The Revenue Engine

Optimizing Email Communication for Better Responses with Will Allred, COO and Co-Founder at Lavender

September 24, 2021

The Revenue Engine

Each week, Revenue Operations expert Rosalyn Santa Elena shines the spotlight on founders, CEOs, and Revenue Leaders from hyper-growth companies and dives deep into the strategies they implement to drive growth and share their learnings. Rosalyn brings you inspirational stories from revenue generators, innovators and disruptors, as well as Revenue Leaders in sales, marketing, and operations.

We are all bombarded with emails. So how do you cut through the noise and improve response rates?  

In this episode of The Revenue Engine Podcast, Will Allred, COO and Co-Founder of Lavender, sits down with Rosalyn and shares the Top 3 Tips to improve email effectiveness.

Will also shares what revenue teams are doing right - and what they are doing wrong -  when it comes to email prospecting and outreach.  

Take a listen and learn what you can start doing today to improve revenue outcomes through more effective communication.

Will Allred
COO and Co-Founder, Lavender

[00:00:00] Rosalyn: Welcome to the revenue engine podcast. I'm your host, Rosalyn Santa Elena. And I am thrilled to bring you the most inspirational stories from revenue, generators, innovators, and disruptors revenue leaders in sales, in marketing. And of course in operations. Together, we will unpack everything that optimizes and powers the revenue engine.

Are you ready? Let's get to it. What does your email inbox look like each day? If you're like me, your inbox is flooded with outbound prospecting emails, email communication is not going away. Instead. I'm guessing we will continue to see even more targeted email approach. So, how do you cut through the noise and improve response rates?

In this episode of the revenue engine podcast, we'll all read COO and co-founder of lavender shares his top three tips to improve email effectiveness, and also shares what he sees revenue teams doing right, and doing wrong. When it comes to email. Lavender is an email assistant that combines AI and reply optimization to help improve revenue outcome.

And who doesn't want that. So please take a listen to this episode with will and learn what you can start doing today to improve your email communication.

Excited to be here today with we'll all read the co-founder and COO of lavender. For those of you who may not be familiar with lavender, lavender is an email assistant that helps you write better email. Faster lavender combines AI recommendations and reply optimization with other tools to help you maximize your chances of receiving a better outcome.

So welcome. Will, and thank you so much for joining me. I am so excited to learn more about you and about Lavender 

[00:02:08] Will: yeah, well, Hey, I appreciate you having me appreciate the invite. It's it's fun that this is the first time I think we've ever met, which is always kind of, 

[00:02:18] Rosalyn: it's always fun. And I think we've interacted on different communities and see each other on social all the time.

And so it's great. I'm super excited to just kind of ad pack your story and learn more about you and about the company. So let's start with how lavender. Right. So oftentimes, you know, companies are founded when someone's trying to solve a problem, or there's some kind of like aha moment and understand that there was sort of this catalyst for you with COVID and the pandemic.

So can you share the story of how you and your co-founder William balanced met and what that journey looked like to decide to start lavender? 

[00:02:54] Will: COVID. Probably worth calling out that one missing one other founder, Casey who's our CTO is a little less comfortable facing, but I met will four years ago at a hackathon Atlanta and will, and I met Casey about a year after that.

So we were working on a completely different company before Lauder real pitch, this idea Techstar startup weekend in Atlanta. We ended up hitting it off and we won the competition. So you're familiar with like crystal knows, correct? Yes. Yeah. Okay. So personality angle for sales, we were doing a very similar play, but for marketing teams.

So you'd put in a customer list and we would tell you, Hey, here's how your customer actually thinks. And the idea is this would fuel how you'd go about reaching out and respond to. So we really were founding this on this basis with neuroscience psychology. I had spent the last like three years at a consulting firm, a boutique firm, former McKinsey consultants, some apple exacts, and we were focused on the marketing strategy.

We acted like an outsourced CML. Spent a ton of time in systems design, bringing like different strategies to life, PBS century. Startups like a Primo and easy to open, but you know, with that time on the ground, I saw this huge need for actually understanding how you should reach out and having a reason for why you reached out the way that you did.

A lot of what we saw in the marketing world was guesswork. We tried to build out sort of like two years worked with some amazing clients like gravity, blankets, Yamaha. And, but this year we didn't really have that product market fit yet. We were having us, but it just wasn't quite like that, you know, crazy growth trajectory that you expect to see with startups.

