Top Tips to Supercharge your Sales Automation Efforts…to more clients and more job orders


Jeffrey Staats: All right. Welcome. Everybody. Stay somewhere on the worldwide stage.

Jeffrey Staats: Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you everyone for joining us. I think this is going to be a really good presentation. My name is Jeff stats. I'm here with Stacy Bigelow. We'll get through two intros on who we are in a second here, but yeah, we're coming to you talking about tips on sales automation or marketing automation for sales.

Jeffrey Staats: So I think this should be a good session. I hope I'm right. I mean, yeah. So I think, you know, a lot of things around automation are really directed towards the candidate and, you know, I think that again, know, I think there's a lot of importance around, you know, marketing automation for on the candidate side and everything that we need to do there.

Jeffrey Staats: And making sure that the experience is great, but, you know, from what I've seen and just, you know, being in staffing for over six years at least on this side is sometimes that sales side automation is missed. And I think it's sort of a crucial part of how to grow your business is to be able to do that.

Jeffrey Staats: So we're going to talk to you about, you know, some of those ways that if you're looking to 2022, you can automate some of the things that you're doing right now on the sales side. It does take a little bit of effort. Does take a little bit of commitment, but we're going to put some tactical things together, things that, you know, I've worked on when I was in staffing on the marketing side, and then also things that Stacy and I have worked on together.

Jeffrey Staats: And I think that hopefully will come out of this. You know, something you can do this quarter and some things that you can get together and try and test. And the idea is that you're going to get client growth. You're going to retain those great clients and hopefully get a new job order.

Jeffrey Staats: So, Stacy, I think you're up and I think we want to you know, tell us a little bit about you. This is your worldwide stage here. 

Stacey Bigelow: So yeah, my worldwide stage. Well, thank you for having me, Jeff. We have had a lot of conversations and we've been working closely together. I'm Stacy Bigelow.

Stacey Bigelow: I founded the Advanced Group in 1990. I was 12 when that happened. We are a commercial staffing company. We provide temporary contract and direct hire. We stay in the industrial and manufacturing sector sections in the Toledo, Ohio/Detroit, Michigan areas. So I'm an active member of the American Staffing Association happen and been a long-term member with ASA and also I'm board member with the Affiliated Staffing Group, which is a group of independent non-competitive companies sharing best practices.

Stacey Bigelow: So this type of conversation has come up a lot with my peers. So I'm happy to be here. Thanks for including me, Jeff.

Jeffrey Staats: Great. Great. How many companies are in AS Group? 

Stacey Bigelow: I think 35 

Jeffrey Staats: 35. Great, awesome. Well, I'm Jeff stats, Chief Marketing Officer for Haley Marketing. Been at Haley a little under a year right now. You know, doing some great things. Haley Marketing is one of the largest marketing agencies, specifically helping staffing and recruitment companies.

Jeffrey Staats: You know, we provide world-class marketing at affordable prices and easy and fast. So, being there for about a year, I mean, really focused on this whole side of marketing automation and what we can do to help small to midsize companies, you know, flourish with marketing automation. So, previously I actually worked, I've been in staffing, like I said, about six years.

Jeffrey Staats: Worked at came from Talent Launch, which is a nationwide network of independently operated staffing and recruitment firms about 10 brands, I believe right now, headquartered in Cleveland all sorts of different staffing companies. From Light Industrial, IT, Engineering, Accounting, Finance, Executive Recruitment.

Jeffrey Staats: And then before that, I actually, there was a company that just made a splash about a week ago with Bullhorn acquiring Abel and came over. I was in marketing and Head of Marketing for Abel for a little bit, trying to grow that technology, which also came out of Talent Launch. So, been in multiple industries, led multiple teams.

Jeffrey Staats: I think that, you know, I thrive and flourish and being in different industries and learning and being able to take some of those things from telecom and financial services and pet insurance. And I don't even have a pet, but a pet insurance. Well, it was an interesting one, but doing marketing automation there with a very complex platform. But I've done marketing automation for about almost 20 years. Love it, nerd. You know, I just love all of that stuff and the data side of everything. So, and then, like I said, Haley Marketing, I mean, we're here and we're providing support guidance, strategy, and marketing help to Stacy and other clients helping them, know, really grow and understand how to use Sense, Herefish.

Jeffrey Staats: I mean, even Active Campaign, HubSpot, Eloqua, any of those Pardot or what does that now? Salesforce marketing cloud. But any of those sort of B2B platforms is what we focus on. So yeah, really excited to be here and I'm really happy that Stacy was able to join us. So let's get rolling.

Jeffrey Staats: Let's start. I think, you know, in order to really get going here, I think understanding your kind of tech stack journey and also what you've done you know, in terms of. How you brought automation into your staffing firm would be helpful for us to really, to understand all this stuff. So I'd love to hear your story and kind of get us, you know, get a foundation set.

Stacey Bigelow: We've been, I've actually been a long-term customer of Haley Marketing and work with them in a variety of capacities. So I was really happy Jeff joined the firm because it really helped us really not just get our feet wet, but dive head first with automation. So, we began working with Avionte.

Stacey Bigelow: We have been an Avionte classic user since 2012. We implemented Sense in June of 2020. And our primary focus was on candidates during the pandemic. We all know that we were, you know, needing to do things a little bit differently than we had done before. So, we really were looking at everything focused on candidates and employees and how to communicate with them because things were changing so quickly and staying top of mind with the candidates.

Stacey Bigelow: So the whole sales piece of it was a complete afterthought, which we'll get more into. We then implemented Abel, which Jeff talked about March of 2021, because we really knew that we had to. Streamline our process with mobile onboarding and a better experience for our candidates, because at some points we were like passing drug screens through the mail slot, right in the heat of the pandemic when things were closing down and we were still hiring people in our offices.

