Episode Description

Ep. 110 – Are you in the B2B space and wondering how to approach marketing automation? In this episode, Chris is joined by Mark Colgan to walk through the top 10 B2B marketing automations that you could be leveraging. Mark is an entrepreneur and revenue leader responsible for increasing revenue across a small portfolio of companies where he leverages his 13 years experience of B2B Sales, Marketing and Recruitment. Get ready to take notes because this episode is full of automated flows that you can use in your business.

Check Out Our Show Notes

Narrator 0:00
You’re listening to the all systems go podcast, the show that teaches you everything you need to know to put your business on autopilot. Learn how to deploy automated marketing and sell systems in your business the right way with your host, the professor of automation himself and founder of automation bridge, Chris Davis

Chris Davis 0:29
Alright, welcome to another episode of The all systems go podcast where we invite founders and digital marketers alike to discuss strategies and software used to build automated marketing and sales systems at scale. I’m your host, Chris Davis, the founder of automation bridge. And on this episode, I have the pleasure of interviewing Mark, Mark Cogan, and he’s a he’s an entrepreneur and revenue leader responsible for increasing revenue across a small portfolio of companies where he leverages his 13 years of b2b sales and marketing and recruitment. He splits his time now, as a co founder of speak on podcasts and mentoring b2b startups. He’s a Tech Stars, 2018 alumni and a regular speaker within the b2b SaaS industry. His work has been published, get ready, get ready, everybody by SaaS, stock mailshake, pipe drive leads shift, LEM list, sugar, CRM, bear metrics, that’s just to name a few. Mark, welcome to the podcast How you doing man?

Mark Colgan 1:40
Hey, Chris, really good to be here. I’m really looking forward to geeking out with over some automations there’s not many people in my life that I get to do this with. So I’m glad you’re one of them.

Chris Davis 1:49
Oh, man, I have to say, listeners, Mark surprised me. I mean, we jumped right in. And he talked about a current automated flow that he’s working on. And I’m going to save that I’m gonna save that into the end. Because what you all are in for a treat for is Mark is going to walk through the top 10. Now he’s got more than 50 by the way. He’s gonna walk through the top 10 b2b marketing automations that you could be leveraging. And the reason why this is important for me Mark is because I’ve got a lot of b2c in my in my crowd. But the b2b is growing. And they always kind of feel left out. They’re like, hey, well, how can we use marketing automation? We’ve got Account Based Marketing, or maybe there’s a parent child relationship in their CRM, and they’re trying to figure out, what can we do? How can we use marketing automation we want, we want to jump into it. So you can be the voice in the b2b space for marketing automation, but But first, I know I interrupt you, I just wanted to let you give you the floor a little bit and tell people a little bit about your journey, and how you got to where you are right now.

Mark Colgan 3:01
Awesome. Thanks, Chris. So yeah, I actually studied Marketing at university. This is back in 2005, to 2009. And we didn’t learn anything about digital marketing. It was just like, yeah, websites are important. And I was like, well, this hasn’t really got me the return on investment I thought I was going to get I did a degree which in the third year, you don’t study, you go and work for a year. And then you go back and finish your degree. It’s something that’s quite popular in the UK. And it’s a really awesome idea. But I actually because I wasn’t learning much about marketing. And all of the marketing kind of placements, like internships were just like a tea boy, I was just like, now this isn’t for me, I want I want some more accountability and responsibility. So I actually got a job in recruitment. And then when I finished uni, so it did a year did well, and I was invited to join the company again when I graduated. So I actually started my career in recruitment for about four years. So worked for recruitment agencies, and then when in house, and there was actually a job that I was recruiting for, which was online, no, online marketing manager. So it wasn’t even good digital back then. And I spoke to the guy who was leaving wanted to find out why he was leaving. And I was like, this is a good opportunity for me because I know how the recruitment process works and what I need to say what I need to put my CV. And I’d actually started to build a website for my dad who had a company and a good friend of mine who’s a personal trainer. And to this day, they still rank pretty high up for these keywords. Because I read the dummies guide to internet marketing, and him my pimp my site, which is all about SEO. In the end, I didn’t say I didn’t work with a large company. I went for a smaller company because I thought I’d learned a lot quicker and then spent the next four or five years as the Senior Marketing Manager. I basically got involved with HubSpot, and was well I knew how to work HubSpot. So companies would hire me to kind of implement HubSpot and do what I did in the last year but just do it at a bigger scale. So I did that for a few years got to the age of 30. I’m 34 now and I decided to take a year off and I took a sabbatical with no job to come back to, but I went for six months in Southeast Asia and six months in South America. But whilst I was away, my old boss called me and said, Hey Mark, you know that HubSpot thing you know about, could you do it for one of my friends who’s got a business, they’re happy to pay you. I really, Chris, I really didn’t want to work. So, so he said, just put in a figure, but any amount, and I’ll do the selling part of it. And if they say, yeah, just be happy with that amount. So I put that amount in which I thought, okay, if they say yesterday, I don’t think they will. I’ll do their HubSpot implementation. They turned out and said, Yes. And really, it was the turning point for me because I realized I could be paid quite well for the skill that I had acquired, and do it for multiple people for multiple companies, from somewhere like Santiago, Chile, where it was so from living in staying in hostels, I went and stayed in like a really, really nice hotel, spent a bit of the money there and did the HubSpot implementation. So I’m almost I’m almost up to current date. I then decided not to go back to like a nine to five and I set up my own automated marketing, sales, marketing automation consultancy. So I was mainly working with mainly b2b SaaS brands, helping them work out how to implement marketing automation, how to tie it to their CRM, what sales automation and outbound software should they be using. And considering how does that all tie together in the tech stack, I did that for two years, enjoyed it, but got a little bit fed up of riding the roller coaster of being always busy. And then the projects finish. And then I have to do sales again. So I then ran, I then was invited to come and run 100, around 100 Personal remote company that did lead research and data enrichment, did that just over a year kind of fix a lot of things added a lot of automation to the things that could be automated. And then I got the itch to kind of build my own thing. And that was June 2020, where I co founded speak on podcasts where I spend most of my time today. And yeah, we’re up to around 20 team members, we’ve booked over 1000 interviews for our customers. So yeah, sales marketing recruitment have been through a lot. Love it,