And so. Right at the start of 2020, you started toying around with content analytics and it comes back to a exploring with client who probably said it better than I ever could, because first it started with, I hate your product, which is always a great place. But she starts going off, but you've built these tools to help you speak to these sales.

I don't get measured on the persona. I'm getting measured on what I'm actually getting measured on. And so we really leaned into that and we took the content tools and we started attaching them to the things that this person is getting measured against the return on ad spend. We started to see some really interesting trends in, in complexity in particular complexity of the writing was like severely impacting ad performance.

Spoiler alert. City is like a huge drain on email or call. And so TLDR, we like doubled their return on ad spend. We were planning to go like gangbusters with this product, and then COVID hits up in New York city. It's like early March. Our pipeline is like dropping like flies and we're the entrepreneur center at NYU.

And we'll pulls up this article from tech crunch about LinkedIn shutting down sales navigator. And so we, the original thought was like super simple. Lavender would be like this cash towel that we've launched on like product hunt. And it would buy us some time. And, you know, we teach content analytics tool on the backside.

Like, Hey, look what we can do with your email. We've got this really cool tack we can do more than just like show you information on the person that you're talking to. But yeah. It turned out. That was a pretty good idea. So we spent the summer finding who we'd sell to first group. We went after, you know, starts COVID was job seekers.

Yeah. Tons of folks losing their job. I remember, my now wife, she was like, you know, I think it was Airbnb posted. The like listings of all the folks and like the resumes who had like gotten, let go. I was like going through, reaching out to the form one by one and they're like, Hey, I think this could help you.

And you know, it's funny cause like we still offer the product up for free. If anyone's like seeking a job or like you're a student, it's just one of those things that was like one of the nice things that we could do that it came out of this whole thing. But then we looked at HR recruiting What did some interesting work within like the internal comm space?

We were the classic startup with something cool and nobody to sell it. So we're like trying to figure out who actually has this pain. And we finally landed on sales. This is what we're known for today. It all started with Nick Bennett over at Alice. He, he posted like a, a simple, like, Hey, check out this tool that I found it's super cool.

All of a sudden sellers are not only like flooding us, but like they're posting about us and like talking about how cool the tool that yeah, of course there's nuance in between tough decisions we made when you're pivoting in business. But yeah, by and large, that's how we got. We've only been building for sales use case for, I don't know exactly.

Probably like 11 months. And, you know, we've been making some tremendous products, like tremendous progress, you know, we're probably the technology company out there right now. That's really focused on better email, not just like sending more emails. 

[00:08:37] Rosalyn: Right. Right. Got it. Yeah. I love Nick and Nick and I worked together previously.

And so definitely in a lot of different communities and love the fact that he has a, kind of had a play in 

[00:08:49] Will: your story as just to say like the LinkedIn sort of sales universe has played like a crazy role in. 

[00:08:58] Rosalyn: Yeah, definitely. So lavender, like you said, has been in business now for about a year. You know, when the business really started to take shape, are there things that you've now learned that have really surprised you?

You know, maybe from talking to prospects and to sort of others in the industry. 

[00:09:15] Will: So I mentioned all the other avenues that we tried to go down and that started the summer. My biggest surprise was probably the fact that this hadn't been done yet. I I'm of, but it's wild. How pervasive bad email writing is like 70% of sales emails are like off the charts too complicated.

And it's having like a huge impact on reply rates. And so. Salespeople are out there. They're craving the answers on how to get better. Yeah, we actually just recently sponsored a JV sales webinar. Yeah, they shared with us who joined and you think a webinar, cold email, you know, what, what role would you imagine as the number one thing to sign up?

Yeah. The amount of managers who signed up for that webinar. And it's not just because like, yeah, the demand is there from SDRs and like their steers are trying to learn, like, learn how to get better. Yeah. They're lacking that feedback on how to improve. You know, these reps are like trying to ask questions and managers don't necessarily have the answers.

So the demand's there. People want to learn how to get better. Email is lacking in that like feedback, you know, I want a cold call with you. Like, I can see like how your faces responding, you know what you're thinking, how. Yeah. Coming back to me with objections, cold email, like one to 5%, like you're going to get a response on average.

