Will Bachman 00:01
Hello, and welcome to Unleashed the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional. I’m your host will Bachman and I’m excited to be here today with Johan is Hersh, who runs the firm promote Neo. And I got interested to talk to Johannes, because he wrote this blog posts on a $5,000 marketing technology stack that I thought was a really well done post. Yan is is a member of the Umbrex community. And I’m delighted to have him on the show Johannes. Welcome.
Johannes Hoech 00:32
Yeah, thank you. Thanks for having me.
Will Bachman 00:34
So before we start going through this post, and you’ve done a really cool job of laying out a whole suite of technology tools, maybe you know, low cost tools, and some of them free that people can use. Just give us a little bit of orientation on your practice, who you serve, the type of clients you serve the type of work you do.
Johannes Hoech 00:56
Got it? Thank you. Yeah, we were actually a little software startup. This is something that I’ve gotten going post retirement. And we’re doing a structured revenue growth planning, process and tool. And as part of that, a lot of times, our customers after they’re done using the tool to put together their growth plan, they also then want help developing pipeline. And to serve that need is why we wrote the blog, so that they have kind of a how to manual that works for a lot of the smaller b2b and professional services startups.
Will Bachman 01:34
So what would be few examples of a typical client of yours.
Johannes Hoech 01:41
We I work a lot with Greenfield startups, companies that are going into new categories. Like right now, for example, one of our bigger customers is a crypto company, they’re going into the they have a custody solution in the crypto space, and there’s no prior data. And so revenue analytics or Marketing Analytics doesn’t really help you, you need to have a forward looking approach, which is what we have to put together your revenue plan. So that’s one category, I do a fair amount of Turn, turn around at work companies who either are shrinking or not growing, or they’re below what the investors expectations are, and then need to put together a plan for how to get out of pickup. And then thirdly, I work a fair amount with professional services firms that, you know, like I have a couple of customers that are sales, large sales consulting firms have a couple of engineering firms a law office. And again, all of those are basically aiming at a b2b target population. And they either one to figure out how to go into a new space or into, they’re in a turnaround face. And so that’s who we tend typically work for. Most of the personas I sell to are either the CEO or the CRO, the head of sales, occasionally at work with CMOS, and occasionally I’ve worked with revenue operations, but it’s always at the sea level.
Will Bachman 03:04
Alright, great. So I’ll give listeners just a quick kind of table of contents here of this of this blog post. So it’s split organized into tools that are relevant for the following questions. Number one, who to target number two, how to target number three, how to implement your low cost marketing technology stack. So let’s go through each one of those sections. So let’s start with section one, who to target. So Yan has done me over about that question. And some of the tools that people can use to figure out who, what companies to target.
Johannes Hoech 03:44
The reason we start there is the a lot of companies basically have different sales models. And they by and large, driven either by what they sell, for example, a professional services firm would be very different from a software firm. But secondly, more importantly, what is the size of the price point? You know, if you sell $500,000 software, it’s fundamentally a different sales proposition and a different target demographic you need to reach then say, if you sell a 5000 or $500, services offering, you know, fractional disel that and what a lot of companies are struggling with is sort of how do you align your target personas, your go to market approach and then subsequently attempts tech stack? With who exactly you’re targeting? And so we tend to go through an initial process called precision segmentation where you really hone in on you know, who’s buying from you? And then secondly, going into the value proposition and why and that typically drives the go to market architecture. Do you use LinkedIn on one end? Do you use direct enterprise outbound selling on the other end? You know, there’s a variety of approaches you could use and having the initial questions nailed down You know, who’s your target demographic and why buy from you then subsequently drives the go to market model and with that drives the tech stack. And so that’s one of the things that we’re trying to get straight in that first part of the blog to make sure that people are sort of dialed in to what their strategic reality is. With that said, a lot of services firms and a lot of small b2b startups, by and large, have very similar go to market approaches. And quite often, using LinkedIn as one of the arrows in their go to market quiver is a common choice, partly because it allows you to do a very precise targeting. And so we then build a tech stack around that kind of technological base, because that’s a pretty common request for a variety of these scenarios.