Chris Davis 6:59
and you can see it, you can see it, I definitely experienced it, you can see all of your experience come into play, when we talk about speak on podcast. Um, I was just mentioning to mark before we jumped on the podcast how I’ve been on the receiving end of some of the people using his company to reach out to me to be a guest. And you can tell you can tell your experience and just how you’ve even outlined that whole process out shines a lot because I the type of outreach that I get, sometimes they’re good guests. But because of the lack of quality of the outreach, I’m just turned off, just like you know what, you you could have put more effort in that. You could have made that a little more personal, you know?

Mark Colgan 7:45
Yeah, Chris, we had a new joiner go through our onboarding process who’s starting to work with us and his, his main role would have been as a booking agent. And he was like, why don’t you just automate that send the same message out to hundreds of podcasts? And I’m like, you don’t get it. That’s why we’re different. That’s why we do so well. Needless to say, he’s not working for us, because he couldn’t. He’s looking for the opportunities to automate. Now. I feel like that’s quite a good segue, I guess, into what we’re going to talk about today. Because everybody’s looking for the silver bullet of what they should automate. And I’ve got some opinions about thinking about that before you start even automate anything.

Chris Davis 8:19
Yes, yes. So let’s jump right into it. We know your background, we know your business. And we know the podcast, so everybody’s ready. Let’s I’ll give you the floor. I’ll jump in where appropriate, but but let us all just take our pen and paper out. And let’s start writing notes. Uh, Mark, where would you say you you would start when it comes to approaching marketing automation for for business to business?

Mark Colgan 8:44
Sure. So when when I’m, when we’re going to talk about b2b, I’m going to go into kind of cover marketing and sales because for me, they are aligned. And yes, you might have different groups and teams, you still need that glue connecting the marketing to the sellers, and vice versa. I think before we start saying, You know what the top 10 automations are and Chris, you might need to write down how many I’ve done because I could probably go on. So you don’t want to get stuck, you want to get to 10 The most important thing to remember is that not everything should be automated, just because it’s because you’re selling to businesses, people make the mistake of automating too much. And really, it’s still a kid, it’s still a human, at the end of the day, who’s going to be receiving your messages or be on the receiving end of that automation. So number one, don’t forget that it’s still human. And some things just shouldn’t be automated, or they should be maybe semi automated, so not 100% automated. And that goes on to my second point, which is make sure that you’re automating the right things and not just automating a process because it sounds like he should. I’ve worked with a lot of companies and when I was a consultant, a lot of my time was undoing a lot of the stuff that had been done previously. You’re shaking your head curious and nodding. You’ve been there as well. So I think know what to automate is most important. And I always suggest starting off manually. And then looking at which bits of the automation you can automate and what you should automate as well. As I said, not everything should be automated.

Chris Davis 10:14
Yeah, and I’ll jump in there. Because this is easier said than done. Everybody, I’ve, I’ve got my hand raised for a reason. And as an experienced, automation professional, we call them automation service providers. I have to catch myself because my natural inclination is automation. So I even have to say, You know what, let’s send that email manual. First of all, I’m talking to someone on my team, listen to it manual first and see if it gets a response. If it gets a response, okay, now we can start to think about putting it in an autoresponder. Or, you know, what, before we build a sales page, let’s put that in an email, like, let’s have a conversation, so we at least know the language to be speaking or not, in order to get them to take the next step. Right. So I love I love the Start Manual first. But I just want to caution everybody, it does not matter what level of expertise you’re at, you will fall victim to just where I can automate that, especially when you’ve got a history. Mark, right, when you’ve got this long trail of successful automations. Yeah. So it’s always a quick check to say, wait a minute, do I need to automate this? Let me just do a manual first, you know, in a lot of times, a the manual effort, especially if it’s a new process, you realize, like, oh, man, I’m glad I didn’t put a whole lot of effort in there. Because it, it wasn’t as big as I thought it would be. You know, absolutely save yourself. Yeah,

