Dan Englander is CEO of Sales Schema, a specialist firm that helps agencies and SAAS firms find new business opportunities. He’s also an author of a new book entitled “Relationship Sales at Scale: How to Find Your Virtual Tribe and Reliably Grow Your Professional Service Business.”
I wanted to catch up with Dan to talk about contemporary challenges of business development, especially when it comes to selling a complex service. As anyone who’s done business development for an agency or marketing service provider knows, the actual decision-makers are often hard to reach. Worse, important procurement decisions are increasingly made not by individuals, but by committees whose composition may be unknown (and may often be unknowable).
Dan has some great tips for agency, service provider, and SAAS sales teams that want to break through the noise and the gatekeepers protecting corporate decision-makers. One tip is that the outbound sales team does enough research to find meaningful, relevant commonalities with the prospect. These commonalities might be personal, geographic, or associational. While there’s no guarantee that such a personalized outreach will resonate with every individual, or that this individual will be the one who can greenlight a business arrangement, there’s no question that relevant, personalized outreach has a far better chance of breaking through and having impact.
Dan also wants to warn sales teams not to get ensnared in “the golden title paradigm” wherein outreach efforts are limited to a small group of individuals with ostensible procurement power. Instead, the targets should be “senior enough” — that way, the chance of finding an authentic shared commonality greatly increases.
Dan and I discuss his preferred outreach channel (email), best practices for using this channel, and delve into differences between how agencies and SAAS firms organize their sales and marketing teams. Lastly, I wanted to get Dan’s advice for agencies should it be the case the 2023 is a year marked by recession.
If you’re doing any kinds of B2B sales outreach, this interview will have value for you.