Tips on how to target, connect and convert sales leads with Craig Klein

  • Everybody's trying to move the sales numbers. That's not unique or different. It's all about how do we do it, right?
  • So we just try to make it easy for the salesperson to see the lead when it's available, also to give teams a way to sort of autoroute leads to the right people at the right time.
  • What that means is that leaves zero time for salespeople to focus on the leads that said no last month or a quarter ago or six months ago. When you run the numbers, that is such a lost opportunity. It's just huge for any business.
  • If you and I talked six months ago and I presented you my product and you said no and now you're on my lead nurturing campaign.
  • Stepping into the customer's world and understanding their needs is the number one way to create good marketing content.
  • Now what I see in articles and webinars and things is it takes seven or eight touches to close a sale. You've got to automate some of it.
  • We like to on not just how many new leads did I talk to but how many new leads did I identify, whatever that looks like in your world.
  • What I see businesses do is they try to motivate salespeople to be part of the system by handing them nice little bells and whistles, and that just doesn't work.

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Everybody's trying to move the sales numbers and convert sales leads. That's not unique or different. It's all about how do we do it, right?

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Doug: Hello and welcome back listeners to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. Today in the studio I have to join me, Craig Klein. Small and medium-sized businesses suffer from two main challenges that slow growth. Number one, potential customers just don't know that they even exist, and number two, salespeople are investing too much time seeking out customers who don't need what they're selling instead of helping those that do.

Craig Klein is the founder and CEO of SalesNexus and has developed a system to address these challenges simply and affordably, ultimately helping grow thousands of businesses. SalesNexus is a leading CRM platform, automation, lead generation solution for companies with sales teams of 10 to 100. Together with his team at SalesNexus, Craig works with startups at Fortune 500s to create systems that give salespeople more time to sell to qualified leads to sell to while giving management the accountability that is so elusive in sales.

Craig is a member of the Forbes Agency Council, where he's also a contributing writer. Craig is the father of three beautiful children. He is an avid sailor. He's an avid hunter and skier and when he's not growing the SalesNexus team and/or writing, he's probably planning his next adventure to somewhere you've never heard of. With that said, I'd like to welcome Craig Klein to the Real Marketing Real Fast Podcast today.

Well, Craig, I'm super excited to have you on the Real Marketing Real Fast Podcast today, so thanks for taking time out of your day to join us.

Craig Klein: Thank you, Doug. I'm really happy to be here. Can't wait to have our conversation.

Doug: Well, and you've got a super exciting topic. Who doesn't want to know about sales and marketing, moving the sales dial and crushing the competition, as your bio said, and being the dominant player in your marketplace?

Craig Klein: Yeah, everybody's trying to move the sales numbers. That's not unique or different. It's all about how do we do it, right? I find a lot of people are just groping and just sort of trying to do everything and overwhelming their entire team with too much stuff.

Doug: So do you want to take us and just give us a 30-second highlight view of where we're at and where your company's at?

Craig Klein: Yeah, sure. SalesNexus is a CRM and marketing automation platform all in one. What we've done is helped salespeople stay organized and focused on the right things and then bolted the marketing automation right into their sales process so that the sales team is driving the marketing automation rather than it being something that a separate department, the marketing group, does and every now and then they throw leads over the wall.

Doug: Yeah, because there always seems to be, there's not always this great relationship between sales and marketing because sales is saying, “Hey, marketing's giving me crappy leads,” and marketing is saying, “Hey, sales is not doing a good job closing my leads.” So how have you guys been able to bridge that gap and bring the team together so they're pulling in the same direction?

Craig Klein: Yeah, well, it's exactly like you say. There's typically a little bit of animosity between the two teams, and in particular we work with B2B sales teams primarily, and what we see a lot is an old school business that may have had tremendous success over the last 20 or 50 years, and it's all been very sales-driven, but here we are in 2019 and the light's going on and they're saying, “Hey, you know what? We got to get serious about digital marketing.” Man, you and I both know that that means you're going to have to change your sales processes and that's when the salespeople really can't do things the old school way. They have to adapt to being faster and more reactive, and that means they have to adopt some technology, and very quickly they get very overwhelmed, and the marketing team is pushing solutions on them that aren't really designed for salespeople. We've all heard the stories about CRM and how frequently salespeople don't like using them. That's really the problem that we've always been focused on trying to solve.