Mark Colgan 11:47
and I think sometimes automations can, if there’s human input, there’s an opportunity for human error. And that can break in automation. And sometimes the time it costs to maintain and fix automations. It’s not worth it, just do it manually. Because as you mentioned, Chris, I think we automate everything. And it’s like, oh, he only uses automation, once a year, was it really worth the effort to go and put it in? I don’t know about you, Chris. But I try. And I try and simplify automation, just saying there’s three main steps, there’s a trigger event, so something usually happens, there’s a condition most of the time. So if this is the case, then go to the next step. And the final step is an action. And I find that that’s quite a simple way to explain it. So when it comes to some of the automations, I like to think about optimizing what we currently have, before we put anything new into the top of the funnel. And in b2b world, that’s lead generation or demand generation, I always like to start with that bucket, and plug as many holes of that bucket so that we don’t have things leaking out of it, once we start at the top of the funnel activity. So I guess I’ll start with some automations, which are around optimizing what you currently have at the moment. And I’m going to be keeping these in mind into in terms of like acquisition, conversion and retention. And I’ll try and touch upon all of these at some point, Chris. Yeah. So the first one in terms of acquisition, a lot of companies for live chat on their website, if you’ve got a certain amount of traffic coming to your website, I’m not sure what that actual number should be today, it might be worth having live chat on there. But most people just install live chat, and then don’t take advantage of the automations that can be put in place. So for example, knowing that a customer has visited the homepage, they’ve looked at the features, and then they’ve gone on to the pricing page, you can trigger a specific message which is geared around the pricing, you know what their journey has been. So you can be more tailored and more personal and more personalized to their experience. Likewise, understanding that that person is on your website for the fifth time, you can trigger a different message to them, because they’re obviously interested in something yet, they just haven’t reached out to you just yet, for example. So being smart with the way that you’re segmenting your live chat visitors, and not treating everybody as equal in the sense that every visitor that comes to your website should get the same. Hey, how are you today? So be a little bit more creative with the with the messaging on there, and make sure that’s tied to your CRM as well because you kind of want to play it safe with your messaging, just in case they are a paying customer, and you haven’t got connected to your CRM, and then you’re asking them a question like, Hey, do you have any questions about pricing, but they’re already a customer. So yeah, don’t want to you don’t want to trip up a little bit. So you always have to think about the different outcomes and eventualities.

Chris Davis 14:44
Yeah, that’s, that’s really good. Um, we talk about segmentation, a lot of Of course, it’s the the heartbeat of automation. It’s what keeps the blood pumping. Yeah. Is segmentation and understanding based on behavior where people are at in the journey. So I love the fact that you, you added the CRM, because you have, you have to store it somewhere. And as I work with a lot of startups mark, you know, whether it’s seed Series Series A, Series B, and a lot of them really struggle around implementing a CRM, and I’m telling I’m gonna say you’re you’re experiencing a pain that you don’t even realize as a pain, because it’s just been the norm because you’ve never had a CRM, a central place to store that information, and it makes your marketing and sales a lot easier. So alright, love that one about live chat, man.

Mark Colgan 15:38
No worries. Okay, so keeping let’s let’s keep the customer journey or the buyer journey going that way. So alright, let’s say you’ve got a visitor on your website, they’ve engaged in chat. Now they want to if we’re b2b, they’ve got two options. Usually it’s speak to sales, or which could be book a demo, or it couldn’t be start a free trial. Let’s go into booking a demo, because b2b isn’t always as simple as that b2c, that product lead, it’s not quite there for every product. So when somebody is booking a demo with you, even though that you’re not going to be able to, to do that demo, immediately, make sure that once they filled out that form, they get an automatic email to say, Hey, Chris, thanks for showing your interest in product xy, we’re really looking forward to scheduling the demo with you. Here’s information of how we take how we go to the next steps. And here’s a video overview of one you’re going to see in that demo. Because when you’re on that, when the salesperson is doing the demo, it’s great to give the prospect some additional information so that you can save a bit of time, and they can come to that call a lot more educated, you get through the discovery process a lot quicker, and speed up the sales cycle overall, because they’re already primed. Because you don’t want to spend the first 10 minutes of the demo, just showing them how the dashboard works and where they can where they can invite new users. Let them have a look. Give them a taste of it. One, there’ll be more interested. And secondly, they’ll have better questions. I’ve been in this situation where somebody asked me, they’ve seen the video demo, and they’re like, Hey, thanks, sort of it looks great. I just really have a question about integrations does it integrate with x y Zed? So it’s and that’s a very, very powerful question to receive as a salesperson because there’s a lot of buying intent when people are starting to think about integrations for something about how will this product fit in my workflow in my in my current setup? So yeah, that would be my second one have an autoresponder. So again, similar to what you’re hearing b2c, but with a demo, have that auto responder, so people know that you’ve received that information, and they understand what the next steps are. Yeah, and

