Crowd-sourcing Warm introductions to Accelerate Your Pipeline Development, with Bubba Page [Episode 89]

In this episode, Bubba Page, founder and CEO of QuotaDeck, shares how he plans to make the traditional cold call obsolete by crowd-sourcing warm introductions for sales reps to prospects that fit their ideal customer profile.

Some providers may talk about crowd-sourcing leads but QuotaDeck is aiming higher by providing warm introductions to decision makers that want to hear about your product or service. Listen in as we talk about:

  • How to use social-based selling to overcome the fixed resource constraints of traditional cold calling
  • The value of an introduction to double opted-in leads (meaning people that want to talk with you.)
  • How warm introductions lead to great quantities of more effective sales conversations
  • How to build social capital in your network with value-based introductions that ultimately lead to more sales (for you!)

Looking for a fresh perspective on building your pipeline? Then this episode is a must listen for any CEO, sales leader or sales rep.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul: Bubba. Welcome to the show.

Bubba Page: Hey Andy, thanks so much for having me.

Andy Paul: Oh my pleasure. So tell us a little bit about you.

Bubba Page: You got it. My background first off is my name. I was a fat baby in the name, Bubba just stuck. I’m not from the South. No. I grew up in the Bay area outside of San Francisco. And my real name is Brandt, which is a great name, but honestly I’ve always just been called Bubba.

Andy Paul: Man. It’s good. when people see you, I think they expect maybe somebody larger than you.

Bubba Page: That’s right. I’m definitely not the biggest guy out there. I don’t live up to my name in that way. That’s for sure.

Andy Paul: So how’d you get your start in sales?

Bubba Page: so I got my very first start while I was at college. moved out, moved from San Francisco area to Utah to go to BYU and met my wife, four kids later, one on the way. We are still here in Utah. We love it.

Andy Paul: Excellent. Excellent. Yeah. So you’re going to have a big crowd for Thanksgiving. It sounds like

Bubba Page: That’s right. and I got my very first company started while I was there at BYU and of all the randomness we imported office furniture and, four of my partners ended up living in Taiwan on a Mormon mission.

And so they knew all these people in Taiwan and they ended up bringing these chairs anyway. It was just hilarious to experience, but I ended up selling my ownership to my partners and making some cash. It was amazing as a poor college student. And, and then moved on to start a company called launch leads. Sure. and launch leads actually was, I was lucky enough if I got started in my living room bootstrap wrapped it without any venture capital or investor financing. And we were literally doing outbound prospecting. We were an outsourced SDR team and we would set appointments for hours clients, B2B, Safra tech clients, so that their sales guys could close more deals.

And, luckily learned an incredible amount of information. And honed my skills and the B2B sales world, because we made literally 6 million cold calls over a period of time, over about six years. And, cause we grew the team, past 30 people and luckily have been able to help quite a few folks.

and long story short from there. Yeah. Being able to be in so many, being in so many cold calls and helping so many people that way. I realized how crazy cold calling really was for people and that maybe we could solve that problem by building a software platform around it. And that’s the idea of where QuotaDeck came to play.

Andy Paul: Interesting. we’re going to get into the details now, but you start off by saying on the website that you want to kill the cold call. So why?

Bubba Page: Essentially, I look at it like taxis and Uber. Nobody liked driving a taxi. The driver didn’t like driving the taxi and the passenger didn’t riding it. Everybody still had to use it. It’s a necessary evil and cold calling works. Don’t get me wrong. You can make cold calls and you can produce results. And that company launched leads is still in existence. It’s still is cold calling for companies and doing phenomenally well. But just like Uber came along and made an experience just incredibly, easy and comfortable for people to ride in an Uber and have the drivers actually be happy to drive, and writers being excited to ride, and it being quicker and even more efficient and cleaner and a better user experience quoted deck has done that to the cold calling world. Oh, go for it.

Andy Paul: Why I was gonna say, what do you say to those experts? So who am I experts in air quotes who say that cold calling is the absolute believe with the downer of their soul. That cold calling is the only way to grow your sales.

Bubba Page: I am a believer in cold calls still, even though our hashtag has killed the cold golf.