Stacey Bigelow: So the question that we really ask ourselves is what could we immediately put in place that would allow us consistency offering the same message while freeing up staff to be able to do more revenue generating tasks. And sometimes that was with fewer staff, depending on, at what point, you know, in the last couple of years we were dealing with.

Stacey Bigelow: So, you know, a mobile friendly integration with Avionte classic and Sense and Able were both able to assist us with that on our ATS. So that's kind of where we're at this moment in time. And this is the stack that we're using. We're currently evaluating ATS because we would prefer not to be in three different platforms, but that's a story for now. 

Jeffrey Staats: Well, I think it's interesting that you say consistency, cause I think I'm going to bring that up. You know, when we kind of talked through what sales, you know, what you need on the sales side is really that consistency and in a variety of different ways.

Jeffrey Staats: And I think, you know, having, and I kind of call you guys and I'll, you know, Gerald Hetrick, CEO of Abel, really said something about probably what is this now about five years ago where it was the enlightened staffing firm. And he said that like, you know, technology and tech stack is really going to be successful, but only if those enlightened staffing firms really want to use it, I think there's just so much technology out there.

Jeffrey Staats: And there's so many different players and feature updates and all these things and it's easy to get just lost in that. So it's good that you kind of have that mindset of like, okay, you kind of know your process and you know where your gaps are and then you're able to really fit that technology around it.

Jeffrey Staats: So, no, that's awesome. That's what I wanted to hope I was hoping we could go through is kind of your you know, your journey and kind of where you're at right now. Because then we can talk about some of the things that are happening you know, in terms of sales and marketing and where all these challenges are coming into place now.

Jeffrey Staats: So I think the first challenge, you know, when we talk about automation, we talk about specifically in sales is that, you know, I brought it up in the first part is, know, most of the focus, the strategy, the work is in, is on the candidate side. Meaning, really it's hard, you know, I'm a B2B marketer, I've done a lot of B2B, you know, really strategy and focus there, but you know, when it comes to staffing, I mean, you know, it's all about creating a better experience.

Jeffrey Staats: But you're seeing everything. I mean, you watch all these events, you watch all these, you know, panel discussions. I've been on a few of them. I'm sure you've seen a lot of emails and all these things where they're talking about, you know, it's really focused on the candidate's side. Right. You know, and I think it's hard.

Jeffrey Staats: I understand why, especially now with this labor market, but there's so much, you know, there are so many tips and tricks around the candidate side and how to make the experience better that sometimes that sales side is lost. And I saw it even in Talent Launch, you know, where, you know, it was hard to even get a mind share of like, Hey, you can use automation for sales.

Jeffrey Staats: Like you can definitely use it for sales. So like, let's figure this out. But again, the market is talking. And I think there's I think I read or saw on here, I think there's four or five sessions around automation on the candidate side. And so there's just so much happening. I think that's really, you know, that's a challenge for sales because it's.

Jeffrey Staats: You again, you start forgetting that you can use this stuff on the sales side and help your Salesforce. 

Stacey Bigelow: Right? Well, our sales piece was really after the fact, like I had mentioned, and I personally think now involved with this a little bit more you know, if you use automation as part of your sales process, it keeps your company top of mind, which is exactly what you want, and it gives your sales reps more bandwidth to do the right activities that lead to the right partnerships.

Stacey Bigelow: Right. So I think we're just the tip of the iceberg right now. So I'm really excited about this path that we've gone down this far. 

Jeffrey Staats: Right and beautiful segue. It's like when you rehearse this you know, another challenge is, you know, we're doing all this stuff, we're following the path where we're really excited about what we're doing, but, you know, according to the grid report by Bullhorn, you know, 50% say that limited training resources you know, staff turnover.

Jeffrey Staats: You know, the reason that staffing technology adoption is low. So you're doing all these things. You know, and you're finding that the fact that, oh man, like, you know, we're, we have all this turnover, we don't have enough training. Like it kind of just all falls by the wayside. I don't know how experienced that

Stacey Bigelow: You know, I, so I am really blessed to have tenured employees, but change is hard.

Stacey Bigelow: And then when you couple it with turnover and turnover is a real problem, not just in the staffing business. I mean, aren't we in the middle of the great resignation right now as it's termed, but I think that training and measuring is key to success. I just read an article yesterday morning. Amy Brown wrote it and it talked about how you know, when you are launching some new technology, if you have group A and group B and group A implemented the new technology and the technology is working as it's supposed to be, and they're out producing outperforming and earning more commissions than group B. Group B is going to jump on board really quick.

Stacey Bigelow: So, now, to have that training, but have those measurements. So, you know, it's working like it's supposed to be working. You know, even if you start with a small group.

Jeffrey Staats: Right, you know, I think one of those things too, and we'll talk about kind of how to supercharge this is, you know, having a champion is key.

Jeffrey Staats: I think having somebody that is really, you know, we say it's, top-down we say it's you know, sometimes it's bottom up, but a lot of times it's top down having that alignment, having that champion, having somebody to say, like, we got to stick to this, you know, we've got to this technology is important.

Jeffrey Staats: It's here in here is why so, you know, on top of all of this stuff, that the next challenge, and again, according to the grid,

Jeffrey Staats: 62% are indicating that clients demand direct sourcing, you know, which has competition and then increased competition with other staffing firms. Our biggest challenge. So your sales growth, and I'm sure you're seeing it. You could probably tell stories all day about that. 

Stacey Bigelow: Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, we're dealing with a talent shortage that is not going away anytime in the near future.

Stacey Bigelow: I mean, I kind of sit back and laugh when we thought that it was going to change. As soon as the extra unemployment was cut off, it's not going anywhere. So speed to market is key, but you know, we are competing against our clients, multiple firms. I mean, not all of us have exclusive deals anymore, just because of the way the labor market is.