Chris Davis 17:51
I got a highlight here. Preparation. And because sometimes, it’s not just one person on that call, sometimes it’s multiple people on that call. And people often overlook how valuable preparation is. So when they have that video, when you’ve given them the opportunity to come to that meeting educated, what you’re really saying is, I value your time, just the same as I value mine. So instead of us jumping on Yeah, we’ll go through the niceties. And hey, how’s it going? How’s the weather? Right? Yeah, right after that, we can jump right into the meat and potatoes. We don’t we don’t have to dig because you are I gave you your shovel for you, before you got on. So we could just go whatever depth you were able to get to prior to let’s just start there. Yeah, and get more out of this meeting?

Mark Colgan 18:46
Definitely. And even asking the question in that autoresponder or it may be in your interaction with that prospect before the demo is like, Hey, what is the one thing that you’re going to enjoy looking at? Or what is the one thing that you want to see in this demo, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked, I’ve been so in a similar position to you, Chris, working with different CRM. So I’m not going to name I’m not gonna name and shame. But I’ve sat on a number of demos and discovery calls were the first. The first slide is like we were founded in 2002. We have 3000 customers. And it’s just like, the reality is your your prospect does not care about you, as the business. They care about the problem that they have, and they want help solving it. I didn’t mention I do some sales coaching. I teach a course on outbound prospecting and cold email. And one of the things I say in both of those courses, is remove yourself. You are not the hero, you’re the guide, your customers the hero and it’s your job to be the guide on their hero’s journey. So yep, so remove, remove any of that ego from your site, and just start with what they want to want to listen to. Because I feel that goes quite neatly into another automation, I think For me, a lot of times automation is usually the public facing automations when it comes to marketing and sales, but there’s so much you can do behind the scenes. So for an example, that form gets submitted or the demo request is booked, if you’re using slack as a way to communicate with your team, you can send a notification to slack to say, Chris has booked a demo on the 16th of December at 3pm. You this salesperson is assigned to that person, or it might be that you don’t automatically assign salespeople, you might need to look at additional information. So that way, you can do that in Slack. And you can enrich that information as well if you’re using tools like clear bit, or other kinds of data providers, because it can take the person’s email address and work out. Okay, this is an enterprise company that has over 3000, staff members, or employees, sorry. And that is actually for Jane, because Jane is our enterprise sales rep. And you can get that done automatically with some automation.

Chris Davis 20:59
Yeah, and I love slack. Everybody knows that I love slack. And I love sending notifications about the customer journey to slack. And it’s one of the things that I find myself doing all the time, I think the official term for this mark is called deep linking. But the slack notification, I always have a link back to the contact record, or back to the the form submission software wherever somebody may need to go and like look at more detail. I always like to link there because it becomes like Central Command or central collab center. Yeah, everybody. So anybody, I’ve got multiple channels. And based on the channel, of course, the people are in there appropriately. So when something comes in that message is in there. And instead of them asking me, Hey, hey, what about that they can click the link goes right to the file, or the contact record? Chris, I

Mark Colgan 21:57
think really as as kind of marketing automation people, we’re trying to avoid the amount of times people need to ask us a question in the nicest way possible, right? We want to have conversations, we love working with people. But we really don’t want to answer these simple questions when you’re right. And let’s take take a personal example. I have to I live in Lisbon, Portugal, but I’m from the UK paying bills, I have to use a Portuguese card which I only just top up with the money to pay the bill. I have a recurring calendar appointment with a link in that calendar appointment, which says the internet company’s name and a link to the payment portal to pay it. Yeah, just putting that link in the calendar appointment. It doesn’t sound like an automation, but I’ve just saved myself a tiny bit of time. And I’m making things a no brainer are no questions asked. And I think if you take that same sort of methodology to business automations with that b2c or b2b, it’s quite a clever way of just removing the thought that has to go into it.

Chris Davis 22:56
That’s that’s that’s it, Mark, if we think once we don’t think again, we’ve made this decision at work. Therefore, let’s put some kind of structure in place. So that we don’t have to think again or go through that same thinking, man love it.