Doug: What does that transition look like, from old school to new school? What does that look like for the businesses that are listening to thinking, “Okay, yeah, I used to do things a certain way? Yes, digital's here. There are a million shiny objects in the digital space, so how do I transition from where I am to today to have a better, deeper connection with my prospects?”

Craig Klein: Right, right, yeah. Yeah, it's crazy, like you pointed out originally, this divide between marketing and sales. It's really unfortunately and dysfunctional and everything else, and every business leader should be constantly mindful of that and trying to bridge that gap, because what I see a lot is because of that divide, because the marketing folks may be able to generate leads successfully, but what they try to do is just inject those leads into the existing sales process because they don't feel like they have political power to go and get the process adjusted. That just undermines the success with these new digital leads because they're not getting responded to quickly enough. I mean, you and I both know every salesperson loves a lead, right?

Doug: Absolutely.

Craig Klein: So we just try to make it easy for the salesperson to see the lead when it's available, also to give teams a way to sort of autoroute leads to the right people at the right time. In other words, if I'm on a plane today going to a big meeting out in California, well, don't send the leads to me, right?

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Everybody's trying to move the sales numbers and convert sales leads. That's not unique or different. It's all about how do we do it, right?

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Doug: Sure.

Craig Klein: Send them to the other guy that's available and can pick up the phone and call them. But if you just do that, if you just get the leads into the salespeople's hands, good things will happen, and pretty soon they're bridging the gap. They're calling up the marketing people and going, “Hey, these leads you're sending me are awesome. How do I get more of them?”

Doug: Yeah, we talked a little bit before we started recording kind of on your superpowers and some of the things that you and your team and your software solution [inaudible 00:06:09] helps people to accomplish, and you mentioned nurtured marketing. Everyone says, “Hey, nurture drop marketing,” but to your point, I think often that's in the marketing department and sales don't see it. It's just happening. Do you want to explain, go a little bit deeper on how you guys help bridge that gap and make that a more effective solution for both sales and marketing?

Craig Klein: Yeah, sure, sure. Yeah, I mean, fundamentally the problem is that salespeople are focused on the deals they're closing right now, and depending on the business maybe they're also spending a decent amount of their time on their existing clients, and farming those existing accounts and things like that. We all know that they struggle to spend enough time filling the funnel, prospecting for next month's deals, and sales managers are always working to fix that problem. 

What that means is that leaves zero time for salespeople to focus on the leads that said no last month or a quarter ago or six months ago. When you run the numbers, that is such a lost opportunity. It's just huge for any business. Doesn't matter the size of the deal or the sales cycle or the industry, it always adds up to a lot of money if you can fix that problem. Because in a typical business, maybe your close rate is 20 or 25%, so that means you got 75 or 80% of your leads or opportunities are not buying every month, and the salespeople are just basically throwing those over their shoulder and throwing them away, right?

Doug: Right, yeah.

Craig Klein: But you and I know that when somebody doesn't buy it's almost never, they're not saying, “No, I will never do business with your company.” They're saying something like, “Now's not a good time for us. It's not in the budget this year. Let's talk next year. We just signed a contract with your competitor six months ago so we're going to have to let that play out, so let's talk in six months.” You know, all of those things. Those are valid business reasons not to make a purchase right now.

Doug: That's right, yup.

Craig Klein: But they certainly leave the door open for purchase in the future, right? But salespeople never circle back and ask for that opportunity. So if all you do is take that 75 % or 80% of your leads, so let's say you're getting a hundred leads a month and you're losing 20 of them, so that's 80 every month that you didn't close. You take those 80 and you put them in a hopper and next month you take the next 80 and you put those in the hopper, and so on and so on. Pretty soon your hopper's up to a few thousand leads that you've talked to in the past. You know they have some kind of need that's related to your product or service. They've learned something about your brand and hopefully, your sales team has made some connection with them, so all you do is send them some very simple messages keeping your brand top of mind. Then whenever something changes in their world, they're going to pick up the phone and call you.

Doug: Well, you also shared about the ability to respond to somebody in almost real time when they're receiving your nurturing and your follow-up material.

