With new artificial intelligence technologies bleeding into the business world, they have moved to the forefront of many conversations.
Nevertheless, not all conversations are positive.
There are fears of AI wiping out the workforce. But, if you look at it from a different angle, it may be an opportunity to use its power to your advantage.
On this episode of Evolved Sales LIVE, host Jonathan Fischer sits down with Matt Green, a sales leader in multiple markets across the U.S. to discuss how to regain an edge with in-person sales in an AI world.
Don't forget to follow us on LinkedIn for more engaging sales insights and discussions! Happy watching!
Matt Green has led sales and operations for multiple hyper-growth, venture-backed tech companies. In these roles, he oversaw personnel management, strategic planning, and sales leadership in multiple markets across the U.S.
Matt now helps run the first and only Scale-as-a-Service platform for the country’s most exciting B2B tech companies.
Check out the transcription of this webinar episode below!
Jonathan Fischer 0:04
Welcome back. Thanks for joining us. I'm Jonathan Fisher. With so many developments in technology, we've been having an ongoing conversation here on the Evolve sales leader about what it all means, how the technologies such as AI affect business development and sales, and one of the most successful ways we can leverage these trends. Well, our guest today, Matt Green knows a lot about growing b2b startups with a deep background in venture capital, both as investor and as advisor. Matt's taken the role of interim CRO for multiple portfolio companies over the years. And he's got a unique insight into what it takes to grow this and structure the sales and operations for hypergrowth. Today, Matt is also helping to run sales assembly, a platform for scaling b2b tech companies. And from all that insight Matt's going to share with us today how to leverage selling in person to gain an edge in this post COVID Artificial Intelligence driven world. Matt, great to have you on the show today. Welcome.
Matt Green 1:04
Thank you for having me. I'm excited for this.
Jonathan Fischer 1:06
I am too it's a it's a hot topic. And it's one we haven't even be begun to grapple with so many changes in such a short period of time, we're excited about that. Before we jump in, maybe you could share with us how you came by the insights you're going to share with the listener.
Matt Green 1:20
Sure. So as a CRO of sales assembly, a little bit of context, there were a skill development platform. For as of right now, a couple of 100 b2b software, technology companies. So we provide all of the day to day skill development and training that their sales and post sales teams need. And in doing this, we as you can imagine working with hundreds of b2b technology companies, 1000s of individuals, within those b2b technology companies, we tend to have a pretty good bird's eye view of what's working, what's not working across this large sample size of tech companies right now. And they have some pretty good insight into some of the challenges that they're facing and how they're working through those challenges day to day.
Jonathan Fischer 2:05
Yeah, I can imagine that's a really unique experience. And it sounds like it'd be a lot of fun, you get a lot a wide variety of different formats. For there's some commonalities here. Well, we're talking about grappling with AI and other technologies and gaining a human edge. As you're out there interacting with all these companies, were they missing the mark, where there's some like maybe irrational fears, or were they missing opportunities to benefit from these technologies?
Matt Green 2:33
Yeah, I think the where some companies are missing the mark, so to speak, is they are thinking about AI and how to leverage AI. So relatively binary fashion, right? It's like, either is or is not as either is going to replace outbound sales teams, or it is not. Whereas you know, just like a lot of other things in life, at least from my perspective, you know, the reality, the end result is going to be one of those shades of gray in the middle. So I do think that number one, a lot of leaders and a lot of teams are getting a little bit too nervous around the impact that AI is going to have on the future of sales organizations, but also on the other end of the spectrum. sales leaders especially aren't investing enough or aren't mindful enough about okay, the return to in person meetings now that the pandemic is behind us making sure that their sales teams are equipped with the skills, the competencies and the confidence that they need, in order to interact in person with buyers and potential buyers. Well, and
Jonathan Fischer 3:38
you do hear this question, you know, is AI going to replace salespeople? I can anticipate what your answer might be. But what are your thoughts on that? That's probably not a binary thing either. Is it?
Matt Green 3:49
Yeah, I certainly hope not. Yeah, I don't believe that AI is going to replace salespeople, although you have a lot of people that are much smarter than myself. And that's a very low bar to be clear, that the disagree with me, but my my viewpoint on this is like a lot of other impacts that AI has had on our day to day lives, it's going to be an augmentation of some of the things that we already do. So hopefully, we're gonna be able to harness that power and make our jobs as salespeople and sales leaders more efficient, right, more efficient outreach, more efficient coaching methods, more efficient scaling, whatever the case may be, and less about, okay, we're going to completely replace this or that component of the sales organization in a fully automated fashion.
