Thanks everybody for tuning in! The reason why we decided to put this on, was to create a fun environment where people can hang out, have a cocktail or two, and enjoy a good old-fashioned conversation with friends. Plus, join together people who can sympathize with what we’re all going through as Sales & Marketing folks, which is needless to say, very very challenging.
For my inaugural guest, I’m so happy to have Dan Frohnen, the CMO at Sendoso. Dan is an old friend of mine an incredible guy and he’s been making his rounds all week, appearing in virtual events and live chats like Drift’s RevGrowth Virtual Summit coming up April 16-17.
“The best thing about marketing and sales is comradery and ideation with each other, and then going out and crushing it together” – Dan Frohnen, CMO of Sendoso
Since we can’t go out to dinner together or happy hour to catch up, we wanted to replicate that online. So first, let’s talk cocktails. Below are the recipes we shared on-screen to kick things off together:
(watch the recipes in the video replay)
Manhattan — Quarantine-Style, By Dan Frohnen
- Start with ice in a glass
- 2 shots Bullet Bourbon (or rye or standard whatever you fancy)
- 1/2 shot Vermouth (or more if you prefer less whiskey taste)
- couple dashes of bitters
- Stir and enjoy!
Negroni, By Matt Amundson
- Start with ice in a glass
- 3 parts Gin
- 3 parts Sweet Vermouth
- 3 parts Campari
- 1/2 part Aperol
- Mix and enjoy!
Alrighty. With drinks in hand, let’s jump in!
First Of All, How The Heck Are You Doing These Days?
Professionally, Dan shared feeling lucky to have access to so many amazing technology tools that help us work remotely, making team collaboration possible and keeping business as usual for the most part.
Personally, Dan shared that “it’s been nice having more time with my kids in the morning. I’m feeling personally good, but also heartbroken by everyone impacted by COVID-19 and the various sectors of our economy facing the brunt of all this.”
On that note, we raise our glasses in a “Cheers” to all the amazingly hardworking medical professionals, doctors, nurses, mental health providers, and the seemingly endless list of behind-the-scenes support staff working tirelessly against this pandemic.
As Dan said, “business goes on”. So let’s turn our attention to some shop talk…
How Is Direct Mail Changing Given The Quarantine Orders?
Initially, like all other marketers, everyone’s trying to figure out the new Marketing Mix and, as Dan noted, most of us turned to online means naturally. “Once we realized that it wasn’t just the Bay Area but also the majority of the country that would be sheltering-in-place, the initial pivot was to digital.”
But people still want physical belongings in their life. This is where nimble teams will thrive. For example, the Sendoso Product Teams quickly deployed their Address Verification feature, which allows recipients to update their address either one-time or ongoing.
Another trend was shifting from physical gifts to digital e-gifts. Consider this: If you send a bunch of swag and bottles of wine to someone’s home, there’s not the same level of fanfare compared to a delivery in the office. Home deliveries still don’t land as well as if it arrives in a full office where the other teammates can share in the unwrapping excitement.
Regardless of your direct mail item-of-choice, personalization continues to be a critical success factor. Finding out more about your prospects’ unique interests and backgrounds, can help you tailor a special care package. Boredom busters are other great options like e-gift certificates to the Apple Store or online games.
Another example of shelter-in-place direct mail marketing success is when one executive prospect got a notice that her packages were waiting for her at the since-vacated office. So even though it didn’t land in her hands, the tactic still provided a reason to have a conversation for the team.
Overall, don’t be afraid to be brand forward. Just be sure you show you care and empathize with the present situation.
Are people actually shipping to people’s homes? What about perishable items?
The feature is still fairly young, but Dan and his team at Sendoso have already seen data reflecting a 30-90% response rate with “Ship To My Home”. The address confirmation feature also works great for perishable items, which helps teams support local small businesses, another big plus in a time like this.
“Any Sendoso customer can just check the box for “Verify Address” and take it from there with various setting options.”
What Has Changed In Your Marketing Mix Since COVID-19?
Some marketing teams have rushed to increase digital ad spend in lieu of live events. But, with significant changes in people’s web behaviors, some campaigns aren’t seeing enough impressions to use up the allocated budget.
Dan recommends a good place to always focus has been on fueling your SDR Team. Investments made in people can be leveraged in new ways, like creating and leading with relevant content, listening to changes in our customers’ challenges, and adjusting messaging to break through the noise.
Another point to remember is virtual events can’t replace physical events at a 1:1 ratio. Instead, re-strategizing and consolidating some partnerships into a new, more focused online event or program. When our main conferences and tradeshows were cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak, Sendoso re-strategized and launched their own virtual event: The Show Must Go On: Integrated Ways to Power the Customer Lifecycle.