Craig Klein: Yeah, exactly. Everything I just talked about, that's kind of fundamental lead nurturing best practice. The problem is that as you mentioned, that's something that the marketing department typically handles and it's kind of done in this vacuum that salespeople don't know about, and if they're lucky maybe once a week but probably more likely once a month, somebody in marketing is mining that lead nurturing system and going, “Oh, here's the 200 people that clicked on one of our emails this month. Let's hand that back to the salespeople and let them reach out to those folks.” 

Well, nine times out of 10, even two or three days later is too late. So what our platform does is makes it instantaneous. If you and I talked six months ago and I presented you my product and you said no and now you're on my lead nurturing campaign, and today you get one of my emails and for whatever reason you happen to open it up and read it and click the link to watch my video or download my PDF or whatever, then I know about it in real time, like literally this second, and I can pick up the phone and call you up and say, “Hey, Doug, we haven't talked in a long time. Remember we talked about that proposal for the such and such?” And immediately you've already got me and my solution on your mind so we're having this very warm conversation, but it works so much better if it happens literally the same day.

If you think about the way we all read emails, I may look at an email from somebody I don't even recognize, and I may click and go to their website or whatever, but if you wait until tomorrow morning to call me, I may not even remember doing that. 

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Everybody's trying to move the sales numbers and convert sales leads. That's not unique or different. It's all about how do we do it, right?

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Doug: Yeah, that's true. Yeah, I look at so much stuff it's like, “Where did I see that?” I need someone to be watching over my shoulder and remind me where I found that really cool thing that I wanted to follow up on.

Craig Klein: Yeah, so if you make that instantaneous response, man, the results really increase. What we typically see is a business can generate, most B2B sales teams, just by putting this kind of process in place, can generate a 15 to 20% increase in sales in four to six months.

Doug: Wow. That's amazing.

Craig Klein: Yeah, and it's super affordable and easy to do. I mean, that's the no-brainer part of it.

Doug: Yeah, because they've likely got the marketing collateral. The difference is there are lots of people talking about drip marketing, so people are sending out bits of information by email every week. What they don't know is which people are looking at it in real time. I know even in the email space if I'm looking at the email service providers that I'm looking at and providing reporting back for a client on a campaign, exactly what you said. We know that this many people looked at it and the date, but it's not real time. It's days or a week after.

Craig Klein: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, we see that a lot of B2B companies that have been traditionally sales-driven, they struggle a lot with writing those emails. It's hard for them not to talk like salespeople in an email.

Doug: Yup, I can relate to that.

Craig Klein: Yeah. I mean, it's really challenging for anyone to write a good email about their own product or service. It's just very difficult to be objective, right? In fact, I was listening to your podcast and one of the recent episodes you did with Chad Sanderson.

Doug: Oh yeah, I like him.

Craig Klein: He was talking about really stepping into the customer's world and understanding their needs, and I think that is such a brilliant point, because if you can do that as a salesperson it's very effective, of course. But it's also the number one way to create good marketing content. If you're able to do that as a salesperson and start to get a feel for what your customers typically are worried about and then you can create your emails from that perspective, man, those are going to work like a charm.

Doug: Yeah. I've got a friend of mine that's done high-level sales for a long time, and he said the money's in the follow-up. So exactly what you've said. You've got your closing rate is great, but you know you're going to have a bigger impact in your organization by closing the nos, following up on the nose, than you will be increasing your closing rate from 20% to 21%.

Craig Klein: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. It's funny. When I got started years ago, I used to hear people say the marketing axiom was it takes four or five touches to close a sale, right?

Doug: Yup.

Craig Klein: Now what I see in articles and webinars and things is it takes seven or eight touches to close a sale. It's getting worse, you know? You can't put that entirely on a salesperson, that they have to break through the forest of voice mails and gatekeepers and technology to make all of those touches themselves. You've got to automate some of it.

Doug: So digging a bit deeper into the metrics, what are the metrics that your sales team or a sales team should be tracking?

Craig Klein: Yeah, that's a great question. You know, I have a really different approach to that. The metrics that most people, when we talk to people looking at our platform, for instance, the ones that they have in mind are things like how many new leads did you generate this week, or how many meetings did you have, or how many proposals did you send out. Of course, those are all important things, but they're really not the top of the funnel. As we talked about earlier, the top of the funnel is really where things typically go wrong. If you've got great leads coming in, then everything else kind of takes care of itself. 