Jonathan Fischer 4:37
Yeah, I think that makes it makes a world of sense. Brief production break, man, I'm getting a note from my co producer here that there is a little bit of a scratching sound on your audio. Would you be able to click on the settings and possibly look at how to sweeten that up? It could be that there's a noise suppression that either is on or is not on? So whatever it is, let's do the opposite. And see that maybe fix it
Matt Green 5:00
Great Call, I just turned off the noise and the echo suppression. So hopefully that sounds a little bit better.
Jonathan Fischer 5:05
Okay, it will be letting me know. Well, while we're on a little production, break a reminder to our live audience, take full advantage and start posting your questions. Now we are going to have asked me anything time with Matt, after our main conversation, post them here now. And we'll circle back at the end of our show. Okay, the words in that fixed it. Great. Yes. So. So what I'm hearing, Matt, is we kind of need a balanced approach, we kind of need to not get overly emotional, which is always a great rule in business anyhow, right? And take a look and see how can we have sort of a right hand and left hand approach? Yes, this does pose the opportunity for change. Some of that may actually even be a bit of a threat to the way we've been doing business. What would you say are some ways that new technologies would in fact, say this has to change in specifically marketing and sales force?
Matt Green 6:03
Yeah, well, first of all, I think one thing that you mentioned, that is important to hone in on just this concept of change, you know, we as humans, we tend to be pretty resistant to change. But when you think back all throughout time, you know, the price of progress does involve a payment change, right most of the time. So hopefully, once we get through this transitionary period that we are right now, especially with the recent onset, you know, AI becoming a really big deal, especially with the launch of chat, GPT. You know, we're gonna be able to look back and see how much more efficient we've been able to to become as at least the sales organizations. But I think, you know, really to answer your question In short, you know, number one, I think that leaders need to realize that they haven't already that, you know, with the rise of AI, power tools, anything that is chat, GBT related, the space has become extremely noisy, right. And what I mean by that is that essentially, any type of sales organization before that maybe didn't have headcount, they didn't have a dedicated SDR team. Now they do, right, or at least the equivalent of thereof, because it's extremely easy for any individual, just one individual to leverage a platform like chat GPT put together a whole lot of, you know, maybe halfway decent outreach messaging, and start blasting that outreach messaging to hundreds, if not 1000s. of prospects. Right. So I think the biggest struggle for leaders right now is being able to find ways to separate themselves, to cut through the noise, so to speak, if we know that our prospective buyers are getting hit up every which way from Sunday, right, especially now, because the ability to leverage AI has made sales teams so much more efficient. How do we make sure that we're balancing that efficiency with effectiveness? Right, so how do we make sure that we're really drilling in on messaging that is not completely automated, but as much more personalized, right, and cuts through the pack? But how do we make sure that we're doing that in a scalable manner? And again, how do we make sure that we're finding a way to transition ourselves as salespeople we're getting used to doing in person meetings again, which in a world where any company is easily able to send hundreds, if not 1000s of outbound emails a day, having that face to face connection with your potential buyer is going to be one of the biggest differentiators that you can make.
Jonathan Fischer 8:26
So it sounds like in b2b selling, the role of SDR is alive and well, but perhaps that has evolved. I guess, a two part question A is that fair? And B? What are some of the specific ways that the rule has evolved? Maybe a three part question, and are a lot of businesses still behind on that evolution?
Matt Green 8:43
Yeah, I do think that that is fair to say, ways that it has evolved is if you look at the SDR role, when least as of call it 12 to 24 months ago, you know, this, some version of the spray and pray type of approach tended to yield relatively positive results, right. And I think that was due to two primary factors, number one, because there weren't nearly as many sales organizations doing it. And number two, the economic environment was much more favorable pretty much all across the board. But the past couple quarters, as we all have seen, especially in the tech sector, there has been a dramatic shift in how buyers are spending money or I should say not spending money, in many cases right now. So when you pile on shows the whole chat GPT phenomenon and sales organizations becoming so much more efficient when you pile that on top of the economic ship. It's led to this sort of dead zone, right where leaders are looking at their SDR teams are looking at the results falling through the floor, at least compared to 12 to 24 months ago. They're saying like, Oh my God, how do we fix this? Right? So that transitions into the third point of your questions like okay, well, what can SDR teams what can sales teams do? Now, to make sure that they are cutting through that noise. What we've seen a lot of really successful organizations do is again, pull back from quantity of outreach and really focus on quantity or on quality. Right, really focus on hyper personalization, spending much more time and doing research and focusing less on, again shows blasting as many potential buyers as possible hope hoping that 1% or less than 1% will actually respond and agree to a meeting. And being much more intentional in your approach, combining email outreach, social selling phone calls, and again driving them to in person interaction with other folks on their sales teams.