Unknown Speaker 23:13
Absolutely. So we’re using the same example this sells lead. There’s I’m making this story up as we go, Chris, as well. So he’s going off on a tangent, but this demo that’s been booked, that was Jane is now going to be the sales person who’s going to speak to this demo. Because we’ve maybe assigned that to Jane, that could be done automatically through your CRM, because what’s important is that demo request also goes into your CRM, not just slack, so you’re likely to have multiple steps in your automation, it will either be automatically assigned to Jane using a If This Then That statement. So if the company size is more than 3000, then assigned to Jane. So then what happens Jane gets this fictional fantastic sales woman called chain gets a notification via her CRM, that a new deal has been added in her name. And what you can also do is then get it to set up a draft email, which Jane can send out to the customer. The draft email has a slight template, which is Hi, looking forward to speaking to you, I’m going to be the person that’s going to speak to you on this date. So you can merge in all this information. But it allows Jane to add a little bit of personalization. An example being as Jane can see that the prospect lives in North Carolina in the States. Jane was at a an NC State football game a few years ago and Jane can mention that and put that in in the draft or anything that she had that Jane has a disposal to find out something that’s really relevant and personal to the to the individual. Think about the different that makes in terms of that person’s experience with the company. They haven’t even done the demo yet. But this person within 24 hours, has sent me a personalized looking forward to speaking with you. And also picked up on something that was on my LinkedIn profile. Yeah, it really powerful stuff. It is.

Chris Davis 25:09
The the power mark is the simplicity. Right? It being able to have a draft email prepared for you where you just got to go in. And when we talk about personalization, a lot of people get in the mindset that they have to write an email from scratch for every new person, sometimes tweaking a word, Mark, the lies the email, you know, so usually doesn’t require more than a couple sentence sentences that Max, you know, so

Mark Colgan 25:38
yeah, no. And it’s also an opportunity to put your personality into it. I think it’s a really important thing to mention that in the b2b world, because again, we think we’re selling to businesses. But, you know, in my emails I send on a Friday, as cheesy as it sounds, I say Happy Friday. Like, yeah, because because I know no one else is not no, not many people will be doing that. And not that I have an issue where I want attention all the time. But I do want to stand out in the inbox of the people that I potentially want to work with. Because there’s so many people vying for their business and I want them to be I want them to think of me as a as an extended friend, someone that they know, like and trust, because that’s ultimately how people make decisions. So by doing these little things all the time, you can really stand out in the in the inbox.

Chris Davis 26:22
Yep. Yep. Got it. Great. All right. It’s been auto assigned to Jane. She’s She’s personalized, that draft email, sent it out. What? Where are we at? Now, Mark? This is exciting.

Mark Colgan 26:33
Yeah. So from a sales point of view, you kind of want to sell the meeting. Still, just because somebody has booked a demo doesn’t mean that they’re 100% committed to it, they should be. But life throws up some unexpected events, priorities change, they get an email from a seat, their CEO that says, oh, no, my friend has this other tool, and we’re going to, we’re just going to use them. So so what you would want to make sure is that depending on when that demo is we said the 16th of December, earlier on, you might want to have an automation that sends out seven days before that demo. And that automation is another email which can be from Jane who’s assigned. And it could be a piece of content, you want to add some value, it could be talking about kind of thinking off the top my head here, use cases how people have used the product or software success stories, how customers have successfully implemented it. It could be a podcast interview that you co went on to talk about the awesome journey that he was on to build to build the company and why he does it. What’s the mission vision values. And again, you want to stay that you’re looking forward to speaking to them next week. So I think we sometimes celebrate too quickly in sales that we’ve got a meeting booked, it’s going to close is done deal. But you know, think about it, that prospect may be speaking to three of your competitors, and they had demos a lot quicker. Yep. Yes. That’s a very, yeah,

Chris Davis 27:58
Mark, I love it. Because you don’t know what you’re up against. And they don’t either unintentionally. They scheduled in like you said, life just happened. They walk down the street, walking their dog just like they do every every day, somebody happens to be on the bench has another dog, they’re talking about dog stuff, then the next thing you know, they have software, they have an idea of maybe they’re in the same industry. And that person can show them right there on their iPad. Hey, let me show you, you know. So it’s all right, dynamic nature of it. So what I love about these premium reminders, is that it reminds them it stays on top of their mind so that even if they’re entertaining something else, because often time there’s not just one solution, somebody’s looking at, you know, it, recency bias kicks in, right? I didn’t even know I wasn’t even aware of CRMs. So then I go and went to this website and sign up for the CRM demo, then all of a sudden, I start seeing CRM stuff, right? And I’m not talking about remarketing and retargeting. I’m just my ears are now trained to it. I never realized my friend works for a CRM company, I didn’t realize you would say so. It makes it extremely necessary to make sure that you stay on top of their mind until they show up to that event, not just in not just from a value perspective so that they can you can maintain the excitement, but just to keep them on the right track. They don’t want to fall off. I think if people understand people don’t want to get lost. They want to find the right software. It’s just hard. There’s just too many distractions, you know,

