Shahed Islam: Hey, Ryan. Welcome. I spoke with you last week, so we talked about a few topics, and I thought I should welcome you on our podcast. Can you introduce yourself?
Ryan Staley: Yes. I am the founder and CEO of well, Boss. I’ve had well, I’m also the host of the scale up shows. I interview SAS CEOs and deconstructs their best strategies for growing their business and leveraging that. So I’m a podcast host and I’m the CEO of Whale Boss, which is a sales consultancy company where I help tech startups grow their company, specifically around Pipeline, whether they’re having a challenge with enough pipeline and or converting sales specifically for mid-market plus. So ideally companies that want to grow there and multiply their largest and best customers. So I take the principles that I created and kind of found when I grew a business unit from 0 to 30 million an hour and five and a half years with really no marketing team or no scars. So that’s a real quick background on me. I could go on and different details, but let’s start there, man.
Shahed Islam: You have a lot of experience and that’s where I know I’ve been talking to a lot of agency and mostly software development agency. There are some people in India and other places and you know, one question they have, if they cannot build their pipeline in enough to run their business and what I have identified that, you know, sometimes they are not knitting down enough, but also like their strategy, they have to reach out to people.So with your experience, if you have to give, you know, a talk about viewpoint, what are that the advice you can give it to people who is listening to this podcast?
Ryan Staley: Yeah, and it’s funny because it’s like pipeline. No matter what business you are in, it’s nine, maybe not nine, maybe eight times out of ten. The biggest challenge that companies are facing when it comes to growing revenue. And so there’s two core buckets that I would kind of put this in in terms of solving that problem and one is, is basically most companies look at what’s called their ICP or their ideal customer profile.That’s whether it’s the company size, the persona vertical, all those details, right? So the area that I look at that I think really, really helps. And this is especially relevant because of how fast things are changing like you need to do this at least every six months is also look at your perfect customer profile. So this is a strategy that I created as a rep.I did it in a go to market and it doubled our deal size every year for five years, even 100 x our largest deal size, while also speeding up our sales process. Snowflake leveraged debt as well as this to equity, which is a $90 billion fund that turns $2 billion companies and a $6 billion companies in three years. And so a real quick breakdown in how you could leverage it and your business today is what I call the five by five by five method, right? Five by five by five. So what it is really is it’s you take in look at the five largest deals that you’ve closed as an organization. Do you look at the top five fastest deals you’ve closed as an organization and top five biggest losses that you’ve had. And what you really want to do is look at the demographics, like what verticals there in different titles that you’ve worked with and really try and find weird outliers. On why those big deals close, why they close so fast, and why you lost really big deals too. And just by doing that alone, what usually happens is we’ll come to the top. And this especially works for horizontal solutions, like they can work across any vertical. You’ll find that there’s typically two or three verticals that have 70 to 80% of your revenue. And I see this all the time. I just saw this the other day. And essentially what happens with that is if you become a niche specialist with that and specifically target those, you know, 70%, 80% type companies and become the expert in that space, you could charge a lot more your deals would continue to close faster and then at the same time you will lose a lot less business. Step number two is everybody is getting because of the beautiful availability of automation and sequences and everything, everybody is getting hammered with cold email, cold, nondescript generic email. So what’s happened is the intensification of noise is massively accelerating. It’s going through the roof, right? Because there’s so much, so many people that could send so many large amount of emails so fast and easy. The people are just getting absolutely hammered. Right. So I would advise if you’re if you’re struggling with that, go in the exact opposite direction. Instead of sending 100 emails out a day or two days over a two day period over sequence, send out like 15 to 20 just customized emails based on knowing really deep level of understanding of their business. You can take off their website, you take it off their LinkedIn profile. I would recommend doing that. You can also drop different examples of like voice to text versus voice text, but voice direct messages on LinkedIn, you can do videos on LinkedIn, direct messages and use an alternative channel like LinkedIn versus email because they might get maybe five direct messages a day versus 500 emails a day. Right? So those are a couple of really quick examples of like how I would target people and how I would kind of approach it.
Shahed Islam: So again, I think where I have seen this struggle with a lot of agencies, even I receive a lot of emails that just like you said, customizing it, but not knowing that what problem I’m going through when they’re eating up. So at that research part, how do they start if a sales rep or CEO or CFO, I mean, SEO is listening in like what do they tell their team that stock from here? Because a lot of people don’t know how to do that research a little bit more if you can provide us some information.