Jonathan Fischer 10:42
You mean, you can't just just get a dialer and a big old long list and call and get good results anymore?
Matt Green 10:48
Unfortunately, that Well, I'm sure some people could. But again, it's probably going to be a very, very, very small minority right now.
Jonathan Fischer 10:55
Yeah, it seems like the numbers mitigate against that as as your only approach. So talk to us a little bit then about the best ways to organize a true land air sea effort, like you're talking about I for for a lot of operators that have been in business for a minute, this can be a transition for them as well, like, if you're a manager, how do you structure your team in this new era, where they've got to be on multiple platforms realistically, to get decent numbers of return at all, they got to be on LinkedIn, they've got to be able to do some sort, usually some sort of posting and activity on that platform, not just messaging, and they've got to be really great on the phone do are there? Are there multiple ways you can structure your team to succeed? What are your recommendations?
Matt Green 11:38
There are multiple ways you know, what we do see a lot of organizations do is trying to transition their sellers. Now their account executives to what they traditionally were, which was just closers. Right, you know, BDR, an SDR would tee up a meeting and the AE would take it from there. You know, what the AES are being coached to do now is be what, you know, what is called a full cycle account executive. For the most part, I mean, you know, it's a little bit different maybe if you're selling directly into into the enterprise, but we do see a lot of organizations really focusing on like, okay, how can we start training our AES to become better prospectors, and that is where this land, sea and error approaches you mentioned before. That's where that comes into play. It's giving them the tools that they need to become more effective social sellers, right. As you mentioned, posting on LinkedIn, even if they're direct buyers aren't necessarily on LinkedIn, there's a whole lot of data that shows that just by posting on a business focused platform, like LinkedIn, does yield results, because even if you're not direct buyers on there, someone else from your buyers company will be. And he or she might take the thought leadership and best practices the value that you're adding on that platform, and share it internally within their organization, which at that point, does reach the buyer, right, and has, you know, an impact there. That and again, you know, as mentioned before, giving the AES the skills and the training that they need to do something that they've never done before, especially if they're only in their careers, maybe 357 years, is again, finding opportunities to meet their prospects in person, be it through trade shows, industry events, or at least surrounding those types of opportunities. Again, making sure that the account executives do have the confidence and the competency to to meet people in person, which I know this might sound weird to us. But if you started your sales career, in 2018 2019, as a BDR and SDR you got promoted and doing the county executive, let's say in 2020. For the past three years of your sales career, you've just been operating on Zoom like this in 30 minutes, Zoom increments. So the you know, the skills the soft skills that come along with being able to host the dinner host a Happy Hour Meet a roomful of prospective clients in person. A lot of sellers haven't had that direct experience before. So it was weird as this might hear, or might sound. So old fogies like like you and I have done that kind of stuff in the past. It's really nerve wracking for a lot of salespeople to try to make this transition, because again, that's a muscle memory that they haven't even built.
Jonathan Fischer 14:19
And I really resonate with what you're saying, I deal with a lot of younger people in business, and they're smart, and they're talented and willing. But there is a skill deficit. And for those of us who are adept at these social interactions, you don't think of those as skills. But they are. And the good news is, that's something that can be trained. That sounds like an awkward thing to try to train on in business. So what do you recommend on that front?
