Listen to the Training-Led Growth Podcast (Episode 5, with Guillaume Moubeche):
Our very own Joe Moriaty caught up with Parisian entrepreneur, Guillaume Moubeche, founder and CEO Lemlist & Lempod, to talk about the value of relationships and authentic sales interactions.
Now more than ever we are all craving honest, authentic, and genuinely human connections and conversations in everything we do. Even in sales. Especially in sales.
Dry impersonal sales interactions are ‘out’ (were they ever ‘in’?) and thanks to platforms like Lemlist – and sister service, Lempod – sales, training, and digital communication are looking much more interactive and a lot more fun and engaging. Both were founded and are still operated by 28 year old, Paris-based entrepreneur, Guillaume Moubeche.
Just two years ago, Guillaume launched Lemlist – the coolest sales automation platform out there – to help sales professionals close more deals and have fun while they're working. Today the service has more than 10,000 users and customers all over the world – though predominantly (80%) based in the US.
Lempod, with some 2,000 users globally, is a Chrome extension that helps people get more visibility on LinkedIn – using the power of their networks.
Infusing Sales Emails With A Sense Of Fun
Guillaume built Lemlist with the assumption that people needed to get more replies whenever they were sending cold emails – it's difficult to stand out in a crowded inbox.
Understanding that sales teams needed to proactively build better relationships via email, he and his team created an entire platform dedicated to enabling users to add extra layers of customization and personalization to email templates – something no other platform offered.
On top of that, he also saw uninspiring user interfaces as a real pain point for sales pros. While most CRM systems offer a fantastic array of features, many are let down by boring, boilerplate, cookie-cutter UX features.
Guillaume felt it was vital that salespeople’s enthusiasm wasn’t dampened. This is why Lemlist incorporates tons of engaging features – comprising aspects of gamification to create little tasks and actions that incite users to build relationships in a memorable way.
After all, the more we have fun when we learn, the better and faster we learn things. If people have a fun micro learning experience, at a time when they need it most, it helps their job, their experience, and their growth.
Actively Avoiding Automation
While the thinking behind Lemlist made sense from a salesperson’s perspective, for prospects, the challenge was clear – no-one engages with emails that sound like they’re part of an automation campaign.
99% of cold emails look the same: “Hey first name! Guess what I'm doing right now?” etc.
We know messages like these are automated. They don't work. Yet they remain an outreach staple. Things had to change.
After launching several versions of Lemlist, analyzing stacks of campaign data, and reading more emails than he thought humanly possible, Guillaume had a pretty good grasp of what worked best for recipients too: personalization(!).
But, it wasn’t simply enough to *tell* sales teams that they had to mend their ways to get higher response rates and better engagement – they had to be encouraged.
Championing Training-Led Growth
This is why one of Lemlist’s core features taps into sales professionals’ incentive-driven nature. In a nutshell, by carrying out specific actions in Lemlist, users are awarded points. So, for example, if they add extra personalization to each email they send, they get points. If they set all the different deliverability parameters correctly, or use Lemlist’s advanced personalization features, they get – you guessed it – even more points.
Another, more culture-driven, activity that the team offers is ‘The Lemlister Of The Week’ award – a title given to a user who produced a particularly amazing or effective campaign. This gives the winner a chance to showcase their business, their templates, offer tips, and explain why what they’re doing is working so well.
Essentially, Guillaume’s thinking is that by encouraging users to follow the right processes – the more deals they’ll close and their higher their salaries and bonuses will be. A leaderboard also helps to reinforce positive user behaviors – something that transcends sales. No-one wants to be at the bottom, so there’s an added emotional incentive to performing well too.
This is what’s known as ‘training-led growth’ – empowering salespeople to develop skills through personal growth and while generating revenue for the company. And it works.
A Content-First Approach
However, as we’re seeing increasingly, it’s not just email inboxes where salespeople are vying for attention: LinkedIn is lead generation central too – which is where Guillaume’s Lempod tool comes in.
Born out of his personal frustrations with gaining traction on the platform, growing his network, and getting posts noticed; Guillaume – like many of us – began sending links to his posts to friends and colleagues; asking them to comment, like, and share with the aim of giving his content an initial boost.
However, it quickly became apparent that given the volume of content he was posting, his colleagues were becoming, well, slightly annoyed by his continued requests (!). So, Guillaume devised a way to automate that process.
This was the thinking behind Lempod. Basically, users create or join groups of like-minded founders, sales professionals, and colleagues. And when each group member posts on LinkedIn it’s shared with those in the relevant ‘pods’ selected – so that every pod member automatically sees and engages with the post, giving it much more visibility – leading to broader awareness, profile views, connection requests, and ultimately sales leads.
Adjusting To A COVID Climate
As Lempod and Lemlist’s successes demonstrate, relevance is just as important now than it was pre-COVID. However, keep in mind that any cold email or social media approach needs to be mindful of a new reality companies are facing.
That doesn’t mean that prospecting shouldn’t happen – far from it. It just means that sales pros need to take more time to better understand not only who they’re selling to, but what they’re experiencing right now.
For example, say that you're targeting companies that are organizing events. You know that times are tough for them right now as all events are canceled. So put yourself in their shoes and try to understand their problems first rather than trying to sell your solution. Ask questions, listen to answers; cultivate a dialogue by leading with what matters.
All things considered, we could all use a little understanding right now. We're all dealing with different anxieties and doing our best to get through this – both separately and together.
We need to embrace this on a very human level – and our awareness should extend to professional interactions as well as personal ones. Creating meaningful connections is far more powerful than trying to sell something, even if it’s clear that there’s a commercial opportunity.
However, for many sales teams getting out of the ‘closing’ mindset is easier said than done. The best thing we can do right now is to help our customers – not just by providing a solution to their ongoing business problems, but by adding value.
Ultimately, as Guillaume’s platforms show, when you offer the right approach to customers, the right incentives for sales staff, and promote best practice in the right way, everybody wins.
After all, people do business with those they share a similar outlook with. Isn’t that what’s at the heart of all long-lasting sales relationships?