Introducing David Glickman
Alon: Welcome to the virtual selling podcast, where we talk about the new best practices from sales experts. My name is Alon Shkuri, managing partner of theNextSales. And today, we’re talking with David Glickman, director of sales at Outplay, the leading sales engagement platform. So, David, can you shortly introduce yourself?
David: Hey, well, thank you. You already did, but I’m David Glickman, the director of sales and business development in Outplay. So, I’ve been at Outplay for about a year to really help and watch this amazing growth that we’ve been going through. As you can see from The Sign, book The Sign, they’re at Times Square, that’s not Photoshop, that’s the real deal. So, Outplay just raised a bunch of money and now we’re just going to town.
Alon: Very exciting, very exciting. You have to scale and now comes the big challenge to also do it good and to get this chance and to just nail it, to say it like this.
David: Absolutely. And it’s not that difficult. We’ve got an amazing leadership team and an amazing group of passionate, dedicated sales reps, customer success reps, product managers, and even marketing people are passionate here.
Alon: Passion is the most important thing, right? Otherwise, you can’t build a team.
David: Absolutely. Especially in this virtual world, right?
Change in sales & buyer behaviour
Alon: Exactly. Totally agree with you. If there’s no passion, you can feel it even on a distance. You don’t have to meet people to feel the passion, they have to meet face to face-to-face. So, David, I’ve seen it, you have a lot of sales experience, been in other roles at other companies as a VP sales and those kinds of stuff. So, I wanted to ask you that since the pandemic started, did you see any kind of change in the behavior of salespeople and in the behavior of the buyers? Was there any kind of change there?
David: Yeah, a great question. A lot of issues came up around cold calling for some reason, and I’m not really too sure on why sales reps didn’t want to make cold calls anymore. For some reason, they’d had this belief that people weren’t going to answer anymore. And I think it was a really crazy first few months, but when the dust started to settle, we saw that actually, the phone was even more important than ever now, because it allowed for that personal connection that you just can’t get from email and social media. I mean, me personally, I was dying for some interaction with live people after a few months. So, I was ready to pick up the phone and go to do it. But like I suggest to my customers, if cold calling was working before, it works during the pandemic too, and after the pandemic also.
Alon: So, that’s interesting that you say that because a lot of salespeople have their assumptions that yeah, I’m calling them, they are working remotely. They’re probably with the kids or with the family. And it’s another great time and salespeople can be a little bit lazy, so they want to be like do everything digital, sending an email. And so, yeah.
Alon: And did you see any kind of change from the buyer side? Like, was there a change there that they wanted to get like a different buyer’s journey kind of stuff?
David: Well, I think initially, our clients were in a big slowdown mode, right? Hurry up and wait, let’s see what’s going to happen. But then, as time went on, people are like, you know what? This is going to continue for a little bit. This isn’t just a little vacation. I better start trying to find solutions to the difficult situation. And of course, Outplay really helps people work remotely and work virtually. So, it was a great match. And one of the reasons I was so excited to join Outplay right at the beginning of the pandemic, I knew this was going to be a big hit and it was going to be in high demand.
Alon: Yeah. So, you see like a big, a lot of new clients since the pandemic started, started using Outplay. That’s what you say, right?
David: Absolutely. We saw some industries on the decline, especially around digital marketing and hospitality and things like that. But in our world, there was more demand than ever, right? They now needed more tools for their team to work effectively and efficiently, and also more ways to have that insight, have the visibility into the team, which Outplay of course, provides you by letting me know exactly what everybody’s working on, how many meetings they’re booking all their activity and really lets you measure the success of the team remotely.
Alon: Yeah. That’s amazing. That’s super important to measure because especially when you are a sales manager and your salespeople work remotely, then what are you going to do? Just have their feedback and say that they have a great day, but you can only know by the numbers, not by what they say. So, that’s really what I like about Outplay, that you can measure everything, right? Like, how successful were the cold calls? How successful was my email automation? How successful is my LinkedIn outreach?