Matt Green 14:47
Yeah, well, it sounds like again, you know, you mentioned before that it sounds like something that might not be part of the muscle memory. But you know, one of the things that we did here at sales and sound Way back in November of 2021. So just as COVID was subsiding and vaccines began rolling out, we started hosting in person dinners in different cities across the country, for VPs of sales and Chief Revenue officers of companies that we work with. And these are extremely gregarious, extremely experienced, you know, senior level sales executives, but they haven't had the opportunity to meet in person for the previous year and a half. So it was even awkward for that, right, seeing them try to work a room, you know, they would walk into a room full of their peers. And under normal circumstances, you think that they would just go to town, but outside of you know, talking about the weather and saying like, Okay, well, what brand of vaccine did you get? They kind of ran out of things, you know, to talk about after that. So it does happen to even folks like, like you and I. But to answer your question directly, what would I recommend companies start investing in on behalf of their team competencies, like storytelling is a big one. Another competency is improv. Right now, we see a lot of companies that are focusing more on improv training, just being able to react to different situations on the spot. And you know, also taking the step to actually break down sort of the logistical components that come in to meeting a, you know, prospective client in person is weird as this may sound, you know, I heard a story recently where a leader had to coach their account executive because she was on the ground in San Francisco, I believe that was to go meet a prospective client at their office. And she, you know, was at the hotel, she pulled up the Uber, the meeting was at 10 o'clock in the morning, I believe. She's like, great, you know, the Uber will get me to their office at 955. Right, and the leader had the coach was like, No, that's way too late. Right, you know, what is traffic going to be? Like? What is security going to be like, at the building? You know, do you need to check in is there going to be alive? So again, as weird as that might sound to people like you and I, for some of these younger sales professionals that have never had this sell in person environment before? They just don't know what they don't know. So it's a big focus on training on those types of logistical competencies as well.
Jonathan Fischer 17:18
So do you recommend just just some recommend little malfunction in my mouth?
Matt Green 17:24
It balances out of the audio malfunction that I had before. So
Jonathan Fischer 17:27
there you go. Even Steven Yeah, like it? Well record mine. That could be like a different variation on that. But do you recommend sort of some old school like almost right along then, is that a good methodology as well? No, take take something out of your way, mentor them in the real world by doing this? Is that kind of back deck on the table? In light of all this?
Matt Green 17:46
It is, it's a great call out? That's what we see a lot of organizations doing is the leaders actually going out with their teams leading by doing being true leaders, in a sense. So yes, that is a big focal point right now is doing those types of ride alongs situations.
Jonathan Fischer 18:04
So in terms of leveraging the BDR is in light of these new advances. It's one thing to get them working in multiple formats now. So their role is not just film based, or returning emails, but it's more comprehensive than that. There's a wonderful global workforce that's waiting to help build companies that don't have necessarily the opportunity to fly from where they are to two places here in North America. Can that be kind of divvied up as well, like, maybe you have a three part structure, where you have some, you know, the classic, that's another classic structure, right? Where they're out there really, really digging digging things up, then you have someone who does some pre qual work. Those could maybe be the AES and just add a structure that you see operating out there. Do you recommend that?
Matt Green 18:48
Yeah, we see that a lot. And you know, a great example would be there's a company that lives, its values that lives its products, so to speak, that eats its own dog food, a company like Upwork, right. And their whole model, their platform is, you know, folks around freelancers and a distributed workforce, I know that they've had a lot of success with that type of approach, essentially outsourcing some of these repeatable tasks, right, you know, doing research, pre qualification, things of that nature. And then having a team of, you know, really well trained and competent salespeople that are there to sort of pick up the opportunity when and if it makes sense.
Jonathan Fischer 19:29
We're kind of doing this almost backwards in a way. We're talking about how to do in person selling, but maybe there are those out there who are convinced that we are in a virtual world to stay, maybe sell the listener on the whole notion that they ought to be looking at in person sales as a way to gain an edge in this era.
Matt Green 19:49
Yeah, the easiest way to sell it is it is right now, in my mind, one of the only things if not the only thing that you as a seller are going to be able to do differentiate yourself from the crowd. Again, regardless of the product that you sell, or who you sell it to chances are unless you're in a very niche industry, the space itself is extremely crowded, right? Your organization probably has multiple, if not, you know, dozens or hundreds of different competitors that are either selling a solution like yours, or a solution that at least looks like yours, or claims to do exactly what yours does. Right. And if your potential buyers, if you have dozens, if not hundreds of companies that all have now AI powered sales teams that are able to hit your prospective buyers up with, you know, messaging that again, at first glance, you know, reads relatively decently, which some of this AI generated messaging can do, what are you going to be able to do to separate yourself from the noise and impact an actual sale that's going to revolve around building a true human to human connection? And the best way to do that, in my mind is always going to be done in person.
Jonathan Fischer 21:00
I do like that. Now, when when Yorkshire actually are operating on that premise, are we finding that some of our prospects are themselves so habituated to being approached via technology that they're resistant to in person meetings? If so, how do you overcome that?