We like to really focus in that area, so it's things like not just how many new leads did I talk to but how many new leads did I identify, whatever that looks like in your world. It might lead coming through your website, might be people that you've connected within LinkedIn. It could be people you met at a networking event but haven't had any further conversation with. You want those numbers to be really big and then you can put all kinds of automation in place to help nurture those folks down through your funnel so that your salespeople are talking to qualified opportunities most of the time rather than just trying to find somebody they can speak to and try to create interest where there is none.

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Everybody's trying to move the sales numbers and convert sales leads. That's not unique or different. It's all about how do we do it, right?

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That's back to what we were talking about with the lead nurturing. That's where the numbers can come from. All of those leads that you've talked to in the past can really add to that top of the funnel process.

The other thing that we like to do, we have a process that we call the 4 Steps to Market Domination that's our methodology for helping somebody be successful with CRM and marketing automation. You know that a lot of companies struggle to get it right and get the team to adopt everything and really use it and all of that. We all know about those heartbreak stories. We've been doing this for 15 years now and we've just seen that getting the salespeople to use the solution is the answer to that problem. What we want to do is create a system where the salespeople are encouraged to be the best kind of salesperson they can be. 

In other words, just like we were talking about earlier, what Chad Sanderson was talking about in your previous episode, we want the technology to help the salesperson step into the customer's world. What we do, step one in our 4 Steps to Market Domination, is let's design a customer screen so that when I'm talking to you as a customer, I got my phone in one hand and my mouse in the other, the customer screen becomes a script for me almost, but it's not a script of things for me to say to you. It's a script of questions for me to ask you and a place for me to put the answer.

If we could teach a salesperson to sell in that way so that every engagement they had with a customer, they're asking a series of really probing questions that are about what's going on in your world and what are your needs, and they're capturing the answers in an organized, sort of searchable way, man, you're building this database that's super powerful for the long haul. I'll be able to go back and search up a list of everybody that told me that cost savings is their primary driver versus revenue increases, and create targeted offerings and packages and things like that. 

Back to your question about metrics. Those are the metrics that we like to see our customers keeping track of, not just how many conversations did I have but how deeply did I build that relationship by virtue of how much of that information did I capture. Does that make sense?

Doug: That's interesting. Is this part of the tool, the service that you're offering? This is all captured and it's standardized so it's searchable across all the contacts?

Craig Klein: Exactly. Exactly.

Doug: That's er neat, because typically what would happen if you'd ask some questions and they'd go into notes, and notes aren't searchable, or you try to add tags and tags can become a disaster very quick, because every salesperson's going to use different tags, but these are a standard set of questions. Is this something you set up when you're onboarding a company or you're working with a sales team? You go through and kind of examine what these probing questions may be?

Craig Klein: Yeah, that's right. Our platform is designed to make it super easy to just customize and tailor that for every business. A business could do that themselves. We offer some services to help people do it. The idea being, you know how most CRMs you kind of have your basic system and you can customize things but there's a place where your custom stuff goes, so if you want to use both, like I need to keep track of your mobile number and your email address but I also want to keep track of these 10 things that are unique to my business, I end up having to go to two different pages to manage all of that, and salespeople just don't do that. What our solution does, which is not rocket science, it just puts it all on one page.

Doug: Well, and that's the advantage I guess, as a newer player to the market, say you've been in the market for 15 years, is that you don't have all this legacy system to go back and rework through.

Craig Klein: Yeah. Well, you know, it's funny. I mean, the way I got into sales, I grew up with, my stepdad worked from home. He was a manufacturer's rep and so he worked out of the house. He was a big hunter and fisher, so I saw his lifestyle and it really looked attractive. He worked from home, started when he wanted, stopped when he wanted every day. Every Friday pretty much he was taking off and hitting the road to go hunting or fishing and he would come back sometime late on Sunday and spend all Monday sort of cleaning up. He worked about three days a week and he made a good living and had a great lifestyle. He was very happy. Looked awesome. I thought, “Man, that's what I'm going to do.”

Well, guess what? He was a different kind of guy than me, and that approach did not work for me. I had to take a different approach to being more organized and systematic. I was lucky enough to get hooked up with the Sandler sales training group back in my early career when I was in the energy business and man, I learned so much from that. It's such a great methodology for an engineering-type mindset like mine, and I find that their approach, approaches like that, were great for technology products where you really have to take more of a systematic approach. 