Overall, budget allocations can’t simply be shifted from one category to another. The question needs to always be around optimization. What is a “nice-to-have” vs. a “have-to-have” and go into cash conservation mode immediately. Allow some budgets to be absorbed back in for a rainy day fund later on.
Give Some Advice to Marketing Teams Trying To Balance Spend Vs. Engagement
The best marketing professionals are thinking “how can I achieve my goals with the least amount of waste possible.” Every single marketer should go through their budget line by line and consider what is “nice to have” vs. “have to have”.
We don’t know when this will end, so we should be lean and mean right now. That doesn’t mean you avoid risk, but you must be highly aligned with your executive team. Get buy-in together before spending a new chunk of your newly freed up budget. Then, return back as much money as possible back to the organization as a whole or back to prop up the team and your employees.
Let’s Talk Hiring Resources. What Have You Heard?
Several job boards are popping up, like Outreach.io’s Job Board and Eightfold.ai Talent Exchange. Plus, several companies mentioned they’re hiring, including Docebo, Jim Walker’s team at Cockroach, and SalesLoft. Pay it forward and consider sharing if you or someone you know is hiring.
Michael King is one of the best recruiters nationwide and we’re excited to say he’ll be a Special Guest coming up on another A Drink With Episode. Get advice on finding your next position.
What Are Some Of Your Own Boredom-Busters During This Time?
Dan shared that “work has been really busy with exciting new projects and preparing for our upcoming virtual event. In my off-time I’m going on lots of walks outdoors and getting as much sunlight as possible.”
Since Dan traveled so much in the past, he didn’t get as much time with his kids, so now represents a unique opportunity to “enjoy the extra quality family time together.”
In What Ways Do You See Things Changing For The Better?
Dan shared that for him, the most surprising thing has been how ‘human’ individuals and brands have become. “The other day, on a call with an executive of a well-known brand. It was amazingly casual to hear dogs barking in the distance, and the family chatter behind them. It’s lovely to breakdown those barriers and step away from the stiff, structured dinner parties, and moving towards empathetic connections.”
The days of having walls up are fading away, as we all work in more casual comfortable spaces. “Brands can become extensions of people’s network and almost serve as shelter-in-place buddies akin to consumer brands. It’s very interesting what’s happening.”
Balancing Sales Outreach Tones
Matt also shared reflections about the varying mindset when reading someone’s prospecting email to him. “When I’m the office, there’s a certain level of BS I accept. But when I’m at home, there’s a different feeling since you’re in your personal space.” There can also sometimes be a backlash against strangers asking personal questions during a cold outreach. Matt empathized himself with so many of the sales teams out there, saying “It’s a tough balance to strike as we all feel our way through this phase.”
When sales development reps include a slight amount of personalization that is driven by research, that pays off big time. Knowing a small personal detail about the person or the company, helps open the door to a new conversation.
Emotional intelligence plays a big role, knowing the line where you can engage on a personal level without coming across creepy or stalker-ish. But generally speaking, referencing someone’s college, or volunteer passion that might be front and center on their LinkedIn Profile, can go a long way to break through the noise quickly.
These days, teams are showing sensitivity to the times in other ways. There seems to be less cold outreach happening overall, which indicates teams are sensing the need to slow their cadence pace a bit. But then, you’ll get the stark contrasts in terms of bad outreach. Those that are just templates someone copied and pasted without any extra effort given. That type of outreach never worked, and in a challenging time like this, it’s even worse.
SDR Managers or Marketing leaders should ask their teammates to submit what keywords they’re using and what are working vs. not working. Or use a tool like Chorus.ai or Gong.io tool to listen in, analyze and understand what’s working and what’s not. Use that data to pivot on the fly. No one is going out of their way to have insensitive conversations, they just need some guidance about how to navigate the waters on the front lines.
Before we close up the virtual happy (half) hour, we took the opportunity to ask Dan some rapid-fire questions:
Q: First thing you’ll do once Quarantine is lifted?
Q: First place you’ll travel to?
A: New York City. I miss that place.
Q: What are you trying to improve on yourself during this time?
A: Being a better father and a better leader at work.
Q: What would you recommend other marketers do during Quarantine?
A: Network with your community, like Anthony Kennada’s CMO Office Hours. Training helps, but listening to fellow practitioners is really helpful.
For The Fellow Data Lovers, Here’s A Word Cloud Of This Chat
Watch The Video On Demand
Join The Next ‘A Drink With’ Hosted By Matt Amundson
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 3pm PT / 6pm ET Matt will host A Drink With Steven Broudy, VP Head of Sales at Bevy. Register here for the Zoom link.