Matt Green 21:15
Yeah, that's, that's a great point. Not only are some of the potential buyers, habituated, as you put it before, but unlike pre COVID, right, it's not nearly as efficient as it used to be where, you know, if you're a salesperson, depending on the industry that you sold into, it's like, okay, well, there's, you know, maybe five or six different major metro markets, where I know that there's going to be a good consolidation of prospects that I'm going to be able to sell to San Francisco, New York, Dallas, Columbus, Ohio, whatever the case may be, you know, now your potential buyer, the signer, on a potential deal that comes from an organization like yours, he or she might live in, you know, Bismarck, or, you know, a suburb outside of Austin, Texas, you know, whatever the case may be. So it's not nearly as efficient to, from an economics perspective, to invest the time and the capital to fly to a city chose to host a single individual meeting. That's another thing that we see a lot of organizations doing right now, if they are investing that Capital One within the sales cycle, does it make sense to do so the very beginning stages, or maybe towards the end stages are perhaps somewhere in the middle? But to answer your question directly, unfortunately, don't really have a good answer to that some people, they're either just going to be in a mode where they're not going to accept an in person meeting, best thing that you can do there is again, try to find different trade shows or different industry events that are related to their industry where people from their firm might be participating people from their company might be participating, and try to build some tangential relationships there.
Jonathan Fischer 22:53
Would you think that maybe even in your outreach, you could mention that, hey, we're the guys that will come see you in person, and you'll maybe help pull that segment out of your target audience?
Matt Green 23:03
Yeah, that's, that's interesting. I think that that could definitely as long as you're willing to actually follow through on that, should the opportunity arise, I do think that that'd be a great value add. And as I mentioned, a few moments ago, headline, a big differentiator between you and other competitors in the space.
Jonathan Fischer 23:20
So what are some case studies you've seen? So you've worked with a lot of companies that really sounds like a really interesting angle on b2b selling that you had working with venture? Venture and portfolio based operations out there? What what are some case studies you've seen where folks have been able to make this transition? Obviously, it's still fairly early. But are you starting to see that this thing's got some legs is going personal thing is giving an edge to companies in the crowded space.
Matt Green 23:45
Yeah. You know, a case study very close to home, what would be us here at sales assembly, you know, we like to think that, that we've been doing well in this transition, not only driving people encouraging our prospects to meet in person but being able to have an impact when we actually do so. But there are a lot of other really great sales organizations that we work with companies like Clary, companies like outreach, or Gong would be another big one that not only have great brands online, and distribute a whole lot of really great and compelling thought leadership and knowledge and best practices online. But I've also done really well building in person events, be they big user conferences, where they attract a whole lot of their prospects and buyers, or smaller, intimate gatherings, you know, via dinners or other social events that they're able to leverage to get their buyers in the room as well.
Jonathan Fischer 24:39
I saw a recent post from and I think she was the CRO for a fairly prominent SAS company that if I said the name everyone would know it on LinkedIn, to the effect that I'm just gonna summarize as briefly as I can, hey, thanks for the efforts to try to schmooze me, but schmooze my people, because they're the ones that have to actually decide what They want to use or not. My budget is set they have some of them have some leeway. So thanks. But reach out to those folks like it was very nicely worded. She seems like a nice person. What would you say to that as that also shifted? Have we been maybe maybe are a lot of organizations are a lot flatter than they used to be, which is I think a good thing. Would how does that, you know, we don't even have the word schmoozes even the current word anymore. But the idea of spending time getting in person maybe even a little bit down, not always going straight for that C suite, but maybe looking for some of the folks that are going to be in middle rung. Does that, does that bear some fruit as well, in your experience?
Matt Green 25:38
It does. And it's also a law star it is, rather than going directly to the decision makers finding different ways to cultivate champions within the organization. And again, you know, the champions are going to be you know, as this, you know, unnamed CRO mentioned going to be the end user of your product or solution, it's going to be another great avenue to differentiate yourself, because what are you going to be able to do, you're going to be able to get a whole lot of advocacy internally. Right. So yeah, that's going to be a whole other separate conversation, a whole other podcast that that we can possibly have just around the concept of how to build champions, how to manage champions, and how to most effectively leverage them to get in touch with the ultimate decision maker while not ignoring your champion after you do so because we see a whole lot of sales professionals make the mistake of once they get to the decision maker, they say, okay, great, thanks, champion. But what have you done for me lately? That actually ends up impacting the sale in a very negative way?