David: Absolutely. And we’re just seeing those numbers get better and better over the year. As you know, businesses have started to settle down, we have more customers now that are ready to start selling again and they’re staffing up their sales teams. So, it’s been a big Ben.
Why focus on multi-channel and engagement?
Alon: Cool. So, I wanted to ask you, because I’ve also spoken to other people from sales automation platforms working at sales automation platforms. The first thing that I really liked about Outplay is that although you call yourself a sales automation platform, I guess, but you’re really focusing on an engagement platform. So, it’s about engagement. And the second thing that you call yourself, a multi-channel engagement platform, right?
Alon: So, elaborate a little bit more about why the focus on engagement and multi-channel, why is it so important? What is the key here to, why is the focus on those words?
David: Well, what we realized is that buyers are a little bit more quiet, right? They’re a little bit more secretive. So, you can’t rely on the old ways of getting them to fill out forms and getting them to call you back to book meetings and things like that. It’s just not quite as effective anymore. So, really, what we did on our team at Outplay is we focused on those buyer intent signals, right? The secret signals that are hidden, that we could help bring to light, right? So, we’re helping SDRs recognize when their prospects are paying attention to their content, right? They’re engaging with their emails or they’re visiting the website and visiting pages there to learn more on their own before asking for that demo.
So, it’s up to us then to recognize those early signs, put them on the right path on their buyer’s journey and get them the information that’s going to help them, get to that next stage and bring the deal in at the end of the day, right? So, Outplay has a huge focus on recognizing when people are opening and clicking emails and then alerting the sales rep like, Hey, this guy’s into you. Let’s talk to him, right? Book a meeting. Or recognize them when somebody is visiting the website, right? If they’re tracking different pages on the website, they’re visiting, then they’re probably a decent lead for us to go after. And so, we’ve put all of our focus on that low hanging fruit.
How to follow up on engagements
Alon: That’s super, super important for salespeople to know, because when you get a lead as a sales guy, and then they say, “This is just the lead, call him.” Then it can be like a little bit unsecured. Like what should I talk about? I don’t know if he’s really interested. With all the people telling just send me name with more information, little bit not so encouraging, but with these engagement notifications, you can learn a little bit more about what is interesting for your client. But I’m curious to ask, like how do you follow up on those things? For example, let’s say I’m a sales rep and I see that somebody visits the pricing page, do you also follow up and talk about that he went through the pricing page, or is it just like secret backend information that you just keep for yourself, and you know he’s kind of warm and wants to know more about the pricing? So, how do you guys follow up those engagements?
David: That’s a great question. And that really points to something that we have focused on Outplay, it’s called dynamic sequencing. So, our system is recognizing when somebody opens the emails, when somebody visits the website, quietly raises that hand and then the system is actually moving the prospect into a different sequence, right? We’re moving these prospects around from one sequence to another, to really focus on the messaging they need at that point in their journey. So, we found that by following them across these different sequences, giving them the most powerful messaging at the right time across the right channel has been critical to getting that meeting booked early, instead of just waiting for them to track you down and put the meeting, right?
Alon: And that’s amazing. So, it’s kind of a combination between marketing and sales. If I get advice for you, you build like a flow that if this happens, then I’m going to send out this automation campaign.
David: Absolutely. And that’s a great point because we work really closely with marketing teams because we’ve got a banging HubSpot integration. So, we get into a marketing teams as well. And we’re able to, again, take that information that marketing is sending out to prospects and look for those signals and some marketing is sending out material, but the sales reps are looking for those signals and then taking action. It’s getting moved into a fresh sequence. So, as soon as that MQL score hits, it’s in a fresh sequence for the SDR, ready to take action and book that meeting.
