Helping SaaS Founders Build an Outbound Sales Engine w/ Shaheem Alam

#58: Listen as Shaheem Alam, Co-Founder of FiveRings Marketing, talks about outbound prospecting in 2021. He and Tyler discuss the important elements of starting outbound prospecting, how Shaheem coaches his clients in habit formation, and missed opportunities that can take your pipeline to the next level.

Listen to the episode by clicking play below OR search “the sales lift” wherever you get podcasts.

Important Links:

Shaheem Alam’s LinkedIn Profile

Five Rings Marketing Website

Don’t feel like listening? Read the Episode Cliff Notes instead below:

Getting Started with Outbound (0:21)

The most important thing for founders of early-stage startups to do before they actually start prepping for outbound prospecting is to understand their buyers.

Shaheem has found that many founders build a product first and then try to find a buyer. To make that work, you have to dedicate a lot of time to understanding a preferred buyer and then go from there.

The way to figure out what works best is through experimentation. That means creating a campaign for each customer persona and seeing what works and what doesn’t. 

Have as many conversations to see what’s resonating with who and what’s not. Having live conversations allows you to go much deeper than text and email ever will. 

Check here for more on Bob Moesta in Episode 17.

Speaking to Your Prospects (9:24) 

Once you understand who you’re reaching out to, the next step, other than getting a lead list of those folks, is determining how to speak with them.

That’s where building a very detailed customer profile comes in, and the key here is to not over-complicate it. 

Your customer profile will be super complex and super deep. But when you reach out to someone, it’s best to keep it simple.

It should be clear and concise as if every word in that email costs you a dollar. You want to make that as cost-effective of an email as possible.

Forming Good Habits (11:42)

New founders must have a CRM in place. Most of Shaheem’s clients will use HubSpot because the HubSpot free version goes so far. 

That’s all they’ll recommend if the client doesn’t have a CRM set up, and they’ll try to help the client build that habit.

Take notes when you’re holding these meetings and standardize the kind of questions you’ll be asking.

Missed Opportunities (13:54)

Putting in the time to get to know the client on a deep level is a very often missed opportunity. It’s critical to utilize and analyze the data you have at your disposal to implement your outbound strategies better.

Make sure you have a messaging strategy pinned down and know when to highlight what products or features. 

Knowing you don’t have to be overly social on sites like LinkedIn is also a good place to practice being short and concise in your messaging. And knowing your messaging strategies are always evolving on those sites.

Not every founder has the workforce, so utilizing teams like Shaheem’s will get you meetings, but not being prepared to manage that pipeline can cause issues to the workflow. 

You need the SDR- whether you’re outsourcing or you have an internal. You need someone focusing on the top of the funnel for you, just do that raw, dirty work and getting that stuff out there. But you don’t need to hire your second AE anytime soon.

It’s more important to hire someone who has experience setting up systems, rather than someone who can bring over their customers right away.

Shaheem Alam’s Bio:

Shaheem Alam is the co-founder of FiveRings Marketing, a leading outsourced SDR company for SaaS businesses. He is an entrepreneur, thought leader and speaker around the topics of sales, marketing, entrepreneurship, business strategies and growth. Shaheem brings an incredible amount of invaluable knowledge and advice through his years of accumulated expertise.

Shaheem began his career in door-to-door sales then expanded his growth and led a sales team of 30 sales reps. From there, he took a turn and worked as an SDR and Account Executive in a few SaaS startups. He has extensive years of sales experience combining D2D, cold calling, SDRing, AE-ing, to managing sales teams and now running a marketing and sales agency. Today, his company helps SaaS businesses increase revenue by booking qualified meetings and building a scalable sales process.