Stacey Bigelow: Job boards are competing with us at reduced fees. So it is a tough market out there for sure. 

Jeffrey Staats: Yeah, definitely. I mean, again, it's yeah. When you have that lower demand, when you have like, you know, they're going to take a chance to direct sourcing again, we saw this and you know, a lot of my experiences with is on the Talent Launch side, but we saw it in all facets where when you have, when it's a candidate market or, you know, talent shortage or whatever you want to say.

Jeffrey Staats: Clients become very creative with what they can do and they, you know, and again they need to do anything to be able to get those just the applicants in the door. And so I think that, you know, it's tough because, you know, we saw everything and we tried everything on the marketing side and we'll talk about some ways that we can do that.

Jeffrey Staats: But I mean, we did what we could to be able to get that going. And again, it's just tough, it's a tough atmosphere. And I think that as much as we say, candidate experience is key. I think it's also client experience, you know, outlining what that client experience looks like and then having those checkpoints in place, you know, to really make sure that you are doing, you know, there's a good partnership there.

Jeffrey Staats: So I think, you know, again, before we get into those top tips is, you know, looking at that marketing and sales dynamic, and again, I'm the marketing guy. You know, and I'm, and then, you know, and a lot of times, and I will say it, I will make fun of myself as, you know, sometimes marketing and those staffing firms that have marketing a button, you know, marketing function in their staffing firm.

Jeffrey Staats: Sometimes there's misalignment with sales. I mean, sometimes you know what you need and what marketing is going to provide, there's a, there's just, it's not like the expectations are not met. And I think that's again to have a great marketing automation for sales program and to have a great partnership between marketing and sales and being able to use technology and trust technology, you got to have alignment.

Jeffrey Staats: And I think we talk about marketing pretty you know, you know, what we think is going to help sales out, you know, and you being the client, you being the, you know, focusing on sales growth, we think it's better. Look, you know, obviously more leads. We think you need visibility, you know? So again, what does that mean?

Jeffrey Staats: I don't know. But we think you need visibility, awareness, everything like, you know, you need to be everywhere. You need to be everywhere the client is. And then obviously we want to keep you top of mind. So when we go to market, 

Stacey Bigelow: I want to be able to see those KPIs, to tell me that, you know, the checks that I'm writing to have a better look gain where leads have more visibility and be top of mind is actually working. 

Jeffrey Staats: Right.

Jeffrey Staats: Right. And I think that's, you that's really important because, you know, when we think about it and again, we're providing you marketing, we're providing you content, we're providing you, you know, all sorts of, you know, blogs and social media and all that, you know, LinkedIn pieces. And like you said, at the end of the day that it's got to align to the business goals.

Jeffrey Staats: And so like, what do you really need? And, you know, I think. I guess this could be the, you know, if you want to take this slide, I mean, this is really what you need. 

Stacey Bigelow: Absolutely. This is the list of everything that we look for. Right now, if we're speaking just from a sales standpoint, there's so much business to be had because everyone is hiring.

Stacey Bigelow: Everyone is hiring. So it, but do we want to be all things to all people or do we want to narrow our focus? Figure out who our best partner is, and then go after those partnerships. So I think that you have to have a win-win situation and yeah, we need to attract candidates all day every day, and we need to retain those candidates, but we need to do the same thing by attracting those good partnerships that we're looking for.

Stacey Bigelow: And by being able to automate some things and keep top of mind and get those differentiators out there by using technology, you give your tool, your team, the tools to really help them focus on what's going to drive the business forward. 

Jeffrey Staats: Right. Right. I mean, and again, you said it earlier, when you talked about your journey and, you know, I think the consistent sales process, I think that, you know, you know, really understanding who your client is, understanding how you win and then putting that all together.

Jeffrey Staats: And being able, mean, it's just like on the candidate side where we talk about the recruiting process. When we talk about, you know, I'll ask what's your recruiting process, and sometimes there'll be an answer, sometimes there's not a clear answer. And I think before you even get all of that, like understanding your process and then being able to bring that marketing along and be able to really augment what that looks like.

Jeffrey Staats: I mean that, that's the key side of it. I mean, yes, we're going to, we need content, you know, we need all this messaging, but I think it's all about, you know, creating those, you differentiator points of like having that process. And I will, again, you know, I'm probably spoiler alert too much, but like, you know, I think using when you have a great process and a great service delivery side on the client side, being able to message about that is going to be key.

Jeffrey Staats: And it goes, that's one of your differentiator points is that you can create this. We've got a clean process that keeps our clients happy. And, now, I think that's super, super important when we get to know how to create and supercharge, what this, what your sales automation program looks like. So definitely.

Jeffrey Staats: And then on this dynamic, you know, this is probably content marketing 101 where I nerd out a lot, a lot about it is just augmenting the sales process. We talked about this more, but it's really focusing on, you know, the four areas of how marketing helps in that sales process. And it's the top of funnel, you know, it's the, you know, the consideration phase where it's the branded content to support lead generation nurturing, you know, taking it through the sales funnel, you know, depending on whatever, however, your process is being able to have that and being able to almost anticipate the questions.

Jeffrey Staats: You know, and then having, you know, compelling collateral to increase the conversions, which is case studies testimonials, you know, what have you done with other clients and then the tools to support sales? 

Stacey Bigelow: Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. That's exactly it. I mean, everything you're doing, I've been working with, of course you Jeff and Haley Marketing, but I've been able to really collaborate with Tom erb and we've been working with his sales.

Stacey Bigelow: His 12 step 10 week sales program. And so we've really been able to collaborate together to hat, to tie in all of those pieces because you need to do that. If you're going to have successful messaging, you know, whether that's through your blogs or through you know, through automation and tie that all together.