The rest of it is just silent crickets. And so like, you know, reps get in their own heads like nobody's business it's yeah. How do I follow up? How should I reach out to those that, like my value prop didn't hit? Like what, what are the things that I'm missing here? They have so many questions and meanwhile managers are coming from this time when the answer was.

And that is no longer the case. And there hasn't been a tool to help answer this for apps. And there hasn't been a tool for managers to answer the process of how to even go about answering those questions. And so, yeah, as, as you know, like emails, Sneaky communication platform. And that it is the backbone of every single deal.

Yeah. You going to talk like rev ops, like emails that backbone from start to renewal email is going to play a role it's no longer like cold calls and stuff. Yeah. I love to talk like cold email because you know, it gets clicks and like general. Awareness for what we're doing. I'm certainly not shamed that, but you know, it only scratches the surface of the email challenge that folks are having.

I mean, some of our biggest clients are, they've never actually even written a cold email within our product. They use it for everything else. So the biggest surprise is the facts. The fact that salespeople didn't really have the answer. They haven't had the good answer until. 

[00:12:19] Rosalyn: Got it. Got it. Yeah. I think with, you know, especially with the shift for more people working remotely, right.

Email has become an even bigger part of prospecting than ever before. It's tougher to reach people via an office phone, or even dropping by an office in person you know, which you used to be able to do no longer. So I guess, what are some of the things that you see, you know, marketing and sales teams doing wrong when it comes to email sends.

[00:12:46] Will: Is there like a long list is a lot,

it's funny you say sales and marketing you know, marketing, having a role in sales has probably had some impact. Depending on your source. Yep. Outbounds going like crazy inflated recently. Yeah, especially email, I think your former group, clearly they posted that like sales, outbound was up 16%, but like email replies are down 8%.

So like clearly not like sending more it's not going to have the biggest thing that they're getting wrong in this equation is. Yeah, the mindset of the buyer, the buyers triaged, because they've got like 16% more emails in their inbox and they're like, okay, well now 3% more. Yeah. You think like maybe, okay.

Response rate stays the same. It's somewhere around there, but like we shut down, we hit this level of you know, cognitive load. We're just like, all right, too much, hands up. I quit. Right. And yeah. I talk about inbox triage all the time, because most sellers marketers would have are not approaching email from the process in which you're actually going through your.

Yeah. Tell me if this sounds familiar, you land in your inbox, you look for the names that you recognize. You look for the threads that you recognize. And then there's like a big mess of everything else. Like subject lines are almost

glorified to do list. So most emails fail to recognize that. This process is occurring. Yeah, the. Yep. Say you get through the scanning of like the overall inbox. You get that open. But what most people don't realize is like the average amount of time someone's going to read your email is 11 seconds 11.

Like that's bananas. There's no way the average, like email that is written takes 11 seconds to be read because that's like 25 words. It's I noticed that the case. You know, but we're not looking at it from we're thinking, as we write our email, we're very in our own heads and we're thinking, oh, this person is scrutinizing.

Like every other word there. Yeah. They must be reading for comprehension. And reality is their comprehension. They're skimming, they're reading for categorization. They're looking for, does this look like something I've seen before? Is this like a topic that like I care about? And so. Yeah, truly good outbound experience.

Truly email is going to have empathy for that process. It's going to be designed around the fact that like we are getting bombarded. So like that's, that is the core of like, what I don't see in most outbound is that. Level of intentionality for like, okay, now I understand here's how people are actually reading emails.

Here's how I should write accordingly. 

[00:16:13] Rosalyn: Yeah. I'm definitely feel that you, what you described in terms of looking at scanning your inbox is exactly what I do. Right. You kind of scan because you come in and it's just like, boom. Bold and red, right? Like you said, it's a big to-do list. So you're scanning through looking for the people first, then you're looking at the topics, right.

The subjects. And then you're like, okay, these are the ones I got to tackle first. And all the other stuff just goes to the side. And I used to really try hard to respond to every email because being on the op site, I know how hard our revenue team work. Right. To get these emails out. So I was like to at least say, Hey, I'm not.