I know the cold calling can work. If you do it appropriately and you spend the amount of time it can work. but just think about the numbers here. If you’re a cold calling master, or even just a, the average cold calling Joe, you are going to have to make maybe a hundred attempts, a hundred calls in order to schedule potentially one or two, maybe three meetings, if you’re pretty dang good.

And which is great, but Holy crap, you’ve got to make 90, some odd, more attempts that are not converting in order to have those one, two or three to come through. And, and so I’m not saying that it can’t work. It’s just the amount of effort that goes into it. Maybe you can do things a little bit more effectively.

So here at quota deck, we are crowdsourcing warm introductions. Now these are a specific type of warm intro. They are double opt in only that means that both parties have already raised their hand and have stated that they want to talk to each other.

Andy Paul: I think it’s important to point out though, too, is it’s not crowdsourcing leads because there are companies out there that have crowdsource leads, but these are crowdsourced  introductions.

Bubba Page: Exactly. The difference between a lot of companies out there. And some people relate us in our functionality, like the jigsaw of our era. And, if you, so if you think about jigsaw, if those of you who haven’t heard of jigsaw was acquired by salesforce.com quite a few years ago. they were a crowdsourced marketplace for data.

Lead data, name, phone number, title, email company, address, company size, whatever it is people would enter in or upload a CSV file. And they would share that and earn points on the platform. And now a users like you and I we could go out there and buy that data. Or we could just share our own data and then get points and exchange our points for data.

Andy Paul: But there was nothing, the points were not associated with quality at all. It was just a name.

Bubba Page: Just it’s the name. You didn’t know how qualified it was. It got a poor reputation as they got going. For having bad data because people would upload a horrific data and there’s no quality control.

Now, but if you think about jigsaw for our today’s day with social selling, being prominent with the collaborative economy, the sharing economy, all of these Airbnb’s and Uber’s, and TaskRabbits out there in the world. Quota deck has brought in all of those pieces and then enabled quality to be the number one priority.

And so when we’re looking at this crowdsourced introduction, really what it means is by step-by-step a user comes to our platform, a company. So one of our clients is Domo. If you guys have heard of the business intelligence tool, right? So Domo comes to us and they type into our platform who they’re targeting the specific demographic information.

So they want to talk to CEOs, directors of operations, see it, even CEOs, and they make a list of different titles. And then they post the company size. since their product offering is not. typically as used for, early stage startups, they may be want companies with only 25 or 50 employees or above.

And so they can type in employee size and they can even type in geographic location or whatever it is. And our algorithm is going to find all of the people within our network that match their exact target demographic and then potentially give them an introduction directly. And so explain how that happens. So first step is-

Andy Paul: Well before you, and before you do that, let’s talk about, you said within your network. So what means is the network is being the number or the leads or the context, if you will, that have been contributed by others who are using cold quota deck.

Bubba Page: Exactly. So every user that comes a QuotaDeck, part of their onboarding is by syncing their LinkedIn contacts. Now obviously, we’re never ever going to share or sell or message those LinkedIn contacts or else our reputation goes completely down the drain. We’re dead. So that’s a guarantee, but also the main reason why people sync their context is so that we don’t introduce them to that to people they already know.

if you’re already connected to them on LinkedIn, we’re just going to assume you don’t need an intro. That’s probably,

Andy Paul: which is maybe a weird assumption, right? Cause

Bubba Page: yeah, hopefully that makes it make sense to most people. We currently have 1.8 million in our network. So 3000 users have synced LinkedIn or g-mail context with us. And so we have 1.8 million. Now, luckily it grows every single day. So every single person by the time this goes, goes live we’ll most likely have closer to two and a half or 3 million in the network with four or 5,000 users in the platform because it’s growing exponentially every day.

Andy Paul: So it’s a big beta.

Bubba Page: Exactly. Exactly. Luckily we’ve got some pretty cool companies. Using us in great people, participating primarily focused in that sales, B2B sales world, that’s where we’ve gained the most traction and where we’re most prominent. So that gives you the background of who that network is.

Andy Paul: And so if a company will take Domo, for example, just to use them as a case study is. Then do they have everybody on their sales team, then they sign an agreement with you and everybody on the sales team contributes to their contacts.