I had to teach myself to ask the right questions and really understand the customers, what the Sandler guys would call the customer's pain, right?

Doug: Yup.

Craig Klein: When we started SalesNexus, that was my number one thing. We had tried in my energy business days, we had tried several different CRMs, and we had tried to figure out ways to do this in these other platforms, and it just wouldn't work. We couldn't make it work and that was our number one vision, is, “Hey, let's create a platform that lets salespeople be great salespeople by asking really probing questions and getting to know their customers and let the technology facilitate that.”

Doug: Well, one of the things that I was interested in asking you because I saw this in your background, and that was the excuses that salespeople give for not using a CRM. I had a friend of mine that managed a large car dealership and they had just spent a very significant amount of money installing a CRM. I said, “So how's that going with your sales guys?” And he says, “Well, they don't want to enter the leads that they've got.” I said, “Well, that's a business risk because if they leave they take your business. I would hire somebody, hire a part-timer to come in there and data entry them.” He said, “Well, I'm not spending an extra $2000 a month after spending $25,000 installing my CRM.” I'm going, “Dude, they're your leads, it's your business.” So how do you deal with that and how do you help your clients deal with that with their sales guys?

Craig Klein: Yeah, it's a tough one, right, because I think there's a lot going on there like you just mentioned with your friend. It's number one just logistically. If you're an auto sales guy that's out on the lot literally half the time and that's where you do business, well then putting a lead into the system is just not convenient. It's one thing for me to be sitting here at my desk and to do it. It's a whole other thing to be out there leaning on a car in the sun. I mean, that's an issue, and your point is a good one. In that case, maybe it makes sense to have somebody back in the office where the sales guys just put the business cards or slips of paper on their desk and that person puts the info in the system. That can work. 

But the other problem is that in the auto business and in a lot of businesses where there might be a sales turnover where a salesperson will leave to go to work for a competitor, the salesperson sees their relationship with their customers as one of their strategic assets that they're going to leverage in their career as they move from business to business, right?

Doug: Yeah, absolutely.

Craig Klein: They literally have a very strong overwhelming disincentive to cooperate with the CRM. So what are you going to do about that? I think it comes down to number one, leadership. The leader of the business has to decide as you said this is a strategic asset for our business, we have to do this, and there are just no ifs, and, or buts. I may have to hire a different kind of salesperson in order to make this work. I may not be able to hire these hired gun type guys that might be awesome pure salespeople but they're just not team players.

Doug: Yup. To your point, once you get the automation, once you can demonstrate that, hey, look, while I've never been a fan of the guy standing in the lot. I've always thought if there are no customers they should be on the phone or on the computer, but just my sales approach. But I mean, once people start to see, look, here's some fruit coming from this, so yes, I'm only losing 15%, 20%, 25%, but now I'm getting all these new leads that have been warmed up because they're opening up the company's information. They're going to our website. They're downloading our collateral. They're watching our videos. They're engaging with us on social. So they pop back up to the top of the list as, “Hey, I'm interested again. I wasn't for six months but I am today.”

Craig Klein: Yeah, exactly. That's exactly right. I think in an extreme situation where you may have really old school guys that it's going to be tough to teach them new habits or there might be just some fundamental resistance like we were talking about, sometimes the best approach is just really let's not even try to change what they're doing. Like you mentioned, let's find some way to have somebody else on the staff just make sure we're getting all the leads into a system and then let's do some marketing for them and put leads back in their hands. They're smart salespeople so as soon as you give them good leads they're going to start asking, “Hey, where did these come from and how do I get more?”

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Everybody's trying to move the sales numbers and convert sales leads. That's not unique or different. It's all about how do we do it, right?

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Doug: They're just, “Hey, they're your leads. We put them into the system and we're re-marketing to them.”

Craig Klein: Right, exactly.

Doug: So then it becomes I guess obviously more interesting for them to reengage and reconsider your offering.

Craig Klein: Yeah. Back to my energy days. We had acquired a competitor and I sort of inherited this far-flung sales team. Some of the guys were working from home. A lot of them were not here in Houston, so I had to figure out different ways to manage everybody. This was the very first year that Salesforce was out on the market, so we put that in place because it was on the internet and it was really the only option back then. We had this one guy who he literally produced 40 to 45% of the revenue of the company every year.

Doug: One sales guy. Wow.

