I run sales at ChatMetrics, a 24/7 managed live chat software service. We sell to mid-sized software companies, helping businesses communicate with website visitors and improve their lead conversion rates. In this post, I’m going to describe how our team has used Clay to completely eliminate the need for sales development representatives and hours of manual work. Watch this video interview, done with Clay’s Eric Nowoslawski, to learn more!
Life before Clay: Hours spent on research & training SDRs
Before Clay, I spent all of my time researching 25 companies to outbound to every day. The key information I wanted about my prospects was the following: who are the company's top three competitors? What chat tools are they using? What are their competitors’ response times?
Getting information about our prospects’ competitors was the most important thing to nail in our email personalizations. Cold emails with the names of a company’s top three competitors in the subject line warranted a high click-through rate.
To get accurate information, I researched the answers to these questions using G2, Owler, and up to eight other SEO websites per company. Each website would have slightly different information, so I had to manually compare, look for trends, and decide on which answer I agreed with. (For example, if I was researching Google’s competitors, I’d have to judge how many times Microsoft was listed vs. Adobe to decide which was more likely to be accurate). It took me at least fifteen minutes to research a single company.
Even after all my research, I would have to often just guess their competitors’ chat response times based on the tools they used. Finding the real numbers would take too much work.
The upshot was that our method worked well: we booked meetings with anywhere from 10 to 15% of the companies we reached to. The problem was that our list volume was extremely low.
I realized I couldn’t scale my outbounding work manually, so I hired two SDRs to help me with research. Training them, however, was hard and time-consuming. When one of them left, I had to start over. I was overwhelmed researching companies and training staff, and had very little mindspace for the most important part of my job: closing deals.
Transforming my life and workflow with Clay
I stumbled across Clay randomly online and thought it might be able to help me scrape the SEO websites I was using, like G2 or Owler. In just hours, however, the Clay customer support engineers helped me get more sophisticated than I could’ve imagined. For each prospect, I was able to score and stack rank their reported competitors to quickly choose the best ones to mention for my outbound email.
All of a sudden I could insert a list of 10,000 domains and get the results of days of manual research in minutes. Clay replaced my sales research hires and their manual effort by at least a hundred times. And the data quality was the same, if not better, as if somebody had manually researched the companies.
Since then, I’ve realized that anything is possible with Clay. You can use one of the dozens of integrations or plug in anything that you want to scrape, analyze, or use. For example, we found a partner to build bots to test company response times, chat providers, month over month traffic, and more. We simply plugged the endpoint into Clay to keep all of this data in a single table view.
I never have to think about prospecting or hiring anymore, because Clay has done it all for me. My job is to run meetings and refresh our messaging from time to time. As long as Clay’s in business, I’m in business.
“This is the best cold email I’ve gotten” & other customer replies
I get the best responses that I’ve ever gotten as a salesperson to the emails I send with Clay. Several people have told me “This is the best cold email that I’ve ever seen,” or “I only replied to one cold email this year, and this was it.” I’ve gotten compliments from people including Kevin, Dorsey, Paul Salamanca, Mark Kosglow at Outreach, and Kyle Coleman. Some took meetings and others just sent encouragement.
Using Clay for new realms of personalization
Clay’s PredictLeads integration lets us quickly see what positions any company is hiring for. We’re starting to customize our outbound email copy based on this information. Scraping company career pages, job titles, and keywords helps us understand what is important to them and where to focus our positioning. Using this kind of messaging has already worked well on a small test campaign, and we’ll be rolling it more broadly soon.
We’re also planning to set up an automated newsletter that gives each company a personalized look at where they rank as compared to their competitors in terms of response times—and what positions their competitors are hiring for.