Bubba Page: That’s exactly right. Okay. So everybody can participate because again, we don’t want to introduce Domo to people that they already know. So if somebody within an organization is connected to them, we’re going to assume that they’re already reaching out and prospecting their own relationships. Got it. So we don’t want to be the, we don’t want to be duplicating that effort. and so that therefore it obviously helps to add to that network effect.

And we can continue to grow and help more people get in the door to these warm intros. Cause the network. Now I talked about our algorithm, so we are a tech company. We are a software company. So we’ve built this, this technology to be able to find and see who’s in your network that matches what Domo is looking for.

So Andy, let’s say you’re a connector on quota deck and and since you sync your contacts, We now know that you have about 35 people that match exactly what Domo is looking for. Now, we’re not just going to blast your contacts and say, Hey, check out Domo. That’s not the way we do things because in our minds that is cold.

That’s just like cold emailing people. And we want to have a double opt in scenario. So what happens is, as Andy, you said, seeing your platform, when you log in your account that Domo has 35 matches. Now you have the opportunity to either agree and opt in as number one, opt in to send a quick brief message to your network, or you select which people you think are most relevant.

And in this process, you’re going to be earning points on our platform, again, that can be exchanged for your own intros or even for gift cards for some cash. But the thing is you’ve opted in as opt-in number one. And then the key is when that brief message and the message says something like this, a message to one of your contacts that, so let’s say as a CFO, That’s perfect fit for Domo.

You’d say, Hey, if a friend, let’s say John Smith. Hey John Smith. I’m on this thing called QuotaDeck. And, they’ve introduced me to Domo and they do business and it would have a cut and pasted exactly the word for word description that Domo wants to share. they wanted me to introduce you, but I wanted to ask you first check them out.

Yeah. And let me know if you’d like an intro I’m happy to help. So only if your CFO friend responds back and says, Hey, I looked at Domos website. I looked at what they’re doing. It’s actually extremely relevant to me. Yes. Please make that introduction. I’d be happy to talk to them only then could you click a button that says yes, they were interested and it would automatically introduce the two parties.

That’s where we’re calling a double opt in intro. Now I’m a fan of this because blind intros I think are just bad. Bad mojo for people.

Andy Paul: And also it’s funny without the, without the line and they’re saying, Hey, I want to ask you first before I do this, otherwise that starts looking like every LinkedIn spam mail.

Bubba Page: Exactly. Exactly. We did not want to be another company that did the exact same thing as everybody else. Where you’re just blasting people to see who’s willing, in this format with the double opt in it, it just gives you an incredible quality in the area production because that person will not waste their time to be introduced if they are not interested.

Because if you’re friends with them and I’ve received this too, they might respond back and say, Oh, you know what, we’re using a competitor of theirs. we’re stuck in a contract for years. So no worries. No, thanks for the intro, but thank you for thinking of me. I get that all the time where it’s like, Hey, thanks for thinking of me. Absolutely make the intro or thanks for thinking of me. it’s not a good fit for me right now. But there’s so a couple of things are happening. Number one year, you’re in introducing your friends to really cool new technologies potentially. And that they’re interested in. But number two, I know, I don’t know about you, but my LinkedIn network has continued to grow and grow, but I don’t know.

Everybody extremely well in my LinkedIn connection. And but what this does is it keeps me top of mind lined with my network because I’m re I’m reaching out to them in a very casual, comfortable way. And they’re thinking of this as a positive interaction. So I’m building my social capital as I’m asking, Hey, w these guys wanted an introduction, but I wanted to ask you first.

Implying that you respect them and that you like them as a person. And then they remember you and I’ve already seen business come through just through staying top of mind.

Andy Paul: Yeah. In addition to which there is some perception that there’s value that you’re providing, right? it’s value to them to learn about this application, whether they’re interested in it ultimately or not.

Bubba Page: Exactly. and this is where double opt in you as the connector, you’re opting in saying, Hey, this company looks legit. And a lot of times you’re saying I’m a customer of these guys. Times people are coming to our platform. And, again, using Domo sensitivity, since we’ve been talking about them, they say, fill out their profile, who they’re looking for.

We also have the ability for them to invite what we are calling referral connectors. Now, referral connectors are people who are their customers. Their investors, their advisors, their referral partners, anyone who’s already stated to these companies, Hey, I love what you’re doing. And I’m happy to introduce my friends to you.

