especially? No. So let’s walk through, when a company is working with you, what do you find the most effective is you have multiple people in different aspects of this process, right? Because you talk to the phone, you email, you have LinkedIn. How does it work? Walk me through it, how you do it with your company. And this is obviously essentially how you deal with other companies to? The multiple people are handling different aspects of the reach out?
Scott Scully 17:00
Okay, well, I’m just a firm believer and a person not being super great at wearing multiple hats. So we try to specialize. So over here in 30-day implementation process, we’ll have multiple people doing different things. One group, where they exclusively build target markets and deal with data, another group that may be writing email content, if we’re going to build a website for you, there’s a group over here that specifically writes webpages and SEO content and deals with that infrastructure. We do email campaigns for people, and we actually have people that work in box this, and those folks are separate from people that are actually making outbound phone calls. And with that, I’ll use an example of why I would want specialization. If I am working in boxes and making outbound phone calls, I’m probably going to prefer working the inboxes more than making the outbound phone calls. And so, we may not be doing exactly what we need to be doing from a phone outreach perspective. So we’ve got different specialties and then they follow a very tight plan and all those things come together in our process to build an effective pipeline.
Jeremy Weisz 18:49
How do you coordinate those if different people one person’s maybe reaching out via phone another person is reaching out via email another person or division of the company may be reaching out via social media or LinkedIn.
Scott Scully 19:03
So, our entire organizations on Salesforce. And we use Salesforce in such a heavy way that we actually started another company doing Salesforce consulting to help people with integrations and implementations when they decide to invest in that platform. But we have everybody tied in processes tied in and just run from that.
Jeremy Weisz 19:34
Were you considering any others before you made the decision for Salesforce?
Scott Scully 19:43
We brought in a smaller organization towards the beginning they had Goldmine, we changed that in a hurry. The acquisition that we did most recently, the email marketing company they are heavy on HubSpot. I will say that we are converting most of those folks to Salesforce but we are using or leaving some things in the outbound sales in HubSpot. That said, those two are the players, quite frankly, HubSpot and Salesforce,
Jeremy Weisz 20:27
I want to go back to the volume, right? I mean, I know, we were talking before we hit record, I mean, you want to or do schedule over 1000 appointments, new appointments a month as a company. And one of those things that you do is just, you said, rolling people out to see if it’s a fit or not? What are some of the things that you train the team on to when they’re doing the outbound calls or emails to determine, do you want to spend time there or not?
Scott Scully 20:57
Yeah. So that number is for our internal sales team. We want to make sure that to keep up with our goals for this year, that we have 1100 to help pitches. Now, in order to do that, we’ve got a bunch of people making outbound calls to find out what maybe we can’t find out. We’ve built an unbelievable database, we put millions into it. But still, at the end of the day, there’s no perfect data. And so there’s some outreach necessary to determine whether or not we want to put them on the phone with one of our sales reps. So there are a lot of things that we do from a data perspective first. We’ve got several different listings sources. And then we have three different target markets for the companies that we have. And then we take all of our campaign data. And we put that together. So if we’re coming into a particular market, we can see who usually picks up the phone, who responds to email, who we interact with on social. So there is a lot of things we do from a target market perspective to be as smart as we can before we go at it. And then once we’re there, it’s like if I’m sending email, I know that I’m hitting multiple people within an organization because the decision-making process isn’t always the same. So maybe hitting the CEO or the president and the CRO or the CMO. If I’m making phone outreach, I’ve got all that data. And I’m running tracks on different titles until I determine who does make the decision. And then with each client, we figure out what their qualifiers are, if they need a certain square footage, or they don’t want to work with anybody that’s less than an X number of desktops, where the company needs to be a couple million dollars in revenue minimum or have 100 employees plus, we get those differentiators in the implementation process work that into our fact-finding in our sales scripts, if you will, and make sure that we’re qualifying. So once we do put somebody on the phone, or a sales presentation with our internal team or with one of our external clients, it’s qualified first to meet what their specifications are.