Stacey Bigelow: So it works together and you're not you know, you don't have to reinvent the wheel and that's what we've done. We've been able to, you know, really use a lot of the content that we have created to determine what our value prop was and who we're focused on selling to, and then tying it all together and making it all happen.

Jeffrey Staats: Right, right. So really when we talk about you know, kind of like the why for automation, I mean, that's, you know, again, some people are probably still figuring out the why, again, I don't know how many people have automation platforms. Here and, you know, are working with either a Sense or Hearfish. You know, there's all sorts of things, but like, but really when you look at the why and you look at why would you put automation in place to begin with before we even start talking about, you know, scaling or supercharging, excuse me it's that immediate benefits.

Jeffrey Staats: I think, you know, the most important thing that when you look at, you know, waning client demand, when you look at talent shortage, when you look at everybody's trying to find somebody that will just go to work and just stay at work, like they'll go to their first day, they'll stay at their first day. They may even stay for the first week.

Jeffrey Staats: You know, it's when you've got that, you've got competition when you've got, you know, clients getting creative, like I said, you know, being able to use automation and especially when you probably have challenges in your own, right on you know, keeping your sales team intact. You know, because again, just hiring recruiters and hiring salespeople forced yet staffing firms is, you know, a part of that talent shortage I would imagine.

Jeffrey Staats: Right. 

Stacey Bigelow: Yeah. And spreading this offering industry is tough. I mean, we're, we've got multiple clients, right? So you're, the industry itself is exciting and it's rewarding, but it's also different from, you know, working for a company and learning about that company because we're an extension of HR departments for, you know, multiple companies.

Stacey Bigelow: You know, we want to be an expert to give them the best talent we have be the best. 

Jeffrey Staats: And then, so before we get into, you know, kind of talking about the specific tactics that I think I would take, and if I were advising staffing firms, this is where I would go. But really just, these are the immediate benefits right here is expanding the sales ratio.

Jeffrey Staats: You only have a finite number of sales.

Jeffrey Staats: You know, a lot of times that, you know, it's just reaching out to cold prospects, you know, it, you've gotta be able to expand your sales team and then it's, you know, creating a buffer. So I think part of that is creating the buffer side for that cold outreach is don't just smile and dial, you know, what can we do to kind of warm those leads up a little bit and then let your sales team prioritize.

Jeffrey Staats: You know, that's all we did when I was in different industries is really letting you know, just creating a, you know, a just a warm lead outreach, and then allow them to prioritize instead of just, you know, again, just pounding the phones and calling or emailing You know, staying in front of current clients.

Jeffrey Staats: And I think that comes with a lot of benefits. I think that comes from doing it the right way that it doesn't just stay top of mind. It really can give you business. It gives you revenue. It gives you opportunities. 

Stacey Bigelow: Absolutely. You can break into new areas. I mean, you know, how many times are our account managers working on the day-to-day grind with your customer base, but, you know, are they remembering to share what's new, what's exciting, what's happening, you know, and trying to dive into other areas.

Stacey Bigelow: Maybe, Maybe not, but what if they are, what a great, you know, you know, you can nurture those clients through these programs to really let them know what's going on or introduce them to new services. It, whether that's just you know, new and then they start to inquire about it, or whether that's just follow up to what your account managers already said.

Stacey Bigelow: So I think nurturing current clients is definitely something that can be a huge win with automation. 

Jeffrey Staats: Well, and it's funny you say that because like, I know when I was at Talent Launch, we looked at, you know, our sales strategy right. At the heart of the pandemic. And again, I know we're probably still within the heart of the pandemic, but you know, it was what can we do to be, to have both operational and cross selling strategies to our current clients where we were when temp checking was the big thing with the lockdowns and with different things like that. I mean, we were trying to cross sell a sister division to, you know, our manufacturing clients because we had them. And so it was like, yeah, you were talking about kind of, you know, unlocking new potential.

Jeffrey Staats: I think that's one thing right now people should be thinking about is what can we do to really just knock on the door and look at it at getting in and providing, you know, a different service or a different, you know, a different way of getting into those clients. And, you know, there's the nurturing, there's the newsletter, there's all that fun stuff, but, you know, there's a way that we can help them in different ways.

Stacey Bigelow: I asked you to save yourself another project for us to work on together. 

Jeffrey Staats: There we go. But then, I mean, you know, and then like the last one is that inactive. And I know we're going to talk about that actually just came up. In the public chat, there is yeah, a hundred percent, hundred percent.

Jeffrey Staats: You're right. I mean, re-engaging with active clients is, you know, such a huge way. And again, a lot of times it gets back to that first bullet point. You just don't have the reach or the time to be able to look at those inactive clients and what can we do? How can automation help, you know, put something into place where it's a workflow that we can do that just to have a touch point out there is, you know, is key.

Jeffrey Staats: So, well, I guess we should get into this. Huh? We should talk about a specific activity. So let's go to the first one and let's get into that first one where we talk about, you know, what we lined up here is five different immediate tactical things we can do with automation that I think could create some benefits.

Jeffrey Staats: Right now. So, the first one I think is, you know, a welcome series to warm up prospects. We kind of talked about that, you know, we were referencing that, but I think that is one that is, is, you know, a hundred percent. I think that's a nice way to do it. We used to call it the welcome series and the one that we actually did.

Jeffrey Staats: And as we went through and we used a skilled manufacturing firm, and this was during my time at Talent Launch and we got cold prospects from zoominfo, existing lists. And, you know, we just kind of put it all together. And what was happening to begin with was it was really like, and Stacy, you probably did this.

Jeffrey Staats: It was cold calls. It was doughnut drop offs. It was any way to get into the door with your prospect. And so they would go and our salespeople would go, okay follow-up and they would just keep knocking on doors, dropping things off, flyers, everything else. There was no measurement there. And so what we decided was we would have an integrated sales approach.