Marketing skills for the ‘New SDR’
Alon: Great insights, great insights. And what I also love, like about this is that I believe that the new sales role is more evolving, you have to be like kind of a marketeer to also succeed especially as a virtual seller, but the new sales role has to be kind of a combination between marketing and sales. So, that’s also what you say about Outplay, that you have all the data, you can look at what works better, like AB testing that should be like if you talked about AB testing a few years ago to a sales guy, would say like, “This is just for marketing.” But now, also sales people have to know about AB testing, about funnels, campaigns, automation. So, how do you look at those new skills that salespeople need in regards to marketing or other skills that are needed?
David: Now, that’s interesting that you said that because really, and earlier, you mentioned the omni-channel platform, right? And that’s because it includes, not just phone and LinkedIn and email, but it also includes text messaging and Smart Chat, right? And these are more like marketing tools. So, you’re absolutely right. We’ve combined marketing and sales. And what’s funny is I actually look for marketing graduates when I’m hiring SDRs, because-
David: Really. I mean, they get it, right? Look, we’re doing things at scale, but the messaging has got to be just right. You got to focus on the buyers’ journey, all these things that are typically part of the marketing process. We love that these marketing students come to us with these ideas and with these thoughts of how to just do it a little different, a little better, right? So, right now, it’s hard to hire SDRs, but it doesn’t bother me because I’ve been hiring marketing graduates as SDR for the last several years. And that’s a winning solution there. So, anybody out there, if you’re wondering how you can improve your hiring an SDR, that’s a great way to go. Look for those marketing students and look for those marketing students that have actually done some work through school. I think that’s critical because they just have a different level of motivation, right? They’re working their butt off. They’re going to come to you ready to go and jump in.
Alon: Really super interesting insight that you say that because I was looking at salespeople that have some kind of a marketing mindset, but now, you say you have to do the opposite and go for the marketeers with kind of a sales mindset or sales potential. I’m going to check it out myself. I have to say this is like a really interesting play you just shared there.
David: Absolutely. Well, I’m glad I can help.
Customize personalization at scale
Alon: So, the next thing that interests me is that of course, you have an automation platform. So, on one end, you can say like, I build the flow once and now, everything is going to work for me. And whenever the lead is like hard enough, only then I’m going to do some calls or some, I don’t know, other stuff, but I believe that the desk will be a combination of personalization and automation. So, never put everything on autopilot because what annoys me the most and I think also a lot of prospects is when you see this is just an automated campaign, this is just a robot. And even if it’s the best email, you think like, I’m not going to reply because that’s how I think, like this is just an automation. So, how do you-
David: You’re absolutely right. Absolutely right. I see people get called out on that all the time. They know when it’s a robotic, automated email and at Outplay, we’ve really helped our customers focus on those best practices for personalization and scale. We’ve been able to put a system in process where we can personalize literally a hundred percent of the emails and messaging that go out. And sure, email is one thing, but personalizing the phone call, right? Personalizing the LinkedIn outreach, all of that is combined. And we’ve got a great process that really focuses on doing all that research upfront, right? Do that learning, find out what you can help them with. What’s their likely pain? What are their problems in their world? Right? And by keeping careful notes, we can really optimize our process, so that those notes part of our talk track, right? That research is part of the email that we’re sending out. And we’re able to really, like I said, personalize a hundred percent of our messaging.
Alon: And how do you do that? Like, how do you- can you give an example or some kind of best practices of what kind of personalization works best? Because some people think that personalization means like, ‘Hi [first name]’, or ‘I see that you work at company X’, but those times-
David: When your high school mascot was a wolf, right? So, personalization is critical, but it can’t be just random personalization, right? it’s got to be somehow related to what you’re selling, what you’re offering, what you’re trying to solve. So, when we are personalizing, we’re reaching out to companies and talking to them about, well, in our use case, right? Because we’re reaching out to sellers, we’re talking to them about their sales team, right? The makeup of their sales team, the changing world, like you’re asking me about what’s changed during the pandemic, right? We’re talking to them about what’s changed in their specific world, in their vertical. But also, we bring to us a world of knowledge about the different categories that we work in and we know their pain.