Craig Klein: Yeah, and then everybody else was doing their 10% or whatever. He was an older guy, who he had trouble even just responding to emails and things like that. He just wasn't a technology guy. We just didn't even fool ourselves. “Hey, Joe, he's not going to play this game.” So like you suggested earlier, we had somebody on the staff who their job was to chase down Joe at the end of every day and go, “Okay, who'd you talk to. Give me any new leads. Let me put them in.” And just put everything in the system for Joe so he didn't have to. We went way out of our way to make sure he was part of the system but he didn't have to learn the system himself.

So, flash forward six months down the road. The younger guys are really getting into the system now. They're starting to see the benefits of everything. We're doing some lead nurturing and some marketing and they're seeing the benefits of that, and they're showing up in sales meetings talking about wins that they've had as a result of this new system we've put in place, and pretty soon Joe's in my office going, “Hey, I want to be part of this thing. These guys are really doing well with it. How do I get to benefit from this?” The next thing you know, Joe is one of the biggest fans of the system.

Doug: Yup, makes sense. I mean, you show some success and everybody wants to have it, so that makes sense. What are some of the myths? What're some of the bad advice? You're at a cocktail party and a group of business and sales leaders there, and you overhear a conversation around using CRM and lead nurturing. What's the bad advice that kind of makes you cringe?

Craig Klein: Well, I mean, what I see businesses do wrong frequently is number one, they just get enamored of the bells and whistles of all the technology and they think that… So here, you and I right now are talking about how to motivate salespeople to be part of the system by providing them with valuable leads, which I think is the right answer. What I see businesses do is they try to motivate the salespeople to be part of the system by handing them nice little bells and whistles, and that just doesn't work, because number one, the bell or whistle that you like, the cool little feature where you can click a button and it opens up their LinkedIn profile or something like that, one sales guy might like that but the next guy is not going to. At the end of the day, does that really deliver any business value on a consistent basis? Probably not. 

I see that as being a big mistake. You end up with this more complex solution than you really need and you're trying to get salespeople who don't need complexity, they need simplicity, you're trying to get them to use this way too complex system. So that's one fundamental problem that we see all the time.

Then the other thing is, especially for us because we work so much with sales-driven B2B brands who may not have a really big marketing staff. They might only have the one marketing manager who's wearing 15 different hats and doing everything from trade shows to digital marketing. They're pretty scattered and don't have a lot of time, so the salespeople end up trying to create the email content to send out through the marketing automation and nine times out of 10 salespeople are not great marketing content writers. 

What we've done, back to our 4 Steps to Market Domination, one of the steps there, the third step is we've created this really simple formula for creating a really simple email that's going to get results. It's not rocket science, it's back to kind of what we were talking about earlier. If you know what your customer's pains are, what are the things that they're dealing with in their world that motivates them to go to the internet or pick up the phone and reach out to your business for one of your solutions, if you know what those things are then you can write an email, a really simple email. You don't need a marketing firm to spend $3000 to develop a beautiful email. It's a simple text email that says, “Hey, do you have this problem? Is this going on in your world? If so, we've developed this cool resource to provide you with some tips and tricks.” Really simple.

Anyway, long story short, we've created this simple process for a business to figure out what are those questions and then to create kind of little simple facts and things like that, FAQs, that can act as the content. That gets them sort of out. They get their boat out of the port and out to sea and now we're on our way. As soon as they get to go, they start to get all the data about what emails are getting opened and what emails are getting clicked on, and that data very quickly lets you dial in what's working and what's not. Then the real magic ingredient that having all of this in one system rather than two different systems, marketing automation and a CRM, since it's all in one place we can measure not just how many opens and clicks did we get on this given email but of those people that clicked and our salespeople called and had a conversation, how many closed. 

Now we can go back and say this email generates more sales than that email. Man, once you start to see that, then everything starts getting really clear. Wow, we need to do more of this and less of that.

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Everybody's trying to move the sales numbers and convert sales leads. That's not unique or different. It's all about how do we do it, right?

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Doug: It sounds like a big value of using your solution is that you start to build this market intelligently, so really the more conversations your salespeople have with their prospects, the smarter you get and the more insight you get to what their pain points are, what their objections are, so that allows you if you've got a marketing team then to create specific resources like you've said, whether it's video or PDFs or downloads or a webinar, addressing those problems because those are real problems that your guys have had talking to their prospects.