Did or I'm going to look, you know, look at this later or give some kind of re courtesy response. But to your point, we're just bombarded now with messages. Like literally if I were to try to respond to everything that is all I would do all day and forget about LinkedIn, my implant in boxes, like that's that is a, yeah, that's a mess that I'll never get out of.

So. You know, you touched on this a little bit, but you know, sort of around the advice, kind of the things that people are doing wrong, sort of the opposite of that as the things they should be doing. But are there other things that you would suggest in terms, you know, to sales teams around, how do they cut through the noise?

You know, how do they re really improve their response rates? Like, are there maybe two or three tips that you would give based on sort of what you're seeing from your business perspective? 

[00:17:39] Will: Yeah. There's, there's probably two, I'll go with three there's, three main tips that I'll only touch on. The first would be like simplicity.

The second would be mobile formatting and the third would be personalizing, you know, all three of those. Seem kind of obvious, but like people don't end up doing them and like, they don't really like dig in. So it's one of the things that I just continue to have to iterate on a daily basis. So I'll start with like simplicity because, you know, if, if I came to you and I was like, Hey, do you want 30% more positive replies?

So there's only one thing that you have to do. Yeah, it sounds great. You remember like 70% of cold emails are written at a 10th degree level. If you take that down to a fifth grade reading level, you will get a 30% plus increase in positive responses. That means really four things, you know, simplifying that down to a fifth grade reading level, and I've done this one-on-one with like hundreds of reps where they're like, I'm stuck.

I can't get this email simplified. Like how do I do it? I, it comes down to like four main things, one emails too long. So we see that reply rates like plummet after 30 seconds of reading. And it comes out to about like 70, 75 words. It, depending on how fast they're reading. Right. But like, you know, if your point is taking longer to make than 75 words, you're probably going on a bit too long.

And you can say that potentially for a follow-up or something along those lines. The second thing I see is run-on sentences. Run-on sentence. Like these longer sentences run on, probably gives it too much credit and leniency because really like Thomas should be like flashing warning signals that your writing is like for too long.

And it is one of the things you're taught in school, how to write in a very different way. But like, you should almost be like staccato it's like short sentences, short emails, simple emails, like no run-on sentences. Cause like those longer stuff. They become this like comprehension glue, like, I'm sure you've experienced where like you're scanning through an email and like all of a sudden you just like stop updating information and paragraphs.

And I just like stopped caring. And so like those, like just teaching people to like shorten those sentences up. And one of the easiest ways to do that. So we, my third point here is like using short common ones. Like the amount of times I've looked at a sales rep's email and it starts with the word noticed and I'm like, okay, well, instead of using the word noticed, say soft, that's three letters versus, you know, I mean,

just do the math. But also like, you know, cutting out the hope, this finds you well but a good example as well would be the word. I see leverage all the time. Like you can leverage this leverage that just use use, right? Like it says the same thing and it doesn't have this like complex convoluted, like secondary meaning.

It's just like, you just used the following thing to do X, Y, Z. And like, I still understand it like email doesn't necessarily look as. Yeah, I can sit there and read leverage. I can read the word use and I still comprehend it all the same, but you get that first impression and I'll get more into this, but you get that first impression of an email on like, you see these big blocks of text and just like, I don't have time.

Yeah. So like using short words is like an easy way to start to get around that. The other words that I always like to just like hammer home. This is cause I'm like former consultant is like the crap phrases, like strategic insights, things that like. If you sent that to like your grandmother, she would look at you, like you had three eyes.

Like, what does that actually mean? Like, no one actually gains anything from that. It's like strategic insights, right. Or you're selling of like technical world end-to-end flexible solutions. Like those aren't like things that I can grasp, whereas like, you know, we have the following thing and like I can wrap my head around.

Okay, this is a cybersecurity solution. Now I know what you do. I can move on. So it just needs to be concrete. That's the other piece with like phrasing and then to get into that is, you know, needs to be more about you and less about me. One of the things that we track in our products, so doing this recently is the ratio at which use I phrases versus.

You phrases and worth noting. Like we is not the inclusive thing that you think no one ever, like it's like consulting, one-on-one every email it's like, we are going to do the following thing. It's like, we use really just me. Right. Yeah. Thinking about like how you read an email, it's like, how do you channel that?