Will Bachman 05:54
Now, you recommend a tool called pattern AI dot CEO, tell us about that tool.
Johannes Hoech 06:02
A fair amount of understanding of who your ideal customer is, you know, what’s your ICP, or what we call the precision segmentation? is, if you think of it from a sort of McKinsey point of view, what are the raw data sources that I can pull together, that gives me a sense of who I’m selling to. Some of it, of course, is, you know, experts, stakeholder interviews, like the founder or the CTO or whoever. A lot of it is also customer interviews or prospect interviews to see who resonates. But a third piece is digging into whatever CRM data they might have available. And quite often, once you’ve done an initial data cleanup, and really make sure that the the data they have in a CRM tool has been fully instrumented, so you can track it by, you know, vertical by company size by title, you know, whatever attribute you want to start regressing against a tool like pattern AI is sort of an a machine learning based regression tool that allows you to pick up those patterns and they specialize in reading patterns and reading regression results in CRM data, that’s one of their concrete offerings.
Will Bachman 07:16
So what would you do with a pattern like pattern ai.co? You, you take your exists, you’d have to have existing sales data. So past history, and you would feed into it the LinkedIn profiles or something of all the of all the clients you’ve served in the past, and then it would identify some patterns among among your past clients that help you identify future clients, is it something like that?
Johannes Hoech 07:42
Yeah, that’s close. There’s basically two use cases, imagine you launch a completely new company, like this crypto outfit, you know, there’s a collective three months of data, there is no prior data. So there, you have to use a fundamentally different approach, and somebody like pattern AI wouldn’t help you. However, if you are in a company, let’s say a turnaround, where you’re not hitting the numbers that you want to hit, but you have a fair amount of data. And this is a big end, the data has been upgraded to a good quality standard. Most CRM tools, the data that’s in there is junk. So it’s really not usable for analysis. But let’s assume that the data has been upgraded. Then you can start start running regressions where you can see and you regress against either size of Deal or conversion rates or closure rates. Depends what your outcome metric is. But you can now regress against sales rep names, territories, products, verticals, company sizes, titles, you know who under I’m making this up, but Undertaker’s in northern Michigan might be a resonant vertical, because, you know, they have high conversion rates to have high sales velocity and to have high average sales prices. Whereas dive instructors in southern Florida don’t. And unless you do that kind of an analysis, you won’t see those kinds of patterns.
Will Bachman 09:02
Alright, so then the next section is how to target and you talk about a tool called Gold cast dot i Oh, tell us about that tool?
Johannes Hoech 09:15
Yeah. Yeah, that gets let’s say, we figured out who our target demographic is and what the value prop is. Now I know okay, I want to sell to Undertaker’s in northern Michigan and dive instructors in southern Florida and how do I reach these folks? And one of the post significant post COVID changes that’s been happening is really, traditional enterprise sales methods are dying on the bind. You can’t travel there anymore. Events are canceled or now maybe this year depends on Omicron. They you know, they might start up again, or this coming year that is so you really have to figure out how to squeeze as much out of the online and virtual selling lemon as you can. And gold cash As a really cool product. I like it a lot, actually a couple of Harvard MBAs that dropped out to start this company. So interesting stories. And they realize that if you basically feed, LinkedIn data and some other demographic data into a conference call, tool, virtual, like, let’s say your zoom, but as you’re in your zoom call, you also have all the LinkedIn data that you need, and all the other demographic data that you need present. So let’s say you have 20, or 30, individuals on a call and you’re trying to find out who is relevant. It, they will give you a quick read on who’s on the call, and whether or not they’re matched to your criteria based on their LinkedIn profile. And then they also allow you to break away and enter a little chat room with them and you know, have a separate conversation. And so let’s say you and I are on the call together, and you’re one of 29, and I want to actually reach you, this tool will tell me that out of the 30 people on the call, you’re the guy that’s relevant. And then it also gives me the capability to privately communicate with you and address you. And that’s really a really interesting idea. Because that is something that you couldn’t do in a live sales call yet, in a virtual environment where you have that technology ready to go, you really have a capability that you otherwise wouldn’t have. And so I feel this is a very good example for the kind of innovation that has been happening in the marketplace since COVID, where people are reinventing the old ways of doing it, and the resulting outcome is actually better than what you had before.