Jonathan Fischer 26:36
Yeah, right on? Well, I definitely think that you've planted the seed for your next appearance here on the Evolve sales leader. It's been a great conversation already. Matt, I think I thank you for that. I have no doubt the listener would love to go further with you and your insights, how can they best do that?
Matt Green 26:53
Yeah, they could always feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Or you could always learn more about me and my organization, what we do sales assembly at sales. assembly.com.
Jonathan Fischer 27:04
Okay, very good. And I understand you also have your own podcast that you're, it's launched already, or it's soon to be launched. Tell me once again,
Matt Green 27:12
yeah, recently launched in our head of marketing will kill me if I didn't plug this. So thank you for the opportunity to to save my life here. Yeah, we recently launched our own podcast series, which is called revenue jam. It's actually going to be a series of a couple different podcasts where we speak with different b2b software sales leaders across the ecosystem in different formats every month.
Jonathan Fischer 27:33
Okay, well, awesome. Check it out revenue jam. Well, it's that opportunity that you've got live audience members to bring your questions to bear and get some live answers right here. Let's take a look and see what we've got from the group. Got a lot of folks, basically, so far, I'm seeing a lot of people agreeing that there, we've got to get that human edge back involved in it. People wonder if AI is actually sentient. So let's throw that out there as one of these questions. So Michael brings it up. He's got the opinion is not sentient like us. It's, it's a little bit ancillary, but obviously related, what are your thoughts on that? Yeah, I
Matt Green 28:11
mean, of course, you know, I'm not a data scientist, you I'm not going to be extremely qualified to speak on this. But I think, you know, as it exists right now, I think this, the analogy of the printing press, I think is extremely apt, right, you know, because, again, what is it doing at the end of the day, whether it is us being able to talk into our phone and get directions to wherever we're going for dinner, or put together a halfway decent outbound email. It's just about convenience and automation, right? It's just about making those day to day mundane tasks that we do much like the printing press, much more scalable. Right. So that is exactly how I see it right now. And it's probably what it's going to be like, for the foreseeable future.
Jonathan Fischer 28:54
So this is something that this this other gentleman, and I usually end game to give a swing, but I'm sorry, sir. Mr. August, okay. It looks like a cool name. So in person sales remains essential, even with the introduction of AI and that human touch and personal interaction invaluable. So I'm actually going to add my question to this comment. There are those who even proffer that yeah, I can be trained to be have an uncannily human like persona in messaging. Is that is there as much promising that as there is parallel, do you think, Matt, like, what are your thoughts on that front?
Matt Green 29:37
You know, I, I think that you know, it's an interesting question. I would agree that there I would agree with you, or at least, you know, the way that I read your response that that there is going to be a good amount of promise, you know, when you take a look at the balance of promise versus peril, much more promise than than potential downside. But again, it is important to realize that the special one We look at the value or when we evaluate the impact that AI has had on sales organizations. Sure, AI has been involved in some way, shape or form through platforms like outreach and lavender and things of that nature. But, you know, this big wave, especially with chat, GPT, relatively new, right? So we are still going through this transitionary period where seemed like, Okay, how is this all gonna settle out? In the end?
Jonathan Fischer 30:25
Yeah, there's, there's a lot that remains to be seen as part of this part of the thing is, none of us can know until we get there, right? We're kind of we're all in the rocket ship, and we're in flight. So we'll find out. How can so here's a great question from LaVey. So how can STRS best use AI? In outreach?
Matt Green 30:47
Yeah, I think that the best way to leverage AI and outreach is leveraging it to do research. Right. You know, let's take, for example, if you are selling into publicly traded companies, you know, one of the big misses that a lot of sales folks traditionally have, have made, or one of the big mistakes that I should say, is not taking advantage of all the publicly available information, right. You know, if you're a publicly traded company, I mean, you file quarterly reports, you have earnings calls, all that good stuff, and what is held within all this information that they're putting out to the public every quarter, it's not only just the financial results, but they talk a lot about the priorities and initiatives internally, right. So how I would encourage, you know, an SDR salesperson to leverage AI as it relates to, you know, outbound is being more efficient with your research, right, because you're able to go into a platform like chat GPT right now and say, you know, pull up the, you know, the most recent earnings call transcript for XYZ company that you're selling into and identify the top three priorities, take those priorities that chat GPT spits out and use that to personalize the email that you're about to send, make it much more relevant reference, the earnings call that was recently held over the previous couple of weeks and use that is your hook to hopefully get a response
Jonathan Fischer 32:11
like that. So here's a good comment from Lindy Hale. She says I'm really intrigued by your comment on improv training for sales teams. Can you dive a bit deeper into that?