Jeremy Weisz 23:39
I want to talk about retaining hiring a players. What do you do for training? Right? I’m sure you’ve talked about this in one of your talks, which is there’s a low barrier to entry if you want to be a salesperson, anyone could do it. But the people that last do ongoing training, they do ongoing education, what kind of things you do with the team?
Scott Scully 24:12
Yeah, we from a training perspective, when you first get here, there’s a two-week training class. We have two training classes a month and there’s usually 15 to 20 people in each one of those training classes. And first and foremost, I would say the most important thing is to get the best person you possibly can up front, right because it makes everything else that much easier. But within our training, the first two-week training, it is a lot on how to work our Salesforce processes who we are as an organization, what our mission and values are. And then there is towards the end last three or four days, some specific training around the industries that they’re going to serve the clients that they’re going to end up picking up. After that, though, we’re a big believer in ongoing professional development. And so it’s actually mandatory that somebody has at least an hour a week of ongoing professional training, we do best practices. So in account management, or sales or content, or art, there are weekly best practices, so they can certainly get their training there. But we also use Littmus as a platform where we’ve loaded all kinds of content that they can go out and follow different tracks. And then what happens is we’ve got kind of our version of martial arts, if you will, but you earn belts for the number of hours or the points that you’ve received for training, the goal is to become a black belt. And when we have meetings, we talk about it, we make it a big deal, who’s on top, who’s a black belt, who’s just pouring into growth. I think that it happens naturally here, because we’re growing quickly. And one of the reasons we attract, you know, kids right out of college in the first place is because they can come here into one position, but have 20 or 30 different tracks that they could go down. And as long as we keep our growth up, they’ve got a lot of different bites they can take from one apple, they can stay here and grow their career in a lot of different ways. And because of that, a lot of them are pretty hungry and self-motivated to go get the training.
Jeremy Weisz 27:04
Yeah, no, I love the belts, right? There’s a gamification there, what are some of the resources or books that you recommend? Or maybe you used, that are kind of in the curriculum, it could be a book or a resource that you recommend?
Scott Scully 27:23
Gosh, there are so many, it’s interesting that you said that, we’re putting a 12-month track together for directors and we aligned it with books. I’ll send you that list. But I’ll tell you about one book that we hand to every new hire, and it’s called The ONE Thing. I love it. I did so much reading in the past, I’m guilty of maybe getting content via podcast or video or YouTube now. But this One Thing book just brings a lot of principles together. And what I like is that, this is the easiest way to explain it, we all build success lists, and then drill down that list to the things that are maybe the easiest to do that day, and then hold over the most important thing. And if you were just to do that, number one most important thing that they add probably impacts 80% of the list anyway, and it just takes commitment to do that. You don’t always want to do the hardest thing first. So that book highlights what that domino is and your personal life and professional, spiritual. And if you’re committed to figuring out what that is, and doing those things on a daily basis, that’s the definition of someone still shooting for success or maybe somebody that has been successful.
Jeremy Weisz 28:58
I love that. Any favorites in the kind of sales category?
Scott Scully 29:05
You’re gonna laugh at me? A lot of people do, but maybe not. But I love Jeffrey Gitomer. It’s easy to read and simple and the reason that I do is because you can take it in bite sizes and I think it’s good for salespeople especially on their entry in and then he’s added a lot of kind of ongoing content, daily stuff that people can get access to, if you’re a salesperson. I like his energy. I like the books and how easy they are to take in. And I know that I can get most people to be okay grabbing one of those books and getting through it pretty quickly and picking up a nugget or two.
Jeremy Weisz 29:52
You said obviously, part of the reason why you have a successful company is you have a great team, you have a great company and team members. And it kind of starts with the input with the hiring process. What does that look like?