And so we’ve created the ultimate automation where since these folks, let’s say, they’re your customer. Dave Common said, Hey, I love what you’re doing. I love the place product. I’m a happy customer. And I’m happy to introduce you to people in my network, but the honest truth is, I just never think about you. I never thought, because think about it. You got other things to do. If somebody came to you, Andy and said, Hey, who could you introduce me to? You’re going to rack your brain and maybe think of one or two people. And then you’ve got to manually create the email to introduce people.

And you’ve got to, you’ve got to go through the whole process, go back and forth. No quota deck. Has created this referral connector portal, this basically huge aspect of what we do, where they send a unique URL that’s custom to Domo or whoever our clients are to their customer base or to their referral partners or to, especially to their investors who want them to succeed.

And they say, Hey, we’re using our kind of a referral engine powered by quota deck. If you just create your account, takes two seconds and sync their LinkedIn contacts. So again, we know who they know quota decks, since they have pre opted in for Domo, since they are saying, Hey, I’m already a customer.

We can message the people within their network. That fit the exact criteria that Domo or whoever other client is on QuotaDeck is using. And the email would then go out instead of a, Hey, I’m on QuotaDeck. They introduced me to this company. It would say, Hey, I’m an investor at Domo, or I’m a customer of Domo.

I am a raving fan of Domo. You have got to check these guys out. Let me know if you’d like an intro, because I think they’re amazing. think about the difference in conversion. If you were to receive an email from your friend that says, Hey, I am in love with using Slack. I use it every day. It’s my best friend. It’s everything. I love it. You’ve got to check it out. Let me know. And I’ll make an intro. The conversion rate skyrockets with this referral connector program.

Andy Paul: Yeah. And you think about most companies do is they would just include a link in that email, right? Click here, if you’re interested, as opposed to saying, get back to me. Cause you’re taking, you’re saying that take that extra step and it seems very powerful.

Bubba Page: It’s just where relationships matter. I’m a huge relationship fan. I think relationships are the key to life, not just in business, but in every aspect of life. We’ve wanted to build something around that concept, but.

Make it extremely scalable for companies to be able to leverage not only their own networks and the networks of their employees, but people who are out there not even connected to them, but, in necessary, maybe you’re not in a personal nature, but maybe they’re their customer. Or maybe they’re their, advisor investor, whoever it is.

It’s an extremely powerful process. So we approach social selling. And in my view of the future of social selling is that yes, cold calling will still work and it will always work most likely for a long time to come. but you still have that 99 to get one problem. Yeah. Whereas a quota deck where we’re introducing you.

And I hate to say this cause it’s so cheesy, the Uber for sales . So we’ve brought in this collaborative economy where, Andy, you and I can help each other and the rest of anyone who’s listening, we can all help each other. In this network.

We feel like it’s a give first. mentality, right? Whereas we come to the platform, I’m going to help you, Andy. And I’m going to make introductions to relevant people. You so that you have an opportunity to say, Oh my gosh, Bubba, you’re a nice guy. You made these re really relevant introductions to other people that I should have on my show.

jeez, I, I feel compelled to help in some way. It’s this law of reciprocity that even though, You don’t have to say things like that. Hey, we’re going to be, do some reciprocal help. it’s just the way human nature is. We are, we act in that under that law of reciprocity. And so giving first is always the best way to look at it. And then you can earn points on QuotaDeck by giving and you can give introductions. You can give by inviting people to the platform. And if you remember what Dropbox did, they gave 500 megabytes for free. not only to the person referring, but also the person they refer.

Andy Paul: Oh yeah, I’ve got so much capacity on drop box. I’ll never get it.

Bubba Page: We hope everyone does the same at QuotaDeck. We’ve built the exact same referral platform where you can get 500 points. it’s between two to 500 points when you refer people and as they sign up, they get the same amount of points back. And, and so this kind of ever ongoing growing network continues to get bigger and bigger.

It’s only better, the bigger it gets. So thinking about that network effect, it’s extremely valuable. The more people are part of it, and the more people are helping each other out, to create success for everyone. And anyway, luckily we’re just having a blast building this. Phenomenal traction. We’ve got customers that are paying us for these interests. I best, I guess I should probably explain introductions can be earned for free. So we have a completely free model where people can come in and earn points and it’s a thousand points per introduction. And so you can earn points by referring people or by making an interest for others.