Matt Green 32:21
Yeah, I think and this is not necessarily just a new thing. You know, improv training for sales teams, much like sales professionals joining an organization like Toastmasters to become much more effective public speakers. This is something that we've seen a lot of really successful sales organizations employ going back years. Here in Chicago, we know that the second city, you know, one of the preeminent improv outlets, if you want to call it that, across the across the country, they actually have a whole division that's dedicated just to training sales teams again. And when you think about it, improvisational skills really great for doing what handling things like objections, right, you know, someone throws an objection that you you're gonna be able to respond in a much more quick and tactful manner. Or again, being able to entertain people in person through long conversation, being able to tell stories to react to stories. That's where the benefit of improv training for sales teams really hits home.
Jonathan Fischer 33:23
Well, not to mention the confidence you gain from that as well. And Linda alludes to the added utility in terms of team culture, I'm sure that's probably something we could easily agree with. Right? Yeah, yeah.
Matt Green 33:34
Jonathan Fischer 33:36
That's cool. Here's a question from our company site. So we've got, who should be in charge of segmenting and targeting data? Like should that be a sales manager thing? And the individual producers since there's a lot of technology can do that? Maybe someone who's dedicated to that task?
Matt Green 33:52
Yeah, you do have a lot of frontline sales managers, depending on the size of the organization that they do take the onus of that responsibility. And again, depending on the size and scale of the organization could have somebody in a term called revenue operations, that's responsible for sort of identifying and segmenting, you know, the types of prospects that that you're going after? It's traditionally not that responsibility of coming up with Okay, who are we going to target? How are we going to target them is not traditionally held by the sales people that directive is usually given down from somebody on high, so to speak.
Jonathan Fischer 34:28
Well, I guess the spirit of the question is probably the the overall, you know, increase in democratizing the whole thing. You know, we're freeing our STRS to post on LinkedIn for crying out loud. I mean, just a few years ago, a company No, No self respecting corporate have thought of even allowing that until going through 15 channels of approval first, maybe. Right. So it's been a lot of change on that. And there are there are a lot of tools in some of these platforms where you can just go in and I mean, just LinkedIn itself, their sales tools are pretty useful that way. So but you're still champion of having someone who carries that ball sounds like
Matt Green 35:02
I am. Yes. Cool deal.
Jonathan Fischer 35:06
Has that has that art changed a little bit to also in light of what we were saying earlier about? The old saying was, it's easier to sell from the top down that is from the bottom up. I don't think that's necessarily true anymore. It might be true. And if it is true, it's become so much tougher to get to that top, you still need a way to sell from from bottom up. Has the nav chart changed? You know it? Has that changed the art? So we talked a lot about sales on the marketing side of the piece. How has that changed the art of segmenting and targeting an audience for your outreach?
Matt Green 35:35
Yeah, you know, it's an interesting question. I think that it, it reminds me of the conversation that that we had about 510 minutes ago around building champions, right, you know, the messaging that marketing teams put out there. And, you know, sort of the the approach is much broader in nature, right, than it used to be worse before, again, to the point that you made earlier, it's like, hey, how do we get straight in front of a decision maker, right, you know, if we sell a financial solution do to CFOs, we want to only target chief financial officers with our messaging. Whereas now, again, because it's harder and harder to get in touch with those people to get their attention. You know, we see a lot of messaging that's being built for folks that are one to two levels below them, right, the actual end users, or people whose jobs are going to benefit from the implementation of whatever tool or service is trying to be sold. And we see a lot of messaging that's being created and dedicated towards them, and a whole lot of value that's being put out there. You know, that's another shift that we see is organizations really coming to terms with a value that shows hey, let's be helpful, right? Let's not try to sell people first, let's try to be helpful first, and then being helpful, we're hopefully going to build a whole lot of goodwill so that when, so that, when we do ask for the meeting and start driving for that sale, the prospect is going to be much more inclined to go with us on that journey, because we've already provided a whole lot of value to them on the front end.