Jeffrey Staats: So we took two of our salespeople that were our "champions", and we had a welcome series and it was a four email sequence. So it was one email a week. And we actually sent it out on a Monday because we wanted Monday afternoon because there was a pain point side of this. So we were, you know, there could be candidates that didn't start, you know, they're talking to their hiring managers.

Jeffrey Staats: We wanted to get right in there. And our first email was called, you know, another case of the Mondays. And it was, you know, talking about it. And when I say generational approach, you know, what we tried to do is we looked at the ways that people, the decision makers would take our email. For instance, baby boomers want direct.

Jeffrey Staats: They want facts based. Gen X one data, Millennials want more of this. What are other people doing? And then Gen Z wants to buy into your culture. And so each email focused on that, you know, it was kind of saying the same message, a couple of different ways and what our salespeople, our two sales people did was they had a followup call afterwards and then a LinkedIn request or InMail or whatever.

Jeffrey Staats: And we, you know, we tried to save time by just don't dropping off crap, you know, or donuts or whatever. What happened was, you know, or the CTA was just a set of meetings. We had a Calendly link that we use, you know, what happened was we had about 420 prospects between the two people and this was kind of on their call sheet or their visit list or whatever they were doing.

Jeffrey Staats: We ran it for a month, got 11 meetings, 4 new job orders out of it. And that was 400. I mean, that was it. And I think it was, it resulted in like $19,000 in job orders potential job orders. And I say that because again, the results are increased conversion percentage to warm leads. Like, you know, again, don't just call, but you're getting job orders out of it.

Jeffrey Staats: And it was a great way to really look at that welcome series and, you know, be able to have that kind of there. And I think that's, I don't know me personally, the top of the funnel is key because I'm sure you have a ton of prospects in the database. In fact, I know because I look in there, so, but.

Stacey Bigelow: We do, and I love this idea.

Stacey Bigelow: So this is definitely on our roadmap. I just think that you really can expand what your salespeople are doing and how effective they are, if you can have automation and do some of that groundwork. So this I think is fantastic.

Stacey Bigelow: Well, you mentioned, I just want to reiterate this because we went through adding Sense, right? So adding our automation, you referenced, it's immediate, I can't say enough how quick it is to get up and running. Meaning, it really is quick to get up and running. You need to know really the integration between your ATS and, you know, whichever automation, you know, whatever company you decided to go with, you really need to know how they do work together, what the mapping looks like, what the triggers look like, what the write backs look like, but it's really fast to get going and then you'll see results.

Stacey Bigelow: And you'll be really happy that you spent the money that you spent a little bit of time upfront because you can just continue to expand. 

Jeffrey Staats: Yeah. Oh yeah. Hundred percent. I mean, I think that, and that's a great thing about, you know, technology and staffing. I know staffing as an industry is a little bit behind, you would probably know this you know, being longer in the staffing.

Jeffrey Staats: Again, you were 12 when you started. But like, you know, it, it seems staffing seems to be a laggard when it comes to technology. And now it seems like it is into the future. I mean, there are so many technologies in here and then the beauty of it is speed to market. It has been key, you know? And so getting you up and running and seeing immediate ROI is gotta be one of your KPIs.

Jeffrey Staats: If you're gonna invest in something it's gotta produce. And so that's the whole purpose of this supercharging is, you know, look at some ways that we can do this. And what can you do, especially when you have prospects that, you know, maybe it's online networking. Maybe it's a meeting if you're going to those meetings, you know, I know some of them are still online, but you've got all these prospects.

Jeffrey Staats: You're deriving all these lists instead of just calling and trying to figure out what they need, you know, create something that is kind of identifying the pain points. And that was the whole point of this is not just giving a menu of all the cool things we can do. It is talking about where are you at?

Jeffrey Staats: Where are your pain points? And then here's how we can, you know, how we can be a great partner for you. And I think that's that if you make it that way, that's great. So I think this one was, again, it was a winner for us when we ran this and I've run this a bunch of different times. Now you talked about obviously with Tom Irvin using the sales process.

Jeffrey Staats: So I think the next one, and I'm going to let you take it because it's something that we've been working on together to kind of augment that. And I call it the top of mind and sales funnel. You know, I'd love to have you kind of talk through, you know, where you started with this and then how we're working, you know, to really keep the traction going.

Stacey Bigelow: Right. Right. I'm this has been fantastic because it does keep things top of mind. And, you know, again, it allows my sales people to have more bandwidth. So we implemented Tom Erb 10 week 12 touch sales, prospecting plan. So, we remove people from the list because, you know, maybe they don't have needs or they don't have needs right now.

Stacey Bigelow: So we're sales people basically are scheduling tasks for in the future where they're going to make a connection. However, when that happens, We have 'em or if we cycle them out of the plan, let's say, because we never make a connection. In that 10 weeks, we continue to have automation. We have a six email sequence every month that reinforces the pain points.

Stacey Bigelow: It's pulling things from our website. So they go back to our website articles points of interest, and it's all tied back to our value prop. So when we launched this our sales team, we, they removed we created the content to keep everything and you know, they continue to be very strategic when they reach out to this group of people.

Stacey Bigelow: But in the meantime, it's all doing all the work. So when we launched this, we received immediate responses that led to meetings and a few new placements, and it was just. Immediate. Well, once we launched this program, it was fantastic and I saw immediate results. So I think that's fantastic. We're able to have the sales reps when they're picking up the phones.

Stacey Bigelow: They know that, you know, Johnny might have just received this email so they can reference it. So it's great. 

Jeffrey Staats: Yeah, no, I think that's good. And those people that are herefish, I think, I believe Tom's sales process is already built into that too. Herefish is one of the templates, which is great.

Jeffrey Staats: So yeah. And, you know, taking this a bit further, I know we've we're, we were tactical and this is part of like, it's almost that welcome series, you know, that sales process. And then you've kind of put them in this holding stage. And when they're in this holding stage, you know, we've got to, you know, we have to have something there to keep nurturing again.