Like Dale Carnegie energy, it's like 80% of this email that I'm about to send you is about you. What's on your to-do list. What you're trying to get accomplished. Like there might be like one or two sentences max, that state like, yeah, we do this and. If it requires like slight further translation, like here's exactly what that means.

But like don't three paragraphs or like list of bullet points. I see bullet points all the time where it's like, you know, you're using bullet points in a cold email. It's a signal that you're just like dumping all your features out. And then you're like, which one is interesting to you?

One simple two mobile is like way more important than anything that we've ever thought. So your reader is eight times more likely to have that initial email. Be on their mobile phone. I don't know about you. My phone is sitting like right here next to my computer and yeah. Get an email pops up. That's where my first impression is.

And so I mentioned, I mentioned the 11 seconds, right? The first three of those 11 is them looking at the formatting and deciding am I even going to bother with this? And so I want to maximize that white space. It's like the amount of like the amount that like making your email pretty matters. I dunno, it feels shallow.

Cause you're saying like make it pretty, but like, it matters so much because I'm realizing, kinda like have empathy for where the other person, like, right. Email volumes up 16% rent. And they're like trying to triage all these things. It's like make it as easy as possible for them to read that information.

And then my last point personalization. So. And that means a lot of things, different folks. But you know, it's just the first part of that triage where they're kind of scanning through that everything else pile, and they're trying to figure out like, which one should I open? Which one should I look at?

That first line of personalization will like double the rate at which people like open your email because like, and I hold myself to that own state, right. It was like, if I see less than 50% open rate on the email that I send out. I did something terribly wrong. The guys it should show, Hey, I'm actually reaching out to you.

I'm actually like trying to have an individual conversation with you and that will drive the rate at which they poop. It doesn't necessarily mean they're going to respond, but in the at-bat you know, the focus here is on how you figure out a way to make that. And so, you know, thing that I like to focus on personalization is like one figure out what your process is.

There's certain sources of information that you're going to go to and you're going to go to them like religiously. And so tools like outreach, SalesLoft are great at like aggregating a lot of that, but we still end up with like five tabs per just know what your tabs are going to be and like go to them in the order.

They give you the relevant information. So like, okay. LinkedIn's an easy one. You can just quickly go to, you can pull up the company insights page. You can go to yeah, there's some like, particularly good like nuggets within like the careers page. If you ever want to get a sense for like what someone's priorities are, go to the careers page.

Hiring for C you know, see how, like the roles that they're delegating out, what their list, the daily responsibilities are. You can really start to get a sense for what in the life of that individual is and what they're trying to do and what they're trying to spend less doing. So that's, that's one piece.

Yeah. I started mentioning the. Yeah, the style of personalization and like trying to get into their to-do list. There's this like sliver of personalization between personal info, like, Hey, I saw you like kayaking when you're kayaking the rapids of like scrum management where like you'll drive like open and super personal, but like, it doesn't necessarily drive that response.

Whereas if you're like super company or industry, It might come across and the initial look is like a template, but when they read it, they're like, yeah, super relevant. And so like, that's like I should respond. So you've got to find that in-between ground, which is like somewhere between almost like a blend of like your experience and like congrats on the new funding ground.

Right. It's not just like, Hey, congrats on getting round. It's Hey. Yeah, you've done this with scale-up startups before know. What's the top priority that you have as your allocating this latest funding. Yeah. By the way, congrats. That's a much more tailored, specific way to say, like, I get you, I get what's on your to-do list.

And like actually showing them that you're trying to get to know them as opposed to you're bound to just get like slapped in the face with some pitch. So those are my three it's simple mobile and personalized. Got it. That's great. That's great. Yeah. Even the follow-ups too. Yeah, SalesLoft just posted a bunch of data on like every step of the cadence and like where personalization can drive the most impact that the worst thing that personalization can do is boost your response rate by 50.

And that's in like that follow-up after the initial email gone, just released it today follow up emails and like, you know, certain phrasings not to use and stuff, but one of the things that stood out was you're 15 times more likely to get a response. If your follow-up email is more than four sentences long.

And it's because you're actually like tailoring the followup email back to the original reason why you reached out, it's like, Hey, yeah. Instead of. Just reaching back out. It's like Hey, did you see my note? I thought this would be relevant because, you know, I noticed this about you. We've done this before.

Yeah. If we can help. 