Scott Scully 30:11
Our hiring process? So it used to look one way, I will tell you that it used to look one way, and it looks a little bit differently now. We used to go straight out of college, right, got to have a college degree, maybe it has to be these couple of degrees. And these are the schools were focused on. And it’s evolved, because we have not really proven out that that person is more successful than the person that is maybe five years into their career and want to reinvent themselves. Or maybe they couldn’t go to college, for whatever reason, maybe they couldn’t afford it. So now they’re 10 years deep in work experience and bringing, like a hunger to this place and lots of experiences. So what we do now is both, we are connected to about 20 different universities, and we’re in touch with their career departments, we have career fairs, probably half of them, we have what we call a college ambassador on five different campuses, that’s they’re responsible for going and talking to the professors and shooting over the fraternities and sororities and just building up the name and the brand and trying to get people to come and work here. But then we’re working just as hard at trying to find people that want to reinvent themselves, or people that didn’t go to college, but have incredible work experience. And we’ve got a pretty sizable recruiting department. And we’re probably doing some of the things that everybody else does in a way of posting ads and doing things on LinkedIn and making calls and are recruiting actually for ourselves, because we have to recruit 30-ish new people a month to keep up with a little bit of our phone turnover, because not everybody loves it. Right? And our growth as well. Because we had to recruit that many people, we actually started a recruiting division, and now we do recruiting for clients.
Jeremy Weisz 32:34
Do you allow remote? Or does it have to be in the St. Louis area?
Scott Scully 32:42
If you are outside of I believe it’s 50 miles, then you are allowed to do remote, we have some employees that are in different spots around the country. Maybe they started here and moved there, maybe during COVID things happened, right? Where people said, I’m going to live somewhere different, do something different. If you come here and live by here, what you do is earn your way to a day a week in the first six months, and then by the time you get to the end of the first year, you get two days a week out. And then we just we rested that. So in office three days out of office two.
Jeremy Weisz 33:34
Yeah, for companies like that, who are still trying to navigate this kind of hybrid culture. Talk about your thoughts and importance on having them come in, obviously, it’s important for you to have them come in a couple days a week at least.
Scott Scully 33:50
So gosh, if you’re in the LinkedIn landscape, the people just are mean to each other about this, right? It’s like I don’t understand why you can’t, principles up and say, as long as someone’s doing the work, why would you care? And then some people are like, well, it’s about collaboration. It really depends on your organization. For us, when we have a lot of new people that may I’ll just take the people right out of college, for instance, they’re coming right out of college into something brand new, that they don’t understand. They’re facing rejection all day long. Like to put that person immediately in their house for five days. They don’t even know how to use Salesforce yet and then even when they get a little bit better at using the process and doing the work at home, maybe you have a down day and you’re not surrounded by others that are having success. For us to collaborate like the education that we can give somebody quicker development, in the beginning, is important and then Collaboration and just what we do, if someone’s having a down day, it’s easier to be surrounded by others to pick them up. I am not saying somebody can’t work from home, I am saying most people can’t. Some people can. Most people can’t. They think they can. But they’re not great at. I like the hybrid. We do have good days at home. But I firmly believe it’s because they come in get that energy, they collaborate, then they go home, they got a full day where they don’t have meetings, and they’re set and they have a good day at home. I like the hybrid.
Jeremy Weisz 35:39
Let’s talk about you bring up a good point, because there’s a lot of rejection people are facing with this, whether it’s email or phone. And you talked about this a little bit in your talk that you gave about the mindset? How do you reset your mindset when you’re going through those little rejections? whether someone’s in sales or not? Or just a lot of rejection? Depending on the day? How do you reset your mindset? Or how do you have your team reset their mindset when they’re facing all this rejection?
Scott Scully 36:11
That’s a good question. I think I have two answers to that. Number one. And it’s kind of unique to the individuals, you have to find out what works for you just to keep your mind right and stay motivated. And that’s being healthy and having your routine and in the morning, or what you eat, or how you sleep or what you’ve drink, or who you surround yourself with. And there are a lot of ways to go about that. And a lot of different opinions, but you got to be doing the work to show up in the morning, feeling as good as you can feel to start. From there, I find that if they can connect to the client they’re serving, and the purpose, then it’s easier to break through the rejection. So what I mean by that, we talk a lot up here about really, at the core, what we care about most is impacting lives through building sales pipelines, which sounds kind of goofy, but if a business is set, from a new meetings perspective, they can feel comfortable about growing or at least stay in there same size, their employees, their employee growth, we’re impacting that. So just as an overall mission, if I’m on the phone, doing that hard work, if I can think that I’m impacting lives, I may change the business that I’m serving, then I don’t know the person that swears at me or hangs up on me, that doesn’t hit me as much. And then the other thing in that is, I think that people get into sales, and they make it something that it’s not that like a lot of people say, well, I don’t have that kind of personality, or I’m not a salesperson. And although they’ve been doing some of those things, we’re asking them to do their entire life, like negotiating to the front of the line talking mom out of the car keys, getting their friends to go there versus where their friends might want to be, this party versus that party. People naturally are doing that, or people are naturally connecting others. And then they get into sales, and they make it this thing. So if they think, look, I’m serving my client, the client needs me, and I’m just trying to find people that my client may be able to help and connect them. And maybe both of their businesses are better. If I’m thinking about that, it’s easier to do the work.