Jeffrey Staats: And the idea was that we messaged, you know, that we have been following up with them, you know, Hey, I guess it's just not the right time. And that relative conversation. I think it is great because at any point it makes the prospect think like, oh wait, yeah, I guess you have been following up with me or I have no idea who you are, but apparently you have.

Jeffrey Staats: So, you know, again, it's not just one sequence of like, you know, it's almost like, you know, six different emails, like we're creating content and basically telling a story and being able to get that conversion through the story. And I think that's key if we go a little bit further and you know, you can look at it from a sales funnel where anything like this one that we did, which was we produced something where we had sales would go and they would pick kind of their, a prospects, their elephant, their, you know, their whale list, whatever you want to call it, that they're going after the B's and C's, they were then put into this nurturing sequence and the idea was not just they, their Bs and Cs.

Jeffrey Staats: And that's how it is. It is the fact that, you know, they've got their A prospects they need to go after, but it doesn't mean that we just stopped talking to BS and CS. And so, you know, they're on different tracks, but it's all still trying to set a meeting. And that's really what you want to do if you want to increase the engagement, get questions, get more information, and ultimately get a meeting.

Jeffrey Staats: I mean, from marketing and you saw that funnel handoff marketing can only do so much. We can try to get you down the path, but it's really getting to those meetings and sales and being able to get, you know, just get somebody interested enough that they could have some conversations. I mean, that's really what it's all about.

Stacey Bigelow: And I'm writing notes down on all of these other things. So this time, next year we can come back and we're not just going to have five or six we're going to have anymore. 

Jeffrey Staats: Oh yeah, no. I mean, but I think it's, and you can even take this again, depending on what your sales process is like, say you have.

Jeffrey Staats: Prospect call to to a meeting or I guess an online meeting and then an online meeting to maybe a site visit or maybe a virtual site visit, depending on the type of company manufacturing firm or something, you could have automations based off of a status trigger, or a note action, or, you know, activity type that you could basically say like, all right, I've completed.

Jeffrey Staats: Create these things that are trigger-based that you could just have. And then you could talk about case studies, testimonials, references, anything that, you know it, and we call that like the mid funnel automations is that you're getting them through those mid years, those funnels. And the idea is that you don't have to have sales, always think about this stuff because then the consistency goes away, you know, it's, you know, cause some people follow up and some people don't.

Jeffrey Staats: Right. 

Stacey Bigelow: So they're going to deal with whatever's on fire. They're not going to nurture because you just don't have time, right? 

Jeffrey Staats: Yeah. A hundred percent. So let's move on to the next one. I love this one and I think this was up in the chat and we recently did one You know, it was, this was a one-time Sense.

Jeffrey Staats: So I'm going to give you the one-time Sense side to this, but I think there's also an automation that can be done. This was just a firm that we decided to do a one-time Sense because, you know, they had immediate needs and this just happened a couple months ago, where was the community staffing firm? They used to need to increase sales activity.

Jeffrey Staats: I'm sure you have that where you need your salespeople to do things, you know, like they need to sell, they need to make connections. They need to make calls. And one of the problems that we had was that, you know, they basically said, Hey, we've got a lot of inactive clients, you know, that's just, we don't know if they're interested in us.

Jeffrey Staats: We don't know again, if they're going direct sourcing, we don't know if we don't know, we don't know what's going on. And so, you know, they just kind of fell off the face of the earth. Obviously this 2021 pandemic was what, 18 months at the time. And so the thought here was, and we kind of worked on this is why don't we just test something out.

Jeffrey Staats: Why don't we just do an inactive client piece that was an email. It was a one-time sent and it was to look at, you know, kind of reintroduce their brand. And re-introduce differentiation. We actually talked about the fact that they can source talent better than if they were to source as a direct you know, direct hire or direct sourcing because they have technology.

Jeffrey Staats: You know, they have the ability to create a better experience. They can get talent. And it was a simple text-based email that we sent out and went to, honestly, it was a hundred and I think it was 57 PR clients or inactive clients. We had a 44% open rate, and this was in November, right before the holidays kicked in 44% open rate, ended up getting seven meetings and 5. I don't know what reorders or, you know, new order is based off of those clients that, again, they thought were dead. They didn't, they thought they were just like, I don't know, are we going to do business with them anymore? And that was a one-time send and I'm usually not an advocate for one time send.

Jeffrey Staats: But I thought, and it was just a, you know, here's, I just want to re-introduce don't know what 2022 looks like. But you know, we're committed and here's what we're doing. You know, we know that the talent shortage is out there, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If you want to talk, just set up a meeting with us.

Jeffrey Staats: And it was based, you know, it came from each different owner and it was a very simple, small test, but it got immediate results. I mean, they got, yeah, they got, and so when you take this one and you kind of go into like, what would an automation look like? Super simple. I know you and I are working on this one too, getting in there.

Jeffrey Staats: Yep, exactly. I'm looking at low hanging fruit, a hundred percent. It is one, it's just like, you know, it's almost like a passive candidate and, you know, and looking at that side of it. And I'm glad that with those good segues, it's like, what we're doing with passive candidates is there's that low hanging fruit of why spend money to bring new people into the funnel when you have potential money in your funnel already.

Jeffrey Staats: Yeah. 

Stacey Bigelow: And I say, you know, and I think that automation can be unbelievably creative too, because, you know, I know we're talking about, you know, sales prospects, but you know, our passive candidate journey. And this does tie in, but the passive candidate journey, I mean, we came up with a newsletter, like to these people that was more, it wasn't a hard sell.