Jonathan Fischer 37:01
You mentioned about cutting through the clutter earlier. And man has that clutter increased, no doubt about it, are you you have a rather whimsical image that we shoot we threw up earlier that you've used in your online persona of, you know, kind of looking a little bit extra x? Extra personality going on there that you're projecting through there? Which we all enjoy here on the team? It makes me wonder, are you a fan of humor? Should companies take humor more seriously? In their marketing? Yeah.
Matt Green 37:32
ironic twist the phrase? Yeah, I, I believe so that that's an easy answer for me to say yes. But that's just my biases, and my personalities come into play. I do think that I think that humor in general, again, regardless of the product that you're selling, or who you're selling it to, is always going to be an effective hook. And that is something that we like to think that we built within our brand, so to speak here at sales assembly, if you follow us on a platform like LinkedIn, we do try to be helpful to salespeople and sales professionals across the ecosystem. But we always like to make sure that we're doing it in a relatively, you know, playful and humorous manner, including, you know, taking shots at our co workers or, you know, even our clients or prospects. Number one, because we're humans, right. And, you know, we believe that when you're selling to other humans, it's important to try to connect with them on a human to human level. And humor does a lot towards making that connection. And it's just part of our personal preference. And we do think that it's effective.
Jonathan Fischer 38:34
Well, anybody who is a fan of the symptoms, is you proudly proclaiming your LinkedIn profile would have been I would have expected an answer like that from such a guy. So what what what I would love to know index, and maybe we can close with this if we don't have other questions from the audience. I'm curious about your background in getting in becoming an interim chief revenue officer or manager of sales or whatever your role was for a given portfolio company. Is that is that seems like a growing segment as well to have people that have abilities? It's sort of a side question to the conversation. But I'm intrigued by your background. And I think I'm seeing a trend where there's some seasoned guys and gals who know their stuff. And they don't need to go all in and have some sort of career, they probably have enough banks, but they can bring value to the market and come in and do that role temporarily. And be this you know, this whole fractional CRO thing. Does that have value? Do you think that's going to pass? Or is it growing as a trend? Yeah,
Matt Green 39:35
I do think it has value. I do think it's going to continue growing as a trend. And I think it's especially value with really early stage companies that you know, are another point of scale where they need, you know, dedicated sales leader, if you have an entrepreneur and he or she and their partners, and maybe their very small team does have a bit of traction and they're starting to build a sales organization. And let's say that sales organization also includes the entrepreneur that started the company, you know, a lot of them still find a whole lot of value. And she was having some semblance of structure in place, you know, things as fundamental as like, Okay, well, what do we do with this thing called a CRM? Right? And, you know, you know, forecasting, you know, how do we do that accurately and like, okay, pipeline, you know, whether it's a good pipeline coverage ratio, you know, again, all those fundamental questions that are sort of secondhand nature for a lot of experienced sales leaders, if you are, especially a tech entrepreneur, and you're an engineer and industry domain expert that knows the product that you build inside and out. And you could probably sell it, right? Because you're passionate about talking about it. And you're the one that built it, when it comes time to actually build a sales organization around that. That's when a lot of entrepreneurs tend to fail. Because they they tried to scale themselves, right, you know, they tried to hire someone who's like, alright, just do exactly what I do. Doesn't work that way. And that's when you need some, you know, sales infrastructure bill within the organization where a fractional CRO would be able to help.
Jonathan Fischer 41:05
Very cool. Well, once again, man, it's been a great conversation, you've had a ton of value to our audience, and I'm grateful to you for that. Thanks for being on the show.
Matt Green 41:14
No, thank you again, Jonathan, for having me. This was great.
Jonathan Fischer 41:17
We'll have you back again sometime. And I think we have our topic has already picked. Perfect, I
Matt Green 41:23
look forward to it. We'll see you
Jonathan Fischer 41:24
then. Well, and to our audience, thanks so much for making the show the success that it's become. Keep on showing up and bring your friends we're gonna be right here the same time, same station next time, I'm going to give a shout out to our sponsor, we're proudly powered by overpass. Overpass is a fantastic solution. If you are one of those fractional CROs or perhaps you need to get your company to that next level of funding. You can get a team of STRS or fullcycle sales pros working for you in days rather than the weeks it normally takes. Check it out. It's free to open up your firstname.lastname@example.org fantastic solution out there. And if you've been enjoying the content on the podcast, go check us out in our previous episodes. Wherever you like to go get podcast at Evolve sales leader. That's gonna do it for this episode. Thanks for being here, everybody. We'll see you next time. Go take care.