Ryan Staley: Yeah. So I would say there’s a couple of ways. First of all, like if you if you do step one and you research your own customers that you’ve had success for with, it’ll leave really good clues. Right. And most people don’t even take the time to do that. They set their ICP once and they forget it, right? So I would do that. And then the other thing I would do is like, it’s really simple. So I wrote a chat chat CBT post on this on LinkedIn that went viral, but essentially, like it’s so simple and easy to execute on that. And here’s the exact formula on how to do it or even the prompt, right? Basically jump in and chat CBT and ask like whoever you’re selling to ask what the five like top KPIs that that role is evaluated on. Right so really simple even if it’s the CEO of a small business, you can ask hey what are the top five KPIs of the CEO of a $5 million business in TAC is most concerned about in a down economic environment? And you want to use that word for word, right? So look back, you want to be specific and give it context in terms of that. So what’ll happen is it’ll spit out the typical five key focus areas that a CEO in that space would try and or I should say, have at that point in time. Then you do another prompt, which is very simple. It’s like, Hey, what are the five biggest challenges they have with meeting those needs? Right? So you’re taking it from like, okay, what are they focused on and what are their biggest challenges? Then the next step is, okay, if I were to provide agency services for creating and let’s say, websites, how would I how would I make my solution? These are props. How would I make my solution relevant to someone that’s experiencing the five channels challenges above, right? And then boom, that’ll give you like a really, really solid foundation that you can work from. And then what you could even do is you can ask it to cut that up into five different emails addressing each problem individually and each email with your solution and how it helps. That’s just one example, right? Another example of research that you could do is I think like and I know I said, look at your own existing customers. Go back to your best customers and like literally sit down or have a quick call with them and just say, Hey, what was the exact reason you chose us? Why did you buy us over everybody else? Who else did you look at? What other solutions did you consider? And then this will put you in the mind of the buyer. And then what you could do is basically replicate that in your messaging, in your outreach and your connection with them, and use those exact words and you’ll be very, very successful if you leverage that formula.
Shahed Islam: Well, this is a really, really good we know you are giving us the problem and in our frontier dictated between. Now, my next question would be since the DPD came in, like the first impression was I was talking to my sales rep and other people. Oh, now our sales email is going to be lot easier. I can reply that email very quickly, which is good. They are doing it like faster. A lot of these proposal are sent very quickly. Does it really solve the problem? Like now? I am seeing a lot of other people are doing it. So we are back to square one just like you said it like because of the new tools came through in the last four or five years with Deep campaign, I received hundreds of email. Now, same with DPD. Just because you have it does not mean other people cannot use it and they will use it. And eventually we are back to square one again. So what are you and advice that when all these tools and then other people are not using creativity or be they was, So what are your advice to people who are using it and those who are not using it?
Ryan Staley: Yeah. So regardless of whether you use it, I mean this is going to sound so like old school, but here’s here’s what I’m say. First of all, everybody is not used. There’s a lot of people that are using it internally for their own organization, but they’re not leveraging it in that capability. And I know that because I’ve talked to multiple revenue leaders on that. However, what I would say is there’s there’s a couple of things. Go old school, right? Pick up the damn phone and actually call someone. You know how many times I get calls from people? It’s very, very, very rare. Right? So one, you can stick out by doing that and actually calling someone versus just relying on email. The other thing that you can do is there’s platforms out there that are very economical now where you could send direct mail, you could send customized gifts, you could do things like that that are very, very simple to execute against that they kind of have you stick out from the noise. That’s another one third one. And I’m a huge, huge, huge proponent of this is basically and this kind of happened to me on accident where I started reviewing my prospects on a podcast. And then what happened is they started asking me, Oh, Ryan, what do you do exactly? How do you help? And then basically you could turn a podcast into like a pipeline, right, where you interview only the top people that you would like to work with that fit your ideal customer profile or your perfect customer profile, and then you could essentially convert them into customers by building a relationship, providing value in advance, and then asking thought provoking questions them that make them reconsider, Oh, maybe I do need help with this service. Or maybe I need help with putting a standing up a website or improving it, you know, And that’s where it kind of naturally happens as a byproduct.
Shahed Islam: When you are talking to the B2B sales and you work with mostly Seth, you know, selling Seth, Seth, most of their services and we are following through with what do you see the difference, like when we are selling sales, the fabrics, right? I mean, we said that like salaries we are selling to the customer. Do you have any advice for us that in all you should do this.
Ryan Staley: For services versus SAS, is what you’re saying?
Shahed Islam: Yes. Yes.