Mark Colgan 29:39
and that goes back to the point about being the guide because everybody’s looking for that guide, whether it’s a personal trainer to lose weight or get stronger, whether it’s a professional coach to speak better. We’re all looking for guides in personal and business and you want to position yourself as that guide that’s likable that’s known, liked and trusted. Here’s Chris something I didn’t share is what I started So when I said about put your personality in it and just stand out a little bit in my calendar appointments that people book calls of me for speak on podcast, the calendar title in the in the meeting isn’t mark, Chris or conversation with Mark. I’ve got a fire emoji, a podcast mic emoji, and it says podcast strategy call with Mark and Chris, for example, because I know what it’s like as a buyer to look at my calendar and go, Chris, Chris. Chris rings a bell. But I’m not quite sure if I remember what it is. And and that’s that’s what your buyers are going through. Right? They got so many things on their plate. So you want to make again, like we talked about the automation almost with the paying your internet bill, just make it one click that removing the thought removing the people that don’t have to force people to think. Yep,

Chris Davis 30:53
absolutely. All right, great. We got the reminders going out. They scheduled the demo, it’s aassigned the reminders, testimonials, FAQ, just every value,

Mark Colgan 31:03
value value add what’s next. Chris is demo day, it’s time to do the demo. I won’t go into best practices on delivering demos. But let’s just say you’re making notes as you’re going through the demo, you’re writing down, you’re asking questions like how are you going to measure the effectiveness of this? What does it mean to you to be able to solve this? What other people are you looking at, you know, all of these good discovery questions that you’d ask on a demo, and you’re making notes that those once once you hang up, or you click leave the Zoom meeting, you now should be sending them a follow up email. And this is where you have a template which is ready to go. It has 95% of the information, but it just has a few fields for you to add in. So those fields might be that person’s name, it might be the company name, their objective, and their measurement outcome, again, just following this meetup example. So when you come out of that meeting, you go straight to your email client, you click New message, you select the template, you could use dozens of tools to do this. And it asks you to put in their name. So I’m going to put in Chris, and it’s going to company name. And I’m going to say the speaking podcast company name. And then the objective is to increase brand awareness and drive demand for my new show. And then how am I going to make the measurement outcome is organic traffic and also landing page, just say these are just examples of making that information that you’ve just typed into a small box gets merged into the email that you’re sending, which is a follow up email to say, Hey, Chris, thanks so much for your time today, really great finding out more about you. And your journey will speak on podcast. So it’s pulling the company name, I’m pretty confident that our service product solution can help you achieve your goals of increasing brand awareness, awareness and generating demand. Here’s what we discussed. And then obviously, you want to include the other merge tag in there as well. Again, it’s almost automated, you can see that there’s a manual, because because you could automate it to say meeting done send email. And that’s what I bet 99% of my competitors are going to do. So I’m going to take just five extra minutes to customize this and make it relevant for my customers that my prospects so they feel special,

Chris Davis 33:21
as exact in you’re talking about that human blend, human and automation blend. And that’s where authentic marketing comes up. That’s when people don’t feel like it’s robotic, or, you know, you just sent this to me like you send to everybody else. And what I especially like about this is, Mark, there’s no shame if if the strategy worked earlier in the customer journey. Use it again, we’ve seen this, we’ve seen the template that Jane used to personalize and send out. You don’t have to always do Oh, I did that. In the beginning. I can’t do that same automation later. Yes, you can. And in fact, it’s got even more value later, the same move is more valuable later, because now they’re closer to the sale.

Mark Colgan 34:11
You know, definitely, definitely. Sometimes I talk about LinkedIn marketing, and people like oh, how often should I should I post more than one time a day on LinkedIn. And I’m just like, you’re the only one that knows how many times you’re posting on LinkedIn. No one, no one sits on your profile that has looking counts and goes, I was Chris up to be posted three times on Thursday. It just doesn’t happen. But we get in our heads sometimes. And I often see within my team and it’s like, everybody’s free to do whatever they want, as long as their mom or aunt would be happy if they saw what they did. And no one’s gonna die as a result or consequence of the action. Like everything else is fine. Just make sure it’s good. And it’s not harmful. Yeah. So when it comes to posting on LinkedIn, do as much as you want until people tell you to stop. So we’ve we’ve done the demo. We send a follow up. So there’s a few automations that you can have here. And as you can see, we’re using marketing automation software, but it’s enabling the sales team at the moment. So you would want to make sure that you’re updating your your sales pipeline, so you know where this person is in their journey. And also, what you’d want to do is you’re you want to make sure that there is a almost like a lead nurturing sequence happening after the sales demo has has happened. So that might be again showing additional value, showing specific use cases that that customer that that prospect spoke about. Now, let’s see on the demo, they were particularly interested with a particular part of the software. Again, going from not having everything 100% automated, you can have a sequence of emails that that are planned to go out, but you manually have to send it so Jane is going to manually send the second follow up email, but it’s already teed up ready for her to just click Send. But before she does that, she’s going to record a video, which talks through the particular part of the platform that they wanted to see. And then send it out. Now, as with any automation, you kind of want to have like a generic backup, Chris, I’m not sure if you’ve got a better word for this, but like a fallback option? In the exact

Chris Davis 36:18
word that I use, yes, okay.

