Episode Summary

These days, buyers have all the information they could ask for at their fingertips — and they often make decisions without ever speaking with sales.

In a dark social world where the buyer’s journey happens independently, what role should sales play?

On this episode of B2B Power Hour, we talk to Chris Walker, CEO of Refine Labs, and go in-depth on what a modern go-to-market strategy should look like.

We cover everything from using insights to drive market strategy to the components of a successful social selling strategy and what the future of sales looks like.

One of the biggest disconnects in modern selling is that sales and marketing goals lack alignment.

Marketing and sales shouldn’t compete with each other for quality leads or focus on hitting goals merely for the sake of hitting them. Instead, marketing should feed qualified leads to sales. (What’s more, the typical display ad campaigns and performance marketing strategies don’t deliver high-intent leads.)

Old-school selling tactics took a one-size-fits-all approach to the sales process. A modern go-to-market strategy requires unique sales pipelines, reps, and commission structures for each type of lead. You shouldn’t use the same sales process for both a cold call and a highly qualified inbound prospect.

Wondering how to be successful with social selling? Your entire team will need to put in a lot of effort — and not just the SDRs, either. Social selling needs experienced, trustworthy voices and a detailed method for distributing content online.

Compared to 10 years ago, sellers have way less control over the outcome of a sale — but that doesn’t mean they can’t be successful.

Listen to this episode to find out the modern functions of sales every company should implement and how to drive success in any organization, whether it’s enterprise or product-led.

B2B Power Plays

Top takeaways from this week’s conversation

📈 Generating modern demand requires modern solutions.

Old sales tactics don’t work in the world of dark social. Focus your efforts on strategic, personalized outbound for specific accounts.

A successful modern sales funnel includes two main lead sources:

  • High-intent website funnel: This should be your number one contributor of pipeline and revenue at scale: Buyers come to you when they’re ready, and you take it from there.
  • Strategic enterprise outbound: This lead stream has higher ACBs, stronger targeting, and longer sales cycles.

❌ Don’t sell to all leads the same way.

The old-school model of thinking is to treat every prospect the same way, whether it’s a qualified inbound lead or cold outreach.

Instead, each type of lead should have a unique sales process, seller, and even commission plan. For example, high-intent buyers need dedicated sales reps, while cold outreach should be conducted by a different team.

If you aren’t giving high-intent buyers the attention they deserve, they can easily fade away — or get lost because you’re spending your time following up with less qualified prospects instead.

📱 The components of a social selling strategy happen outside of the sales team.

Not all of the ingredients of a successful social selling strategy come from the functions of an SDR. Rather, they require the help of different roles within an organization.

Here’s what every successful social selling campaign needs:

  • Authority: The people you’re talking to need to see you as credible and trustworthy.
  • Expertise: You need a deep understanding of your buyer’s world so you can show how your solution delivers tangible business value.
  • Proven method: You need a proven method to create information and distribute it on the internet to attract people and start conversations.
  • Long-term mindset: Most SDRs aren’t thinking long-term, but looking beyond the near future is crucial to a social selling strategy.

What he does: Chris Walker is the CEO at Refine Labs, where he leads a powerful team that is shaping the future of B2B go-to-market strategies.

Key quote: “People really need to rethink [how they approach sales] because it’s now impacting the culture in your company, it’s impacting the buyer experience, and it’s impacting how budget gets divided between sales and product and marketing.”

Where to find him: LinkedIn | TikTok

Episode Highlights

Inflection points from the show

[3:20] Independent buying: Buyers have all the information they need at their fingertips and no longer rely on a salesperson to inform them.

[5:47] Data-driven sales: One of the biggest issues happening right now is a disconnect between audience insights and how those insights can actually drive marketing and sales.

[10:28] Sales functions: Chris breaks down how sales teams should function in a modern go-to-market strategy, including personalized enterprise outbound and high-intent inbound website leads.

[15:53] Marketing efforts: Performance marketing MQLs don’t help drive more sales. While they might put more leads into the marketing funnel, you’ll end up with largely unqualified leads.

[19:55] Personalized sales process: Sellers should forgo the old-school way of sales, which takes a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, each type of lead should have its own dedicated sales team, process, and commission structure.  

[26:01] SDRs & social selling: Not all of the ingredients needed to make a social selling strategy work come from the functions of an SDR. You’ll need the support of different people throughout your organization to make it work.  

[34:04] Building authority: Cultivating expertise and authority is best done with one person. Rather than trying to teach 15 SDRs all about your buyer’s industry, focus on creating a single expert who can speak to it.

[38:42] Product-led firms: Whether you’re a product-led or enterprise company, a sales team is crucial. Instead of only having an enterprise or product-led buying journey, they should work together to give buyers a choice.

[45:28] Chris’s power hour: Chris would spend his power hour speaking to customers currently using the product and to people who aren’t using the product but fit their persona, as well as meeting with leadership and marketing.

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