Ryan Staley: So the real critical thing, because like my entire career or not my entire career, but a lot of my career was science services, so side managed services. So I totally get it. I think like the number one thing you have to do is establish in the in the customer’s mind the first point in which you talk to them or communicate with them. What’s the tangible outcome that they’re going to get and quantify it right? So I think most people don’t do that. They do very, very softly. So for example, if someone was asking me to spend five grand or ten grand on my website and I want to say something I’m working on right now anyway, so but I know you mentioned that is where a lot of people that you you have in your community. All right. So some of these helping me with my website and you know, they’re like, hey, it’ll it’ll cost you five grand to do this, right? That would be, you know, I’d be like, oh, five grand for a website. Sounds sounds expensive, right? However, if that same person came to me and said, Hey, it’s $5,000 for a website. However, for my last five clients that I’ve implemented this and they’ve actually had an increase of $100,000 in sales as a result of the changes we made because of X, Y, Z, and here’s a testimonial to prove it. Then it becomes a whole different story. It becomes an investment, not an expense. Right. And so that’s where people I think could probably do a better job because it’s everybody because of what’s happened with Amazon in the B2C consumer market of instant gratification, whether it’s Netflix, whether it’s Amazon, people want results, they want it fast. If you don’t have results, are going to get pissed. And so that’s something that I would just want to call out, if that makes sense.
Shahed Islam: Me My last question to you would be like recession, even though it’s not officially here, but we see a lot of kind of the market is not stable enough, and especially for beef industry, a lot of people are losing contract right now. What I have seen there a lot of people stop doing it. They’re like, why should I reach out to them?People are annoyed, but my solution to a lot of them is that you still have to do your job. It’s almost like going to a gym. You have to continuously go, So what? What is your position about this innovation and what is going on right now around you, and what do you see and what is your solution to? I didn’t see either, but that they should reach out to their customer. I’m not.
Ryan Staley: Yeah. Are you talking existing customers or net new new customer.
Shahed Islam: New customer mostly.
Ryan Staley: Yeah. I think. Well, and the one thing I forgot about Pipeline and this is relevant to your question right now, is to ask your best customers for referrals. I really, really do that and focus and narrow on that. So what I would say is people I mean, it’s not like it’s not like we’ve gone through an apocalypse and there’s no more businesses anymore. There’s still companies spending money. They’re just looking at everything tighter, right? However, there are still thriving industries, so you can look at different verticals or sub niches that are really, really growing now that are growing fast because there are those that are doing it. Like even though venture capital is dried up a lot, let’s say, versus 21, there’s still companies that are getting a lot of venture capital. And like the earlier stage round, let’s say seed or series where Series B, C and D might be getting a lot less funding, right? So also like cybersecurity I companies like those companies really, really they need to move fast, right? So there’s there’s different areas where companies or some niches are verticals are still growing really really fast. You just got to take a step back re identify those and then go after them hardcore and put all your might towards them. So that’ll kind of offset. The other thing I would say too is this like, you know, if you kind of look at it, maybe, you know, your closed rates and I looked at this close, rates dropped. I think 30% last year as a whole for B2B companies. And so all you have to do is look at, okay, either what are the levers I could pull, I can pull the quantity lever or I can pull the quality lever of what I just mentioned. And the quality lever is something that I would pull versus just the more button, because that’s when you get in the spam bill and you’re sending tons of emails and you’re not getting the results you want.
Shahed Islam: So no, thank you. Thank you. Ryan, what is the best way to reach out to you and what other consulting services do you provide to anybody who’s listening in?
Ryan Staley: Yeah, so there’s there’s two core elements, like I said, on, on how I help companies and I’m looking at and expanding that. But right now it’s either on the pipeline creation, like companies have a pipeline problem, I have a solution or I help companies ramp up referral and grow through their existing customers. If they have a base or through podcast pipeline. I also have like a sales conversion revenue sprint that I do with the folks as well. So that’s what I do. Where you can find me is my, my website is Ryan Staley dot i o, I have lots of content on there. My podcast is called The Scale up Show and if you heard me here, you know, feel free to send me an email it’s Ryan at wale selling system dot com and just mention that you heard me on the show and you know let me know if you have any questions or anything and I’ll be with.
Shahed Islam: Thank you, Ron. Thank you. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
Ryan Staley: All right. Thanks for having me on.
Shahed Islam: Thank you.
Sales Pipeline Secrets For Agencies
Shahed Islam: Hey, Ryan. Welcome. I spoke with you last week, so we talked about a few topics, and I thought I should welcome you on our podcast. Can you introduce yourself?