Mark Colgan 36:20
Okay, cool. Because that, you know, you don’t want to create a template that you can’t use for everybody, you need to keep it. Mostly, I don’t wanna say generic, but mostly the same, we’ve just small bits to tweak. But yeah, Jane will record that video and send it out. Now, part of it another automation that you may have introduced was to assign that task for Jane. So added to her calendar, so that she knew that she had to record that video as part of the sales process. So that after the sales call the email went out. And then the next day, Jane fires up her computer uses loom or whatever she’s using to record the video hits record saves the URL, and then she has it ready to go when that follow up prompt gives her that the task to send that email.

Chris Davis 37:03
Yeah, and look at how we’re using different technologies to really personalize this. And what is so it’s so beautiful, because I’m seeing an orchestration of synchronous, internal synchronous activity and external asynchronous consumption, right? Yes. So when Jane in sync with what’s going on, creates that loom video or whatever video, right? The second she sends it, it now becomes a synchronous, which is a benefit to the end user. Because when they receive it, they can watch it at any moment. They can watch it in their time. And right when they watch it, guess what, it’s personal. Like this. This is the beauty of technology, when you do it the right way. You can truly give the person who’s going through the customer journey, the ability to experience it at their leisure on their table, right? Oh, it’s beautiful man.

Mark Colgan 38:03
And, and Chris, we’re all human. We’re all different. And your buyers are to some people will want to have a phone call. Some people want a zoom call other people. It’s actually funnily enough, I asked somebody about their pricing. I had a question about pricing. So I’m really, really hot lead. And he sent me an email I said, Cool. Yeah, I could talk to you about my pricing. Here’s a link to book a calendar call with me. It was a 30 minute call. I looked at my calendar, I haven’t got 30 minutes spare. So I was like, if you don’t mind, I won’t have time this week. I’m keen to move forward. But if you want to record a loom video, or just reply with how much the pricing is, I’d like I’m ready to buy. I just want to double check this question around how many seats and how seats are assigned and things like that? And he replied, and I signed up, you know, so as much as we were talking about automations, there isn’t a one size fits all, but you want to kind of get everybody to 95% so the human can, can take over and just kind of get the deal over the line.

Chris Davis 38:57
Yep, absolutely. All right, we’re coming to an end. Let’s do rapid I have eight by the way. I’ve got eight automations let’s do rapid fire the next to just kind of name them off. And I’ve actually got watch this market got 1234567 tips, seven tips in eight automations I’ve been doing my homework as you’ve been going so rapid fire what would your last two automations be

Mark Colgan 39:20
right, let’s fast forward a little bit. The person decided to work with you. They’ve said Yeah, want to get started. Let’s get started. Have an internal form that you as Jane the sales person fills out. She puts in the customer name their emails, any other additional people at that company she’s just sold to put all that information in there. What happens hits go the automation goes to Slack says way we got a new customer and then it tags, Julia who’s the onboarding specialists for her to set up a column with the customer. Google Docs and folders are created with the customer name so that using merge templates and everything like that, so that they’re all automatically created And yeah, you can have a string of automation to do that. In fact, that’s what we do at speaking broadcasts. So yeah, one internal form, you’re the trigger. Because it’s a variable time, you know, you can’t control when a customer is going to sign up. But you can control what happens after you fill out that form. So we have lots of internal forms, I think my team gets a bit bored of all the internal forms, or they get lost in all of the different answers. But

Chris Davis 40:24
oh, I love them. You gave me two for one, there was the internal form that automatically assigns it to the onboarding staff and probably even creates tasks for them. Right? I mean, that’s going unspoken, as we’re talking, we’re familiar with this, because we know b2b marketing, but yes, use automation to generate the tasks. Yeah, with the assignee, you added a auto creation of the documents and folders. This stuff seems like oh, you could just create a folder. Oh, no, at scale. Trust me, every step matters at scale. And just I don’t feel like just creating a folder. And if people have to do it, people get tired. People are saying yes, system. Trust, yeah, you truly want to make sure that you can automate some of the sum as much of the process, right to super give the person their superhero, okay. They just show us they do one thing. They’re like, wow, I created all of these folders. I did this, I sent the email, and they maybe only type five words. Exactly. All of that habit.

Mark Colgan 41:30
And Chris, I really want to close the loop. Right? I’m going to go to customer success. And then, and then I’m not going to talk about automation for a while. So customer has been with you for three months. Okay. So they’ve been they paid, they’ve signed up, they’re using the product, what a lot of companies will do is like all 90 days, send a NPS survey or send a feedback survey? No, don’t. Because there’s a lot of context that you might have, which you can look at from your product analytics, or speak to your customer success team. Again, I’m speaking to the B to b2b world here to find out how the usage has been what questions and queries have been sent in. So have a human who can understand that context, decide which message to send out. So rather than saying, leave us a review on Trustpilot, or Capterra, or G2 have the human reach out and say, Hey, I know we got off to a bit of a rocky start in the first month took us a little bit longer to integrate that bit with this bit. But I can see that your team have been using it now. We’d love to find out if you have any feedback at all. versus another email, once you’ve had a look at the context to say, You guys are rockstars, we haven’t heard from you. Because you just get it and it’s working. But obviously we’re here. If you need our help, we’re here to support you. And you can do so also, how is your experience going? And again, these can be internal forms. It could be good, bad or good, bad neutral, because you always want to have the fall back.