So, we have a lot to talk to them about, about how we work with customers just like them, about different things that are going on in their business world may be, like they just raised money, right? Or maybe they just got promoted to this sales leadership role. So, really, a lot of opportunities to personalize. You just got to keep your eyes open. We don’t ask our team to go out and look for random things like high-school mascots. We give our team a list of about seven, I think we have seven specific ideas of what to look for, right? So, they can identify specific points that’s related to what we sell and our value proposition. That’s critical.
Alon: Can you share some of the seven? So, you said like some of them, if somebody just upgraded or I’m curious to know, because this is the real thing.
David: Yeah, absolutely. We talked to our customers about the makeup of their team. We talk with our prospects about the sales leadership of their team. We talk with them about raising funds, they just raised money. And if you’re on LinkedIn, we use the heck out of LinkedIn for personalization, and most of this stuff can be found there, right? You can see if somebody changed jobs in 90 days, that’s a great topic for conversation, right? You can see if somebody raised money, you can see if somebody is following like your favorite sales guru. Like if they’re following Jeb Blount, or Josh Braun, Morgan Ingram, three of my top favorites, then I’ve got a lot to talk to them about because I want to know, Hey, are you using some of those best practices around sales engagement tools, around sequencing around personalization, right? So, there’s a lot of different topics to talk about. You really got to dig in and get to know your clients and their space and the groups and the people that they’re connected to, those signals that you can take note of on their website, for instance. Maybe you’re using a tool like BuiltWith, right?
Alon: Yeah, exactly.
David: To help understand what tools are you using? I see you’re using a 10-year-old outdated email program. So, let’s talk about how we can bring you up to date as an example, right? But there’s a definitely a lot of ways to research good information that’s relevant to the conversation. And it’s up to sales leadership to help the team get on the same page and get to know what these verticals that you work and need to hear.
Alon: And then you guys do like, so before you start an automation, you fill in this information in the custom fields that you make, is that how it works? And then based on the segment, like this company more use these fields, then automation just start. So, you say like every prospect, there is some kind of preparation before you send them into an automation. Is that correct?
David: Absolutely. We do all the work on the first day that we work with a prospect. So, first thing I do before I reach out to you and try to talk to, or call you or anything is I need to know a little something about you. So, going out to your webpage, going out to LinkedIn, learning about you and these looking for those personalization points and then keeping good notes, right? And what we’ll do is we’ll store those notes in different fields so that we can resurface them. So, when I call you, “Hey, Alon, thanks for answering my call.” Not many people are doing that these days, right? But I’m reaching out because I saw on LinkedIn that you’ve been expanding your sales team. So, I’m curious what tools they’re using to help them reach out across all channels and follow best practices to ramp up quickly and start booking those meetings, right? So, you can have a really relevant conversation to that personalization. Sorry, my dog is starting to go a little crazy over here.
Alon: He wants to be on a podcast as well, I think. So, next episode is with him, maybe.
David: He’s got a face for podcast too, this whole thing.
Alon: But it’s super exciting news that even though it’s an automation, you’re still 100% focused on the personalization because automation without personalization isn’t going to work.
David: Yeah. We don’t take the old spray and pray a formula, that just doesn’t work. And it has honestly, it hasn’t worked in a while. If you’re still doing that, then you’re getting a fraction of the results that you could or should be doing. But honestly, this is a big part of what we do during the pandemic. We saw a lot of companies that were focused on field sales before, and that had to come to a complete stop. So, they’ve got a team of their legacy sales reps that would rather get in their car and knock-on doors than pick up a phone or send an email. But they had to change the way they did business. So really, we found ourselves helping these organizations adapt and transform to the modern day sales approach in this virtual world. It nudged them and it pushed them forward into today.
Alon: Well, that’s a big change from field sales to digital sales. That’s like a very big change.