Will Bachman 11:42
Yeah. Now, let me see if I understand this gold cast.io tool. This is something that would be a plugin that I could use if I’m on a zoom or a team’s call, or would this be something where everybody would actually have to be on the video conference through the gold cast? app? Yeah,
Johannes Hoech 12:04
it’s it’s it’s a it’s their own platform. So it’s like GoToMeeting or zoom. So you would basically conduct the call on their platform. Gotcha. And then by using their platform, you do have access to all this other data.
Will Bachman 12:17
Okay, cool. Let’s go on to the some of the other ones that you mentioned. So in terms of, you know, connecting with people, you talked about a tool called ducks soup, that d u x hyphen soup, what’s what’s that
Johannes Hoech 12:32
got to, there’s a few more competitors coming out. Now, I think one is called out for duck soup is probably the veteran in the space. As we said earlier, you know, increasingly b2b selling is, at least in part, relying on using LinkedIn as a tool. And LinkedIn has several capabilities. Obviously, it’s a big advertising platform. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. It’s really the ability to a target and identify people because you can do very precise filtering. You know, I can pick titles, I have Boolean searches I can do and so forth. And then I reach out to them. But rather than reaching out to people one by one, it’d be interesting to do it in bulk, so that you can say, Okay, give me every VP of sales in a company with 20 to 100 employees and such in such a vertical section. So geography, it’ll come up with, you know, the 98 names in that particular segment search. And then you can use ducts suit to reach out to them in bulk. And technically what duck soup is, is it’s a Chrome extension. So it sits on top of your browser. And it’s essentially a robot that pretends to be you. And so LinkedIn, as far as LinkedIn is concerned, you’re locked into your profile. You’re reaching out to these people, but really under the hood, Duck Soup does it for you automatically, it’s kind of a robot, and they have some randomization features. So they, for example, don’t just send out a call every 22 seconds, they randomize the contact schedule, and you know, the mimic basically human behavior. But at the end of the day, instead of you having to sit here and spend two or three hours inviting people one by one, you turn it on in the morning, and you let it run in the background. And three hour later, three hours later, you have you know, 100 more invitations that went out.
Will Bachman 14:30
That’s interesting. So I imagine that there’s a bit of an arms race between LinkedIn and and tools like this, because I think LinkedIn doesn’t really appreciate having those automated bot things spamming people. So what’s the what’s the risk that your account gets, you know, gets punished by LinkedIn if you use a tool like that?
Johannes Hoech 14:54
Well, actually, a good way to not get punished is to use a tool like that and it’s it’s a little bit like some other You know, technologies that we have available in our lives. It’s not necessarily that technology, per se is bad, it’s more how you use it. And this is where we work a fair amount with our customers to make sure that you know, first of all, don’t send out a spammy message, you know, hi, well, I’m a great consultant, and I want to talk to you, that would not be the good way to get ahold of you. However, if you put out a content campaign where you might say, you know, I have some an interesting blog, let’s say my case, I have this blog on this low cost tech stack, and gee, you’re trying to build a consultancy, wouldn’t you be interested, and people are open to receiving that kind of a message, people are not necessarily open to obviously being sold to. So I think it’s less around the tool, it’s more how you do it. Secondly, LinkedIn has imposed some maximum limits. So you can really only invade 100 people per week. So this is not necessarily a tool that sort of gets you in front of 1000s of people. But what we typically use it for is we use it to build out our first connect network. And then, once you have connected with people on the first connection basis, you can nurture them with kind of a high content, nurture, where you send them, you know, messages that are relevant to them. So again, it’s all about how you do it. It’s not what kind of tool you use, that drives the effectiveness. And so I think as long as you observe those kinds of rules, you stay below the limits, you’re not really spamming people, you’re providing valuable content. So it’s really more informational than selling. LinkedIn usually is okay with that.