[00:29:41] Rosalyn: Yep. I love that. I love that. That's really, really good advice. I think there's a lots and lots of tidbits in there for sure that people are going to take with them. Thank you for sharing that. You know, I really don't see email going away. Right. I mean, if anything, we're going to continue to see even more targeted approaches, right.

With more enablement, more tools, more intelligence really needed in this space. What do you see sort of in terms of where the market is going and then sort of, what is your vision of how lavender will continue to play a key role in this area? 

[00:30:18] Will: Three things. You asked them at the market that come to mind.

One is objectivity. So the shrinking of the art of what it is to sell and the growth of what it is, say, like the science of selling the, and that, that, that ties back to testing. Yeah. I talk to sales leaders all the time where like, I don't really understand how much be testing. I don't really understand like what it is that should be testing or like what data points should go into that test.

And so you think about like the future of lavender, we have that data. We have exactly what you need in order to test this. We also have the mechanisms in which we can provide those tests in a way that we drive actual behavior without the end recipient, like really understanding or knowing that we're doing.

Yeah. Say like subject lines, for example, there's several things that go into subject line. You have the tone of the subject line capitalization of like first words, punctuation use of numbers sentiment, how many words are in general? How many characters there are, you know, you can play with all of those different factors and give recommendations to the rep as the.

And do it in different combinations. So you can actually figure out what is the right way to approach this what's the right way to do it. Yeah, that gets into the objectives of coaching. So I mentioned like managers are craving this like sense of like, how do I teach people actually, how to write an email?

Actually having a sense of like, Hey, when you're more formal, you get more respect. Or Hey, that new person who just came in, they're writing like super quick, like one liners and like it's crushing it. Everyone needs to like, get on board and see what they're doing and like try it out for themselves. And last one I'm, Lisa's like the, the world of messaging.

So like, you know, if there's a certain way of saying something, a certain approach to doing something that works. Showcasing actually how that comes to life. We were actually just recently digging into a user's data as a spoiler alert or we're launching a new coaching dashboard. And so we were playing around with all of our users' data and we're trying to figure out like the why behind this data.

And so we saw this increase in response rate when the user asked, I think it was like 30% more to question. But it didn't necessarily correlate back to another thing, which was you know, these unsure tones needed to go up as well. And what it came back to was the way in which you asked the question.

So instead of cutting your, your CTA, you're asked in this very confident, like, I think this would help your team. Instead, what was working to this individual rep was, would this be something that you'd want to hear more about and like understanding the nuance behind that messaging and like why it works?

That's like one of the things that I see as being really impactful the other piece is individualization. So not only like what personalization triggered, you're going to work for. When I'm doing my outbound, what, what what personalization triggers is going to work when I'm reaching out. You versus, you know, someone else over there and like this space at this time in this industry.

And so using you know, some of the things that like Facebook popularized when they were building up their ad network and applying it in the same logic and the same means to email, but making it more of an open box, supposed to a black box so that we can actually learn and like figure out how to do the better.

Yeah. One of the shortcomings is that a platform is you don't necessarily know why what's working and working. You don't necessarily know what you need to be doing better. And so we figured out we can actually get better inputs if we teach people how to put it. And so finding that, and then, you know, back to teaching the last area is passive action and passive action.

It's sort of stems back to like the psychology products that we were building before being able to provide what you need as you need it so that you're not getting into like, okay, this is taking me more time. One of the biggest metrics that we measure ourselves lavender is how much time will be saved reps per email.

It's because we want to be able to just like surface what you need as you need it. And so part of this. Surfing those recommendations, as I mentioned, like, oh, you just like wrote your little personalization out. We'll like flag it, pull open a mobile preview and be like, Hey, this looks terrible. And like bring, and then show you how to fix it.

The other piece of it that we're really just now like certain scraps and surface of he's actually being able to draft emails for you. And so like, we've been playing to like take some bullet points generated. But there's no reason that you should actually have to operate out of your inbox. You should be able to operate out of your draft folder where you've got like the responses pretty much ready to go.

It's just a question of like, Hey, actually like a couple of tweaks here, like, you know, data's missing like one little tiny bit, but like, that's sort of where we see this world of sales tech going. So you see it with companies like duly, where like it's very focused around. Passively like getting the information where it needs to go without the graph, having to worry about it.