David: It was more of a change for them than it was for their customers. It was more scary for them. But at the end of the day, we’ve had great success with those companies. And now, we’ve got these folks that wouldn’t even get behind the computer a few years ago, telling us, “I’ll never go back. I’ll never go back.” And frankly, I’ll never go back either. I don’t ever want to go back into an office. I love this virtual world. I find it really easy to engage with my team on Zoom and with prospects on Zoom also, even doing a podcast.
Alon: That’s amazing that you’re so excited about all virtual world. And nowadays, you have to be because even though the pandemic, let’s say, it stops tomorrow, it won’t stop. I still think that a lot of buyers want to meet on Zoom or just have a quick call on the phone before meeting them face to face. Even if you’re sitting just next to their office 50 meters next to them, they’re still not going to waste their time with a face-to-face meeting if it’s not relevant for them.
David: Yeah. And then there’s the whole efficiency thing, right? I mean, how many doors can you pull during the day compared to how many emails, phone calls LinkedIn touches can you make during the day? But getting those folks over to the new way, that’s the trick. Mindset, it’s all about the mindset.
Alon: Totally agree with you. It’s all about the mindset. That’s a good one. So yeah, it’s pretty clear that you guys at Outplay are all about mindset and passion and you do everything with a lot of love for what you do. That’s also why you get like those marketeers with a sales passion. But I do think that there’s still automation play. There are a lot of different players. You have like you have a SalesLoft, you have Outreach, you have all the other guys. So, can you maybe share a little bit why Outplay, like why, for which companies are you the best play and why Outplay?
David: I think there’s two or three great use cases compared to some of the other players out there. And frankly, we’re kind of the late guys, right? We were late to the game. I think Outreach and SalesLoft probably started about seven or eight years ago, maybe more, right? So, that gives us an advantage right? We’ve got a great, a bit of learning that we’ve done about the market. So, if sales often outreach could go back and start at line one of their code, they probably build Outplay. But at the end of the day though, a lot of the folks that we’re calling on are already using sales engagement platforms. They’re already using tools or have had experience using the tools and it’s just not getting them to where they need to be. Outplay solves those problems.
And we do it for small teams. We do it for big teams. We’re really here to fix what is broken in your sales process and because we’re the new kid on the block and we’re so kind of nimble and passionate and ready to go, it’s very common for us to get on a call with a customer that’s using another tool and they tell us, what’s the problem? We’re like, “Oh man, we’ve got that same issue. You know what? Let’s get product on the call right now. Let’s get them in, let’s fix this issue, not just for us, but for all of the users of our competitors as well, right?” And you know what? We fix those problems. So, we’re not afraid to jump in and make product changes for customers on the fly. If that’s going to solve your problem, that’s what we’re here to do.
Alon: That’s a great one because what you’re saying is that because you’re- so, let’s say small, you’re not small, but smaller than a SalesLoft and Outreach and you’re newer. It’s one moment, it’s easier to be flexible. There’s some kind of change in the code, or you can better listen to what clients’ needs. And if SalesLoft have to do a little bit of a change, first of all, they would think, “I’m SalesLoft, why should I change? I have already a bunch of clients. And secondly, I have to adapt, put some changes in the code. That’s a big headache.” And for you guys, it can be like easy to fix because it’s still pretty small related to them. And that’s your advantage.
David: Absolutely. I mean, you’ve seen one of those big ships, right? Try to make a turn very slow, very slow. Outplay is a luxury cruise, we’re a yacht, right? We can take those turns at a good clip. We can move fast.
Alon: That’s important, especially nowadays when everything is changing so fast, you have to be able to adapt fast. The fastest one to adapt, that can be the winner.