Jeremy Weisz 39:04
Yeah. I love that. A lot of times the lifeblood of a business is a predictable sales pipeline. Right. And if they’re thinking of it as that of helping that growing that company and creating security for that company, I could see that for sure. That one person hanging up is not that big of a deal. I’m talking about the niches, you serve, and it’s important that you served certain niches How did you come to the niches that you ultimately decided on?
Scott Scully 39:39
Well in the onset, when you’re starting, I think that you take whatever business you can get, right, especially in marketing. So we did that in the beginning. Like, I’ll build a website or I’ll send some directly Al, I’ll do that radio commercial. But then you start growing up a little bit and figuring out what you do best. We made products turned our marketing into products. And then we said, okay, what’s working the best. So in the beginning, we picked one or two. And then the way that that evolves, is we’ll get referrals from clients. So we have this, quote, unquote, other bucket of clients, if you will, that aren’t necessarily core niches in our sales department yet. But we find out, hey, in our fulfillment process, wow, we can do a good job in that niche. And then that rolls into our sales enablement department, we designed territories, and then all of a sudden, those success stories are in our salespeople’s hands, and we’re working that new niche. I’m a really big believer in it, though.
Jeremy Weisz 40:57
We mentioned before we hit record, Scott about, obviously, you continue to grow, and you’re putting infrastructure in place, so you can handle that growth. So what does that look like, right now? How are you putting in infrastructure?
Scott Scully 41:14
Yeah, so we’re just shy of 60 million, and wrapping the Europe and we really wanted to put the pedal down, we really felt like we had our products designed and how we fulfill nobody has it all the way figured out, you’re always improving, but we really feel like we know how to fulfill our products. And we were ready to step up gross with $80 million number which is going to be our biggest gross number of $20 million in one year. And so what that meant was, we need to hire more people. So we’ve got to build out our recruiting department. We need to be able to implement a larger number of clients, we’ve got to pull some people over to implementation, we have to write more content, we have to pull more lists. So we had pretty much modeled out what an individual person can do in each one of those areas. And then we looked at our growth and did the backwards math and put the people in place so that we can make sure to actually do things the right way. Growth is a problem a lot of times for companies and God knows over the last 28-plus years, we’ve made plenty of mistakes. And I think one of the most important things we’ve learned is if you’re going to grow, you got to plan it out and back into it and do it the right way. And really model out what people you need when you need it and have that plan in place, not just grab $20 million, and be running as fast as you can trying to hire people after the fact, you have to have it done beforehand.
Jeremy Weisz 43:10
What’s cool about what you do, Scott, is that when you bring them on, and they’re helping your company, it’s similar things they’d be doing for the other companies. So when you’re training them, it seems like it’s helping, it will help your fulfillment also, because that’s what they’re doing for you. One of the ways you’ve grown is through acquisitions. So I love for you to talk about, and you structured them in some unique ways. Talk about I mean, one of the acquisitions and how you structured it?