Stacey Bigelow: It was more what's going on with the season or you know, maybe some helpful hints in life. That could lead to, you know, maybe a job search or something. So we were kind of soft selling and then we did a survey, a promotion. And the crazy thing is I had a former HR person who used to do business with us.

Stacey Bigelow: Ended up being a candidate, moved jobs, ended up being a candidate. So she was on this passive journey. And lo and behold, did she not reach out after we sent her a survey, did not reach out like, Hey, Stacy, I want to talk to you about, I have some staffing needs I'm with the ABC company. And I'm like, well, there you go.

Stacey Bigelow: The passive campaign journey just got us a sales meeting. So you never know. 

Jeffrey Staats: Right. And again, that's it, you know, and the passive candidate's side of what we're doing is the relevance. Know, and I say relevant conversation all the time, and I've said it in panels and I don't know if I need to coin it or whatever, if it's even good.

Jeffrey Staats: But I do think that there's part of that is, is having the relevant conversation of where they are in the ATS and where they are in the CRM. And I think it's important. And again, we went from one-time send, but if you were to look at this and it depends on your sales process, so if you have an inactive client and we had this a talent, we had an inactive client stage and the rule was, it was 12 months from their last placement.

Jeffrey Staats: And so we would automatically shift them into an inactive client stage from their trigger. It would be a trigger right. To start a journey. And it was about the relevancy of it. So we would say like, Hey, it's been about a year since you last, we last placed somebody with you. So, you know, would love to know what's going on, would love to get your feedback.

Jeffrey Staats: And again, that type of relevant conversation, I think is key because it starts a conversation where you don't have to do it, you know, it's out there. It has your tone. It has your personality, 

Stacey Bigelow: Barbara put something in the chat. Do you nurture through your ATS or are you porting over to another database?

Stacey Bigelow: So, depending on what ATS you're working with and what type of automation you're working with, there's likely some sort of integration that will allow you to do things through your ATS. Without Avionte classic, I can only share my experience right now. Most of what happens is triggered through a status change.

Stacey Bigelow: So, if we talk to like right now with our our automation, with the sales, if we talk to John and he doesn't have a need now, and we remove him from our sales plan, that status change will trigger that next activity with the sales rep and the next activity with we're using Sense. So we've also done some, one offs, and I think we're going to talk about where we've exported a list and uploaded it and done some one off outreaches as well.

Stacey Bigelow: So you can do it either way. 

Jeffrey Staats: Yup. Yup. Well, let's get to that one. So yeah. So again, client NPS and I, you I'm not a big NPS person as they all end all. I understand why it's there. I understand why it's a measurement. I totally understand it. You know, it isn't. Because there is something to it, you know, Nordstrom measures themselves based off of NPS brands, and measures themselves based off of that.

Jeffrey Staats: So I totally understand. And so I've done this with one company. I'll share my, you know, what we did there, and then Stacy, what we did with you, you know, ours was the light industrial firm. We did a quarterly NPS outreach and it was all about what it is, you know, getting, improving the client experience, getting feedback, understanding where they're at and it's quarterly because what, you know, what we did was we measured at based off of the placements, the active placements that they had on their accounts, you know, during that quarter and the ideas that, you know, it was a personalized outreach from our CEO.

Jeffrey Staats: That was an email that just said, Hey, we'd love to know more about, you know, how we're working with you. If you could give us feedback, that would be great. Rate us also the NPS question. Super simple. What was great about it was that we were able to, we actually had a couple of fives that we got on that one to 10, which is pretty much a zero.

Jeffrey Staats: When you measure that out. And we had a couple of fives and what was nice is we had an automated notification that went to our CEO at the time of that brand and said, Hey, we got some fives. He went and talked to that person. They, again, it was a misunderstanding. They ended up flipping that from a five, both of those five to nine and getting additional job orders from it because they were just able to get an at-risk client that they didn't know was at risk.

Jeffrey Staats: And then they were able to talk to them. They had a site visit, they were able to kind of go through and say, okay, we could do things better. And so that resulted in additional job orders, which that's how you take that one step further to be able to do. Absolutely right on yours. 

Stacey Bigelow: I mean that, and this is great.

Stacey Bigelow: This is great because you don't know those at risk companies all the time, and you might just have the right timing that they're going to unload, and that's what you want. You want to know what's going on so you can make corrective action. So we wanted our NPS on one platform. And so we decided to use it through Sense.

Stacey Bigelow: So we weren't using it though we've been doing this for a long time, but not through rep management. Not clearly rated, but we decided to use it through Sense. So we want to address any feedback correctly. Any type of corrective action that we had to take. And we actually went like somebody who didn't score us.

Stacey Bigelow: No, like I think I was seven and under, you know, I reached out to them. We first started with the operations manager set one, the next quarter I sent it. So we had service issues, you know, that we dealt with. Thankfully there was, I think only two out of the whole batch that were a service issue. And it was because, you know, we couldn't fill jobs fast enough, which again, I understand.

Stacey Bigelow: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So, you know, I mean, we're doing the best we can, but yeah I hear, I feel your pain. But we were able to turn our promoters into testimonials. So we had some really great ones and we turned those into testimonials. Then we went one step further. We created a marketing piece using our testimonials of happy clients, built that into our sales plan for our prospective clients.

Stacey Bigelow: And then we're going one step further with the NPS scores and creating a marketing piece, like an educational piece on why it's important. What, why is the NPS score important when choosing your staffing partner? And we're creating that marketing piece. So that's in the works right now. And we plan to use that not only through social sharing, but also through, in add that into our marketing plan as well, for prospective clients.

Stacey Bigelow: So I'm really excited about that, but this NPS has been great. 

Jeffrey Staats: So you're leaving on a high note on this one. We're going to the next one, cause I'm not even doing it. So cause it's yeah, but in all seriousness, when we look, you know, just to close that one up is the fact that you're using it for sales, you're getting the experience, but you're translating that experience into, again, that mid funnel automation, we could use it in the automations that we already have out there.