It's all about like productivity, but on the flip side, it's all about like efficiency and like a truer sense of where you're not just doing things fast, doing them at a better clip of return because with email, yeah, I can, with email, I can change really teammate things, the rate at which people reply and the output.

Generally email. And so. Yeah, you can't do one and like, forget about the other. And so like, those are the two things that like really focus on. 

[00:36:44] Rosalyn: Got it. I love that. Thank you. So let's switch gears just a little bit. And another podcast, you mentioned a mentor, and I know we talked about it just a little bit before I started recording, but early in your career, and it was Dan Solly who helped you sort of look at how you approach sales differently.

So can you share a little bit about that story and how did that help shape. Thinking towards how you approach business today, if at all, 

[00:37:09] Will: Dan otherwise known as the danimal back when

we need to catch up with them. Yeah. One of the things that I think he taught me and that I kind kinda, I forgot. And I found it again with my co-founder was this notion of like Vito to veto and yeah. Dan never described but the, the idea is like Vito stands for very important top officer to very important top officer.

It's. It's funny. Cause like Dan would never explain it that way. He just kind of like lifted it. And it was this confidence that like, I wish I had had absorbed like way more of when I worked with them. Like I was working to see me. I had to like stop drinking coffee because like cold calling gave me like stress.

Like I was. But he ragged, he recognized that like the person on the other end is a person and they don't want this like terrible, formal stodgy outreach that like everyone had been like practicing. And so I, I referenced with Tom, I think that was the podcast I reference with Tom, just like email that he sent out.

With so simple was basically like, you know, your colleagues are like singing your praises. You're clearly doing something right. Would love to just chat. And I said nothing about the company. So nothing about the product, which at the time was thirsty. And like use booking meetings left and right with this like simple little trick.

And I was like, huh? Yeah, he was doing like the little short, like follow-ups before they were things. And that, you know, it was just that like level of. That swagger that like, I wish I observed more of when I worked with them. But that would be like the top thing that I wish I had, like taken at the time and like absorbed sooner and I'm like refound it later in life.

Which is this notion just like everybody's a person on the other end of the line. 

[00:39:25] Rosalyn: Yeah. That's great. Yeah, definitely. I think people forget that right there. We're all people, if anything, I think maybe with last year, you know, with 2020 yeah. Some of those challenges have really helped people realize, right.

It is a human on the other end because now it's really humanized all of us when we're all working out of our homes and people see our families. Like we were talking about my dog, who of course made an appearance. I like I knew she would. So I think that's amazing. So when I think about, you know, this podcast, right, the revenue engine, I always hope that others will be able to really learn something to really help accelerate revenue growth.

And I think a lot of the things that you've shared have been amazing, just really get insights and tips and taps, really tactical things that people can actually go away and do. But you know, from your perspective, like, what do you think are sort of like, are there top kind of maybe two or three things that you think all revenue leaders should be thinking about today to really help drive revenue growth?

[00:40:22] Will: Yeah. And it's by, I'm gonna like take off the lavender hat. Cause revenue is not only emails. And, you know, I, I will say revenue is partially emails and all of these different outcomes, like feed into one another. So. Yeah. The fact that you call it, the fact that you reached out to me like that, all those things feed back into one another, but taking off my Lauder hat and putting down the notion of like other thing yeah, I'm putting back on like the business hat, you know, number one thing that comes to my mind is like data across the organization can be really impactful to learning how to grow and figuring things out.

One of the things that like always stands out to me is the notion of. Absorbing the information that comes in from inbound leads and you know, some of the time inbound leads look nothing like your usual ICP and like, Yeah. You think about an organization, like you've got to find new markets, Pedago afternoon areas, and like looking at those inbound leads, understanding what it was that got them in the door.

Not just like, what are they interested in, but like what ad did they come from? Like what was the original, like, trigger that got them excited about what you do? Because, you know, say you've got all of a sudden, like a new market emerging out of like professional services, example, example. You know, what was it that got them so excited?

Like, you know, what was it that is interesting to them so that when you start to build out an outbound motion for that area, for that space, you can actually do it from an informed lens. Same thing comes from like customer support calls, right? Like you know, I always talk about like, if we're building out a SDR organization within lavender, it is not just an outbound organization.