Or you can buy points. Remember we talked about jigsaw, that same concept. You can buy points. And today it’s a very simple flat we’re in this, early customer acquisition model where it’s a flat rate. It’s just so a hundred dollars per intro, so a hundred dollars per thousand points.

Now, if you’re a company that has a product or service that sells for less than $10,000 customer lifetime value. You will most likely only want to be a free user and you can be a free user forever. Again, make intros give first and invite users to the platform because if you’re less than a $10,000 customer lifetime value, and your close rate is around the average of 10% or so, you’re going to have paid that thousand dollars for 10 introductions on QuotaDeck and you will have earned 10,000 back, which for the most part is pretty dang good.

I pay a thousand bucks to get 10,000 back all day long. each individual customer will make their own determination. If they want to go the paid route where they can buy these points, or they can earn these points or you can do it. You can do both. If you were to pay $10,000 for a hundred introductions, you might be able to earn an extra 10 intros just by getting another 10,000 points, So it’s, you can basically drive the cost, per introduction down. By also leveraging the, earning points mechanism as well. And customers like Domo, for example, they did a pilot with us and they put in the 10, 10 grand for as a pilot. And you don’t have to necessarily do 10 grand as a pilot, but that’s what they chose to do a hundred introductions.

They closed within their first six weeks, a $60,000 customer. So obviously we’re super lucky to have that success story out there. Oh, you have another great company. If you haven’t checked out demo Chimp demo, chimps up and coming, and they’re doing phenomenal work in the B2B sales world. they are one of our best customers or they’re buying 50 introductions per month from us.

And they’ve told us, look, QuotaDeck you guys are one of our highest converting lead sources. If you can generate more than 50 inches a month, we will pay for anything. In addition to that, And in that first month, when they signed that, the annual contract with us after they had done a pilot, we delivered 75 intros to those guys in one month.

And so we are just loving our partnership with DemoChimp, and we think they’re just going to take off and be a huge success in this industry.

Andy Paul: Excellent. Excellent. good. Good. Why want to jump right into the last segment of the show before we sign off here is. get some rapid fire questions for you. Give me a one word answer or elaborate a few, if you wish. Okay. Are you ready? So what’s the most powerful sales tool in your arsenal.

Bubba Page: Oh, of course. QuotaDeck.

Andy Paul: I meant like some personal attributes you could use QuotaDeck too.

Bubba Page: No, I think I’m still a fan of LinkedIn, so LinkedIn is great.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Alright. Who’s your sales role model?

Bubba Page: Who Mark Roberge.

Andy Paul: What’s the one book that every sales person should read.

Bubba Page: That is a tough one. I’d have to say Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross.

Andy Paul: Okay. Here’s a tough question. So what’s your favorite music to listen to pump yourself up for an important sales call?

Bubba Page: I grew up in the Bay Area in the eighties and nineties Journey, you’re in a yellow. No, it was hip hop.

Andy Paul: Oh, I thought you were gonna give me a journey answer. Okay. So what’s the first sales activity you do every day.

Bubba Page: Ooh, I plan out my calendar.

Andy Paul: Last question for you. The one question you could ask most frequently by salespeople is?

Bubba Page: How do I close more business?

Andy Paul: And your answer is.

Bubba Page: Three words, persistence, follow up and assume the sale.

Andy Paul: Persistence, followup, assume the sale. Okay.

Bubba Page: Which assume the sale to me is asking for it. So many sales people, just forget to say, Hey, if something like this were to work for you, when would you like to get started?

Andy Paul: Exactly. Also I took from that selling with confidence.

Bubba Page: Absolutely.

Andy Paul: if you’ve got self confidence and you believe in passionate in your product, then yeah. Yeah, you can assume the sale to a certain degree.

Bubba Page: You got it.

Andy Paul: Excellent. good. Why don’t we thank you for joining me today. My guest has been Bubba page CEO or otherwise known as Brandt Page, but Bubba Page, CEO of QuotaDeck Bubba, tell folks how they can find out more about QuotaDeck.

Bubba Page: Absolutely. So on Twitter at @bubbapage. You can also go to QuotaDeck.com . And you can create your own three account today and obviously spread the word and you’ll get some more points added to your account.