Jeffrey Staats: And again, it's recent, it's relevant. I mean, those are the important parts. So the last one that we're going to talk about immediate, I think this one is really important and I almost think of it as a hybrid. And here's why so insights from hiring manager. Again, this is the on unassignment campaign. So we talk a ton about on assignments, you know, start date reminders.

Jeffrey Staats: We talk about on the candidate side, you know, how was your first day, how was your first week? How was your first month? That is great. You know, keeping them involved. Here's your pay stub, here's your pay portal, all those different operational and engagement based things. The one that we worked on, you know, and I don't think this is any crazy secret, but like, you know, being able to do the same thing for hiring managers, but just not at a crazy clip that we're doing the candidates is, you know, we looked at a professional staffing firm, multiple offices, all we wanted to do was talk about the, you know, are they getting the production out of that talent?

Jeffrey Staats: You know what, you know, we do a lot with how the candidate is doing. Is the candidate getting enough training? Is the candidate getting, you know, the candidate like the assignments, but getting the insight from the hiring manager and being able to use those too. I think it is key. And here's why, because I think when you look at, from a QBR, when you're doing any sort of QBR with clients, when you can take that on assignment campaign and whether it is you know, you know, whether it's, you've got multiple, you know, one hiring manager has multiple placements, just do it once and you could ask them those questions again, it's not just one-to-one, you could also do it from on the direct hire side.

Jeffrey Staats: We did it on the direct hire side as well, where it was right after they were placed 30 days after, how are they doing? And you're getting the insights, you're getting that email sequence. So you're getting that automation, but you're looking at it from a performance and assignment fit. Are these, you know, are you the staffing firm Stacey sending the right people to the firm and, you know, are, do we have alignment around expectations of what's needed?

Jeffrey Staats: Because on the QBR side of things, you can talk about that and you can use that data to say, yeah, the hiring manager is saying that we've got 9. And you know what you may want to, you know, increase your rates a little bit more. You may want to look because we need to, you know, we have a competition for talent.

Jeffrey Staats: So, you know, you may need to be able to increase those rates, be able to do that, just to stay competitive. And I think that again you're improving your talent matching. You're improving your retention by staying in front of them and talking to them. But you're just opening those lines of communication.

Jeffrey Staats: That's not just once a quarter or every six months. 

Stacey Bigelow: Yeah. I love this. This is great. We, like you said, we do it on the employee side all day, every day. Why not? Why not help ourselves? Right. Lots of us in the staffing business have retention issues in addition to a tough labor market. So this can do nothing but improve that.

Jeffrey Staats: Right. Right. So let's finish up now. I think we've got a couple minutes, so we don't want to keep everybody too long. So takeaways. So how do you succeed in 2022? You know, I'm going to give you my takeaways, Stacy. I'd love to have your thoughts on this. When we talk about this stuff. So we got to succeed in 2022, we already talked about their sales challenges.

Jeffrey Staats: There's a candidate shortage. There's tons of technology coming your way. There's, you know, we're even asking questions right now. Like, you know, what are the rules with technology? Should you be looking at it? Do you use another database? Do you do all these things? We've got all these questions happening, but how do you really succeed in 2022?

Jeffrey Staats: And these are my four and again, Stacy, well, you know, I'd love to get your feedback, but my thought is committed to the CRM. The one problem that we had is that salespeople did not commit. I mean, there was just not a commitment across the board or any sort of, you know, you know, watchdog around, you know, committing to doing, using the CRM correctly.

Jeffrey Staats: Just like you would use your ATS correctly. I think that's a big one is that in order to have automation work, the database has to be as clean as possible. So you're committing it to the CRM side. Identifying the gaps in the sales process, I think is key. Knowing your process first, and then figuring out where automation can help augment that or fill in the gaps and then prioritizing, you know, every part of your sales funnel.

Jeffrey Staats: So looking at it from cold prospects to warm leads, to current clients, to inactive accounts, do you have automation set up in all those areas, which you should, and you can, it's super easy to do that. And then finding a champion. If you have a platform, if your salespeople are not bought in, find somebody that is, I always would say that when I would work with B2B in the B2B side, I would always find a salesperson that was a marketing champion and say, here's what I'm going to do.

Jeffrey Staats: I want you to help me out. This is a win-win because if we do an automation campaign that helps you out, you get sales, you get commission, you get a bonus, you get promoted. Maybe whatever, if it doesn't work, you can tell me it doesn't work. And then you know, again, it's a win-win. So you can say, Hey, you're either going to get more money or you're going to say, I told you so.

Jeffrey Staats: And I think that, you know, that's kind of key in terms of what's going on is so you know, that, that's the big thing right now. So what are your thoughts on this stuff? 

Stacey Bigelow: I think You know, technology is a tool. It's not a replacement. We want to, at least in my company, automate a repeatable process. So your team can make a bigger impact at the end of the day, we're in the people business.

Stacey Bigelow: So let's spend our time in front of people and not doing repeatable processes that we can let automation take care of for us. 

Jeffrey Staats: Right, right. Yep. So I think that's all we got. I don't know any parting words, Stacy. It was great having you in this way. 

Stacey Bigelow: It was great. I'm excited. I, you know, made several notes of some new projects that I'd like to invest in.

Stacey Bigelow: So I'm anxious for that 

Jeffrey Staats: Again. Thank you. Thank you World Staffing Summit, Thank you to everybody that's, you know, and on here chatting, doing all sorts of different things. We really appreciate it. You know, this is great. Hopefully you guys are staying on to look at other sessions. It seems like a packed a pack show. So I really appreciate it.

Jeffrey Staats: Thank you guys so much and have a great day. Have a great week. 

Stacey Bigelow: Enjoy the rest of the conference. Thanks guys.


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