Craig Klein: Right, right. Exactly. In fact, one of the things that I've been, it's been one of my dreams for gosh, I don't know how many years now, at least a handful of years, because being in the business we're in digital marketing has always been a key part of our funnel. So this problem of measuring the return on that digital marketing all the way through to the actual sale through a sales process has always been a challenge for us, and I've always been trying to solve it for that reason as well as because we have lots of clients with similar challenges.

Later this year we're releasing a version that will be able to track the sales results down to the ad words ad group level. Now if I'm spending money on pay per click, I can look at that and say to my digital marketing folks that are spending that money, this ad group we're spending a lot of money on and it may be generating a lot of conversions but we're not selling anything. Right?

Doug: Right.

Craig Klein: So let's stop wasting that money and plow that money into the other ad groups where we are selling things. Man, that's just such a multiplier effect, you know?

Doug: Yeah, I mean to have that much insight using a handful of tools, it becomes difficult to discern that and have proper reporting for management and your VP of marketing to understand, okay, why are we re-allocating budget. We're generating way more leads over here and the leads are less money. We're paying $5 a lead instead of $30 a lead. But to your point, if they're not closing then the $5 lead becomes very expensive.

Craig Klein: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah, it's a similar example. We work with a lot of folks that are in the telemarketing or appointment setting business, so they use, the callers use our system to do their outbound calling and setting appointments for their clients. And it's the same exact problem. They set all these appointments but then they don't get any feedback from the business that their client about which appointments are closing business. Where we've been able to partner with those companies and have them offer our solution to their clients, so now they're both using the same solution and they're able to do the same kind of measurement all the way through of we started with this list of people with this title and this industry and we closed this much business, man, they can optimize that campaign so much more quickly. It's mind-blowing how it changes things.

Doug: Well, that's super cool. A couple of questions and we'll wrap up our conversation today. Who is one guest, Craig, that you think I absolutely have to have on my podcast?

Craig Klein: Man, I've got a great recommendation for you. My friend Roger Janek owns a digital marketing firm and he's doing really, really well. What I've always loved about what he does with digital marketing is they have this system that makes it really simple and understandable and manageable for a business that's not a digital marketing expert. They've just done a great job of making all that technology easy for people to understand and manage and sort of integrate into their business. 

But also, Roger's just, he's been working for, gosh, I don't know, probably two or three years and he just introduced this year a new system he calls RankHacker. If you've ever spent any time or money on search engine optimization, you know how mind-boggling all of that stuff can be. The same thing, he's created this site where you can go put in your website address and some of your competitors and the keywords that you're targeting and it comes back and it gives you actionable stuff that you don't have to be a digital marketing expert to understand. You need to create X number of blog posts per month focused on this keyword, and if you do that for the next five months, you will be ranked on page one. I mean, it gets it that systematized and I love it. For 15 years now I've been trying to figure out systems like that that we can manage as a business, and it's very difficult. I just think the way that Roger's done that is so innovative and I really think that he's going to change the game in the SEO world.

Doug: Well, that'd be great. I'd appreciate an introduction, and more importantly, where can people connect with you and learn more about you, your business, and how you're helping people at SalesNexus?

Craig Klein: Sure, yeah. Just go to and you can download our 4 Steps to Market Domination guide. Even if you're using a CRM already but it's maybe not meeting your goals or performing the way you expected, take a look at that. It'll give you some great tips. Like I mentioned earlier, also some great tips for creating effective emails. And of course, you can also start a free trial of SalesNexus there as well.

Doug: Well, that's awesome. I just want to say thanks so much for taking time out of your day and just sharing some valuable tips and information for our audience.

Craig Klein: Yeah. Well, thank you, Doug. This has been a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the discussion. Great questions and thanks a bunch.

Doug: There you go, listeners. There's another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. I hope you enjoyed this episode and got some good takeaways, the importance of top of the funnel, fill the funnel, and then nurture them and reach out and have the conversation with your prospects when they're engaging with your content and downloading your PDFs and opening your emails. I just want to say thanks again for tuning in and if you like this episode, don't be shy. Leave us a note and make sure that you tune in to our next episode. I look forward to serving you then.

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[just click to tweet]


Everybody's trying to move the sales numbers and convert sales leads. That's not unique or different. It's all about how do we do it, right?

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