Will Bachman 16:44
Okay. And you mentioned another tool sales handy. Tell us about that
Johannes Hoech 16:50
one. Those are just, there’s a plethora of tools out there. Since since I wrote the blog, there’s actually a new tool out that I prefer now. It’s called Apollo. But sales handy is essentially kind of a higher functionality alternative to MailChimp. It’s an automated email outreach. If you think about your go to market, typically, there’s really sort of four touch points. One is the LinkedIn outreach that we just talked about, I’m sending out invites. And then if somebody connects, I might put them on. First connect monthly nurture with some high content material while you do the same on email, except the problem now with email is it’s getting less and less effective. And really, they’re the dictum of, you know, don’t sell to them provide them useful content is even more pronounced than with LinkedIn. And sounds handy allows you and some other more sophisticated tools allows you to put together these cadences so that you don’t have to send every email by hand, but you can say stage up whatever series or three or five emails, and it then executes it in the background and sends it to your target demographic with irrelevant content.
Will Bachman 18:07
All right, great. And then you get into the section of how to implement your low cost martech stack so and you start with talking about a couple CRM tools, pipe drive, which I’ve used a long time and learned about from David A fields. And we did by the way, an episode if you’re just in this topic episode, I think one seven D or 172 is David giving me his thoughts on how to set up pipe drive. So you mentioned pipe drive, and you mentioned D dupe Lee, talk about deeply?
Johannes Hoech 18:46
Well, pipe drive is sort of a low cost alternative to Salesforce. And there’s several players in that space. There’s Zoho and Sugar CRM. And even HubSpot now has a low functionality, CRM capabilities so that you have sort of a one stop solution. And pipe drive for smaller startups, like myself is the perfect solution. It’s a low cost footprint. It has abbreviated functionalities with easy to use, but it has a good ecosystem of apps that it integrates with. And so it’s just a great tool. And by the way, it also has its own email functionality, sort of a Swiss army knife that has the basics of everything you need. And however, one issue you end up having is let’s say you’re using several address database tools CrunchBase or Apollo or LinkedIn, as we talked about earlier, and you’re also may have some inbound traffic on your website and people register. And the CRM system now sucks this all in and now I suddenly have four instances of Bachman in my database, but it’s really all the same person except there’s four records because they can went through three or four different channels. So I need to constantly clean up my database, or I only have one record. And so having a tool that does the duplication at scale is a key ingredient. So do plays one of those.
Will Bachman 20:15
Okay, cool. And then you talk about, you mentioned CrunchBase. And I thought from time to time about CrunchBase. How, you know, how people use CrunchBase? And and also how much how much does it cost I, I seem to have checked it a while ago, and I remembered it was, it was not, it was not cheap.
Johannes Hoech 20:37
CrunchBase is kind of a Nishi database. It’s mostly aimed at the startup scene, they keep track of funding events and funding data. So you, if you think about LinkedIn, LinkedIn gives you a lot of the thermographic and demographic data, so you know what vertical you’re in a company size and where you’re located and what your title is. I don’t not necessarily know a lot about your company. And in particular, the financials, funding stages, investors, those kinds of things. That’s something that CrunchBase tracks. But as I mentioned a couple of times, now, since the writing of the blog, I’ve also gotten alerted to a tool called Apollo Apollo io apollo.io, I think it is. And that is essentially think of it as MailChimp, plus LinkedIn plus CrunchBase, all in one. So I can basically search for target companies, I can search by vertical by funding stage by financing by revenue, or there’s a variety of dimensions, I can search for individuals, and they have almost an identical search functionality to LinkedIn. And then I can actually from within the app, send them emails, email cadence is similar to what we talked about about sales handy earlier. So the tech stack. And this is evidence of the rapid innovation that’s been going on for the last 18 months since COVID. has kind of advanced a little bit since writing of the blog. But that’s basically what these tools do, so that you have a full data set for your targeting. Again, we’ll get back to the very beginning of our conversation, precision segmentation, I need to know who exactly who I’m going after, and what’s my ICP, those are all the kinds of tools that help you collect the attributes out there so that you can put that picture together.