Scott Scully 43:46
Yeah, so, we were running up against a company that was in town here. And we were doing at that point, a lot of our mainstay was the phone outreach, and they were doing lead gen 100% were primarily through email marketing, and kind of going after some of the same niches, we’re running into each other. And so, for a couple of years, I would actually get together with that gentleman in town here and we just talk about strategy and we had a lot of the same philosophy and it just made sense for us. He needed to add phone calls, and we needed to be better at email and so it was just a sweet spot for us. And they had a bunch of clients and they’ve done a nice job, they had 18 plus million dollars in annual revenue and so we put it together and we had to go at it creatively, didn’t want to just pay X amount upfront. And so what we did is we creatively put a deal together where Jeff got to take some money off the table, a nice chunk. And then he got two more chunks over the next two years based on performance. And then in doing that, if all of that was hit, then he actually got shares in our overall organization. So for us, it wasn’t as much upfront. And it wasn’t as much upfront for him either. But if he did a good job, it was a way better deal for him over the long haul. And then, of course, because he performed, it’s a good deal for us as well. So not everybody is willing to do that, people might want their money now, especially if they’re getting together with a group of people that they don’t necessarily know. I think it helped that we’d been having discussions for a couple of years leading up to that, for us to be on the same page, but a creative deal like that worked out for all of us.
Jeremy Weisz 46:19
How do you navigate integration of the teams in the company?
Scott Scully 46:25
I wish I could say that I had that perfected. There’s different schools of thought, I know, when people are doing roll-ups, a lot of times, they just leave him alone, right. And in this scenario, because the email was becoming such a substantial part of our overall product, we really made the decision to just integrate everything. And it was a little painful, there was a difference in the cultures, a tiny bit and we put some managers together and talked about overlaps, and just tie-ins and vision and what it could be and then actually, last year, our theme for the year was one team one dream. And it’s because we really work still to families, acting a little bit in a different way. And we had to break down the walls. And do things differently and get groups of people together and become one family. And when we did that, and established one culture that really worked, we changed some of our value statements to incorporate some of those companies which made them feel good, we incorporated some best practices. And just made it a focus. And then we took some key people at both organizations and had them be over bring them over to the other company, or have them be overt groups that may be served both. That just had to blur the lines. It’s hard, though. And if I were to do it over again, I think that I would have just rip the band-aid off right away. If I’m going to integrate, I’m going to do it. And I’m going to do it right now. And I’m going to do it quickly. If I’m not, then we’re gonna leave it separate. I’m going to do that.
Jeremy Weisz 48:29
Scott, first of all, one last question. But thank you, thanks for sharing your expertise and knowledge. It’s really amazing what you’ve done with your company, and also being a staple in St. Louis. In general, I want to point people to your website, they can go to abstraktmg.com to learn more. And obviously, they’re hiring or if you’re a possible partner for them, contact them, if you serve adjacent niches and don’t do what they do. So, the last question I had is, I want to tell people to check out your show, The Grow Show Podcast, and talk about how you’re utilizing the podcast.
Scott Scully 49:15
Yeah, thank you. It’s called The Grow Show, stories from the frontlines. And we really wanted to put it together for two reasons. First, we wanted to put it together for our clients. We’ve learned some things along the way and growing our organization and we wanted to pass along some of those best practices to them. A lot of our clients are starting up or young couple million dollars, and they’ve got growth ahead of them. And we’ve been through some of that before and we just wanted to make it a little bit easier. And another thing we wanted to do with the show has trained our people internally in our organization. We’ve got 50 for 50 segments. So one of them is 50 for 50. And that’s just how to set up an organization for growth. One’s 50 for 50, and just sales tips and ones mining for growth or lead generation best practices. We want our people, internally to know and to grow in those areas, and then they’re better consultants for our clients as well when they take that knowledge and go. And then from a prospecting perspective, we do a lot of outreach. And as we’re connecting with people on LinkedIn, or sending emails, making phone calls, whatever it may be, they’re not all saying yes right now. And so we wanted to be able to provide good nurture content hopefully they plug in and take a listen they’d like some things that they hear and next time when we’re trying to get a hold of them, they’re warmed up and ready to have a meeting or they may even call us if they like what they hear.
Jeremy Weisz 49:40
Love it. Scott, I want to be the first one to thank you, everyone. Check out abstraktmg.com to learn more and check out The Grow Show. Thanks, Scott. Appreciate it.
Scott Scully 51:24
Thank you. Thanks for having me.