It is a product organization. They got. You better believe, like we're going to have a product manager, like sitting behind like a team of SDRs being like, why'd you do that? What, what is that? Why, why are you approaching it that way? What's your thinking there? Right? It's these like silos that's where like we get trapped and I was like, I don't really know what to do, but the answer is usually sitting somewhere within the data within your organization.

So that's one thing. Second thing would be. And it's kind of touches on the last one, but using your customer's language, but not using your customers jargon. I see so often, particularly with sales reps but with sales leaders as well are like, they wanna like act like they're talking language, talk the talk with like their customers.

They start, like just throwing out buzzwords and especially in like the cyberspace where like you've got like these non-technical individuals talking to technical individuals and like the technical person knows that, like, you're not technical. It's okay. Like the one's judging you. Right. The key is that like you understand them and that you're like trying to like be thoughtful in your out.

And so like, part of that gets back to like this complexity and simplicity that, that I've been talking about, but you know, using their language, but not their jargon would be the other piece. And then last bit for revenue leaders would be just putting that ever like that extra little bit of intentionality at every touch point across the customer life cycle.

You know, I talk a lot about cold email. One of the things that I wish I like talked more about is like sales, hygiene, like, okay, we have a meeting today. I'm going to send you the agenda beforehand. Okay. We had the call. I'm going to send you the followup. John's actually done some search around email velocity and showcasing that it like correlates with deals closing for the wind category.

Not like. You think about like, okay, what could I be doing across my organization? It's like that intentional notion of just like sending the email. Do you realize that like, they're getting triaged, like they're triaging their inbox, they're all over the place. They've got all these things going on.

There's like putting the extra little bit of effort in to like put it in writing and put it in front of them. Keep reminding them. That would be. That's like one example of like hype be intentional, but like it's probably a good one for sales serious in particular. Got 

[00:45:01] Rosalyn: it. That's great. That is really great advice.

I love that. I guess, you know, before I let you go. Cause I think, you know, I was asked these two questions, so I always love to know two things. So one, what is the one thing about, well that others would be surprised to learn and to what is the one thing that you really want everyone to know about?

[00:45:24] Will: Okay. Equal would be really surprised to learn is that I actually love doing one-on-one coaching for like email writing. Like I throw out a Calendly one time just being like, yeah, let's see, like what happens? Basically like an experiment to see, like, if people even like pick me up. Hundreds of one-on-one coaching sessions later some fantastic product ideas that have come out of it like that.

Ida you ratio came out of that. Yeah, I love it. I think it's so much fun. I get to like build out relationships with people who are actually like in the trenches selling. But I also get to like learn what people are actually dealing with. You know, so much of what we do is you think about.

Building an email tool. I've already talked about how much it's triaged, right. It's a sensitive place. You really have to get to customers and be in the now. And so, like, I dig out on these calls and I'm like asking all those, like, intricate, like what, what's your thing? Why or why would you rate it that way?

It's like, yeah. Trying to figure out like how to actually teach them and do it in a way that like helps them do it better the next time, as opposed to As opposed to you know, having to come back and ask for more help. You had another question, but that was like the one that I was like.

[00:47:00] Rosalyn: Yeah. Yeah. So what is the one thing? Yeah. What is the one thing that you want everyone to know about you? And maybe it's the same thing? I don't know. 

[00:47:10] Will: And what is the one thing that I want everyone to know about me?

Let's see, let's see. I, it might be the same thing

I might be. I might be stuck on the same thing 

[00:47:31] Rosalyn: I'm gonna say. Cause that's, I think that's really important for people to know. I mean, I think that your passion for it definitely, you know, is it's very If you can feel the passion, right. That you have, it's very apparent that you have a passion for this.

And I think, you know, it definitely will show in your business, it'll show in your product. And, you know, I'm super excited to see what's next for lavender because I'm, this market is just huge. And everything that you've said is just like really demonstrates just all of the passion and the power and the knowledge, you know, expertise behind what you're doing.

So I'm super impressed and just really excited to see what's next. So thank you. So much for joining me, you know, it's been such a pleasure. I'm so glad that we're finally able to connect and love. Just kind of learning more about you and I can't wait to share your story with everybody. 

[00:48:16] Will: Hey, thank you so much.

This is a blast. Thanks.

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