Will Bachman 22:36
Tell me about link match. That’s another tool that you mentioned.
Johannes Hoech 22:40
Yeah, Link match is basically similar to ducks soup. Except it does it one by one link match has various integrations with various CRM tools and LinkedIn. And so let’s say you’re on LinkedIn, you’re browsing around, and you’re looking for people and you find a particular person that comes up that you find interesting. And you’d like to have them in your CRM tool, and link match. If you have it activated. It’s another Chrome extension. If you have it activated, it gives you a little button that says import into Pipedrive, or import into HubSpot, whatever your your CRM tools, you hit that button, it automatically brings it in. So it’s just a import functionality that allows you to one by one import LinkedIn contacts into your CRM tool, similar to what Duck Soup does at scale. They do it on a one by one basis.
Will Bachman 23:36
They mentioned another tool, Crystal knows. And that’s C RYSTALK. In ows. You’re right. It’s an AI tool that you can use to scan a person’s LinkedIn profile, and assess their personality type to help give suggestions on what kind of messages. So I’m curious to go scan my own profile right now and see what kind of person
Johannes Hoech 24:02
you should it’s usually actually pretty spot on. That’s what everybody does. The minute they implement this out. First thing they do is they check themselves and they’re like, oh, and then they check out five friends and they go, Wow, this is pretty close. It’s actually one of my favorite tools. I love it. If you think about this whole process that we went through, you know, we’re trying to target who do we sell to. And that’s the whole CrunchBase, LinkedIn, Apollo, you know, all the segmentation and so forth. And now I have my ICP I know who to who to go after. The next story is really what I talked to them about. And part of that is the value prop, that part of it is also having some sense of, you know who they are online. And the tool that’s mentioned in the blog is a tool called Share tivity, which basically gives you a real time a picture of their online presence, or what’s the blogging, what’s the Twitter activity, what’s their Facebook, what have you. So essentially telling You want to talk about? And then the third piece is, of course, how do you approach them. And this is where crystal nose comes in, it gives you not only this online personality assessment, and basically what they do is they map you, the requester, and then into a DISC profile, and then you kind of get a little bit of distance this disc wheel, and you can see where you are and where they are. But then the part that’s more interesting is it actually makes recommendations on how to approach them. What are, you know, email subject lines or email topics or verbal requests? And what’s the style with which to approach people so think of it as then it’s a tool that tells you how to talk to them, you know, somebody who’s introverted and shy, it’s a very different approach than if somebody is, you know, type A personality totally extroverted. And they’ll give you a sense of what’s the appropriate communication style. And at first, I was dubious. But then like I said, I sort of used it I’ve now implemented with several customers, sales guys love it, because it gives them a sense of how to approach people and it gives them ideas for kind of, you know, sentences to start a conversation with and so forth. And it’s really practical for that.
Will Bachman 26:15
Now, this next one sounds like a super useful tool, share tivity. You right, it tell me tell me about that one.
Johannes Hoech 26:26
Yeah, that’s the one that I just mentioned, it kind of goes hand in hand with crystal nose, in that share activity gives you a near real time picture of someone’s online presence online posture. So if I, let’s say, bring up and you do it from within LinkedIn, so I open up LinkedIn. Sorry, my camera is in the background here. If you open up LinkedIn, and I’ll bring up your profile, I can, and these are all again, extensions. I can then click on Share tivity. And it will bring up everything it can find within the next five or 10 seconds that you might have published out on the internet, so I can very quickly see what’s your public posture. So I might say, you know, rah, you know, so crystal nose essentially tells me how to approach you and then sure activity tells me an initial topic. Oh, gee, I really liked your Twitter post last Tuesday, it was great. And the guy goes well, how do you know that? Well, really? Sure activity told me.