Chris Davis 42:59
Yeah, man, these were great. So we got a bonus, we’re up to 11. Mark. I can’t thank you enough, man. This was great. This was a great conversation. And I saw so many parallels. The good thing about it is, you know, I’m in all of these spaces. So I’m familiar with automating across them all. But it was it’s always good to see the parallels in the the theory, right? The methodologies have changed, depending on what market you’re in. But the theory is just solid man, how you personalize the journey based on what they’ve done, and what you would like them to do. And making sure once you’ve done the thinking, or once you’ve done a profitable or necessary action, that you then make sure that that can be repeated, you know, without without human interaction or minimal human interaction and management. So everybody that’s been listening to this, they’ve been listening to you break down automation in a way I’ve been able to sit back and take notes, man, so thank you for that. Where can people find out more about you and or your company? Where would you prefer to send them mark?

Mark Colgan 44:12
Sure. So the best place to reach me individually is on LinkedIn. So you can just search for Mark Colgan And if you’re interested in speaking podcast and what we do with the securing of interviews on podcasts, then you can just check out speakonpodcast.com.

Chris Davis 44:28
Yes, and again, I am a recipient of the process. And once you start a podcast and it gains traction, there’s a lot of people a lot of people that start reaching out to you. So it’s always refreshing when people do it in a way that’s that’s more authentic and genuine. So thank you for that mark. And again, thank you for jumping on and showing us how to automate the b2b customer journey with authenticity man authenticity, let me say because there’s many ways to automate these customer journeys, but the way that you broke it down from live chat all the way to Customer Success man, I can’t thank you enough. So I’m glad the listeners This was probably right on time man this is gonna we gonna do more b2b here you go here’s your b2b so I can’t thank you enough for Mark so greatly appreciate it my friend

Mark Colgan 45:19
thank you Chris it’s been a pleasure like I said always a fan of talking about automation with with another automation pro

Chris Davis 45:24
yes I’ve gained a brother in arms automation battlefield now so thank you again man and I’ll see you online.

Mark Colgan 45:32
Cheers take care Chris

Chris Davis 45:34
Alright, thank you for tuning in to this episode of The all systems go podcast. If you enjoyed it, make sure that you’re subscribed at the time of recording the all systems go podcast is free to subscribe to, and it can be found in Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts new episodes are released every Thursday, so make sure you’re subscribed so that you don’t miss out and while you’re at it, please leave us a five star rating and review to show some love but also to help future listeners more easily find the podcast so they can experience the value of goodness as well. We’ve compiled all resources mentioned on the podcast, as well as other resources that are extremely valuable and effective at helping you grow your marketing automation skills quickly and you can access them all at all systems go podcast.com Thanks again for listening. And until next time, I see you online. Automate responsibly my friends


You'll Learn

  • [2:55] Mark’s journey and how he co-founded Speak On Podcasts
  • [8:33] Where to start when it comes to approaching marketing automation for B2B
  • [12:12] A simplified 3 step process to automations
  • [12:55] How to optimize live chat on your website
  • [15:39] The importance of using automation to prepare your leads for conversion
  • [19:56] How to use automations behind the scenes to keep your team on the same page
  • [23:13] Why combining automation with personalization is so powerful
  • [26:33] Why you should be delivering value in your event reminder emails
  • [31:03] How to customize and semi-automate your follow up emails
  • [39:20] Automating your onboarding process
  • [41:30] Why you should not 100% automate your 90 day review forms

Today's Guest

Mark Colgan is an entrepreneur and revenue leader responsible for increasing revenue across a small portfolio of companies where he leverages his 13 years experience of B2B Sales, Marketing and Recruitment. Mark currently splits his time as Co-founder of Speak On Podcasts, mentoring B2B Startups via GrowthMentor and ScaleWise, The Product Onboarders and coaching 100’s of SDR’s through his Outbound Prospecting course via The Sales Impact Academy.

Want to Be a Guest On the Podcast?

We're currently accepting guests for the podcast that are SaaS owners, marketing automation consultants, and digital professionals that have produced high results with automation.
If that's you, or you'd like to recommend someone, click here to apply to be a guest.

About the Show

On the show, Chris reveals all of his automated marketing strategies he has learned from working in fast growing marketing technology startups so you can put your business on autopilot quickly and without error.

Discover how to deploy automated marketing, sales, and delivery systems to scale your business without working long hours to do so.

Chris L. Davis - Chief Automation Officer

Chris L. Davis

Chris is an Electrical Engineer turned entrepreneur who is the Founder of Automation Bridge, an international speaker and facilitator, and startup consultant