David: That’s right. And we’ve also found a great home with teams that need an extra level of support, right? They need that help getting into that modern day sales approach. So, through our customer success team, and even myself, I get on calls daily with new clients, sharing best practices, helping them to use the same great sequences that we use and the same best practices that we share across our customers to help them get great results. I mean, frankly, I’m only at Outplay because I’ve used those other guys and I loved it. I mean, I’ll never go back to using, to selling without one. I mean, that would be just crazy. And I had such great success with those tools that when I was looking for my next dream job, I was seeking out a tool like Outplay. And since I knew Lax and I knew that the tool was building and growing and coming on very quickly and powerful, I needed to join this rocket ship ride and hop in.
So now, the only problem that I have with the other tools is that it took me a little too long to figure it out, to have that level of success and to work through all the kinks in my process. So, when I came to Outplay, that’s the first thing I wanted to do was help our prospects solve that, right? That kind of time to speed, time to lead, lead to speed, speed to lead. There we go. So, it’s all about getting you up and running quickly, right? So, it shouldn’t take months to get your team going. It should take just a couple of weeks and we work really closely with our prospects to help you overcome those initial obstacles, hurdles, questions, whatever comes up so that you can really get a jumpstart on launching your tool.
Alon: Very important one because especially, salespeople and especially with all the tools they use, so many tools, if you start using a tool and you see like in the first 30 minutes that it’s like rocket science, you’re going to log out and never use it again. That’s from my experience and people I’ve worked with.
David: That’s true. That’s true.
Alon: So, great one. And do you have anything to share in regards to the future of Outplay? Do you have any cool new features you’re building or any other stuff that you have to share? Curious now, because I’m following you guys since almost the beginning.
David: I mean, some amazing things coming from the product team in the rest of this year. We’re really focused on integrations for our customers to connect to their other tools, right? Especially because we’re selling to a lot of software companies and they want to connect their tools to Outplay to get those insights and data from our tool into theirs, right? So, integrations are key. Also, we’re really doing a lot with those dynamic sequencing. I mentioned that earlier. That’s how we move prospects between sequences automatically. And what we’re going to be coming within the next few months is a whole visual system of developing those sequences and those automations to move people, to move those prospects around. So, dynamic sequencing is a huge product push over this next two quarters. And I mentioned, we’ve talked a little bit about field sales, right? So, what do field sales people need? They need a mobile app, right?
Alon: Good one.
David: So, the ability to take Outplay with them into the field, that’s what’s next for us.
Alon: Interesting, interesting. Very interesting one. So, that’s another example that you guys are listening to what your clients need and are able to change fast. That’s what I really like about Outplay. I can even remember when I had a call with Laxman, the CEO of the company like a few, I think one and a half year ago, he was also listening to what I need, and that’s even for example, for us as a small company is very important because sometimes, it doesn’t work because of a little small issue. And he was very like listening and able to, he wanted to do some changes in order for us to make it work. So, amazing stuff there.
David: Yeah. Lax is an amazing leader and he’s a great listener. I hear that so often from our staff and from customers that he’s a great and easy to talk to. And he’s really built an amazing team of people that just care and want to solve problems. We’re detectives all day long and it’s those little problems that add up. And before you know it, you’ve got a tool that your team isn’t using, right? You’ve got half of your folks that aren’t even touching the tool that you’ve invested thousands into because of those little things add up. We’re solving those little things.
Alon: That makes a difference. I agree with you. So, cool, David, almost out of time here. So yeah, it goes fast that when you’re enjoying it, it goes very fast.
David: Well, thank you so much for having me. We’re going to have to do this again.
Alon: I meant for a date, you have to bring the dog as well. Next time I want to see him, just seeing you, where’s the gun?
David: By my side as always, yes. Thank you so much, Alon.
Alon: So, do you have anything else to share, like some last thing or something?
David: I think we hit on all of it, but to all of you podcasts listeners out there, if you want to reach out to me and find out how we can help you, how we can help solve your little problems that add up, let me know. We’re happy to help.
Alon: Cool, man, David. So, thanks, David, for being on the podcast. Thanks to everybody for listening and yeah, for more podcasts about virtual selling, follow us on our channel and our website, theNextSales.io.