Will Bachman 27:26
So beyond just what the person’s on the LinkedIn profile, you can see if they’ve been on a podcast written a blog post or been quoted somewhere that That sounds powerful.
Johannes Hoech 27:39
Welcome to the vlog, it’s actually kind of funny because the I did it myself, obviously, and check myself out. And I was informed that I was in jail and in Tokyo, which actually wasn’t the case. So I don’t think it’s 100% Correct. But
Will Bachman 27:56
okay, so we, let’s say we already talked about some of these next ones here. Let’s go down to get down to Hootsuite.
Johannes Hoech 28:06
Hootsuite, yeah. So now, let’s say you know, we’ve targeted people, we know who we want to go after we know what they say online, we know what their personality is, we have a sense of the value prop, we can approach them. Now I want to reach them. And I want to sort of publish myself so that I have myself a public posture. Hootsuite is essentially a social media listening and publishing tool. So if you, for example, I publish every day something. Sometimes it’s my own content, sometimes it’s things that I like and I’ve cast on, I tried to pass on sort of high quality materials. And HootSuite is basically a publishing platform where I can stage my Facebook posts, my Twitter posts, my LinkedIn posts, and I usually do it two weeks ahead. So I basically every two weeks on a Saturday morning, I pulled together my social media content, stage it up in HootSuite, and it blows it out every day at 8:15am. And that’s one thing it does. And then the second thing it does, I can actually subscribe to certain channels. So if I’m interested in a particular Twitter profile and LinkedIn feed or whatever, it puts it together in a dashboard. And so me rather than me having to chase around these various social media platforms, I can see everything in one on one pane of glass.
Will Bachman 29:29
Now, you mentioned paper dot loi that you write it helps you curate already published content into newsletters which you can send your customers tell us about how that works.
Johannes Hoech 29:43
Yeah, I have a variety of news feeds Feedly Paper li those are, you know, some of these came out of the old RSS feed technology and they since then spun out independent Apps. Google how used to have a functionality I forgot what it’s called another one was called Feedburner. There was a whole bunch of these. And it’s just one that I use. Because back to what we said in the beginning, when you had your question around, you know, LinkedIn, do the, you know, what are the do’s and don’ts. A key thing that we always preach around doing marketing in this sort of for selling in this digital age, don’t sell the people, most people are allergic to that, you know, provide them useful content, however, that requires that you have your kind of fingers out there, and you know, what’s being talked about, and what’s out there in the various venues, you know, medium, for example, is a good one. Along the same lines, and so this is just one of the news feeds. For given topics. I track various topics, and I have them feed me what what is getting published and fits those topics.
Will Bachman 30:54
Fantastic. So there is more listed on the blog post that Johan has put out there, you’re honest. We will include a link to your blog post in the show notes for this. So listeners that want to get more details. And all the links will also include the links to the apps and the tools that we mentioned on this episode. And Johan, is if people want to find out more about your practice, where would you want to point them?
Johannes Hoech 31:20
To our website, you know, dub dub dub, primo neo.com pre Munoz like premonition, PR, e o, n i o calm? And, you know, we have a fair amount of content around growth architecting, which is this structured approach to revenue growth planning, if people are interested in that. We have a lot of scientific forecasting, making sure that you hit your numbers. We have a lot about various demand generation and lead gen techniques, kind of the practical how to like the blog that we talked about today. And, in general, just hopefully useful content that people find interesting.
Will Bachman 32:01
Fantastic. Yanis, thank you so much for being on the show today.
Johannes Hoech 32:05
Thank you. Thanks for having me. This was very interesting.