Beau Bratton & Ricochet360 CRM

Today we have something a little bit different from our usual posts. We had the pleasure of speaking with Beau Bratton to pick his brain about his product, the Ricochet360 CRM system, and how it can be so beneficial and helpful for marketers.

We want to consistently provide our readers and users with helpful and useful information on technologies that can help them reach their goals and find success. When we do these types of technology informative interviews and posts, our goal is to introduce you to technology that’s available to put into your sales and marketing process. Keep in mind that not all of the technologies we go over are going to work or be in compliance with every business, though! This is just to introduce you to your options before you look into actually applying it to your business and process.

That being said, let’s get into it!

An Introduction to Ricochet360: How It’s Different Than Other CRM Systems

As you probably know, a CRM system is a “Customer Relationship Management” system. These systems organize and, well, manage all of the data and information you have on customers, leads, potential customers, etc.

They allow you to track your interactions and conversations with clients and leads. They allow you to see all preferences, past interactions, contact information, data, requests, and virtually all other consumer info in one centralized place. They can also be easily integrated into other areas of your business for quick and easy contact and connectivity.

But as Beau told us, the Ricochet360 is a CRM system as you know it with a bit of a twist. It’s a little different than the others.

Ricochet360 is a CRM, Beau says, but it’s a cloud phone system. It’s a fully functioning cloud phone CRM system so it has predictive dialing marketing automation features. It has text messaging features, emailing features, social media components, a chat system, and a lot more! It’s a one-stop-shop of CRM systems that makes data compilation and customer relationship management simple and fully integrated in one place.

Ricochet360 has been around for just about 10 years now, and we aren’t surprised as to why they’ve been around for so long. The technology is unique and different from other CRM system options in the best way.

Because of this, Beau and Ricochet360 have years of experience working with all sorts of clients. Now’s where I picked his brain about how to apply his technology and CRM systems in general to the sales and marketing process.

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Aged Leads and Follow Up

This topic is obviously near and dear to our hearts as we are the Aged Lead Store. Perhaps you’ve purchased some aged leads or were handed a book of business or perhaps you slacked a bit and some promising leads have now become old.

Whatever the case, you need a follow-up system to help you get those leads back into the present so they’re useful and can be sold to. So we asked Beau what, in his experience, is the best way to approach follow up on older data?

His approach is what he calls “hyper-targeted omnichannel communications.” Yes, it’s a mouthful, but he explains his thoughts quite well.

So you have all of your data and information in a CRM system. Then, Beau looks at it like this: you might be dealing with a millennial, a Gen Zer, or your grandpa. Depending on who you’re dealing with you want to adjust how you communicate and how you approach the follow-up. For example, younger generations may prefer emails or texts while older generations might want a good old fashioned phone call.

Back to the idea of hyper-targeted omnichannel communications, you want to communicate with the client or lead from every perspective and in a very targeted way. For example, let’s say you’re a mortgage company or an insurance company, and the lead you want to follow up with was in the military (which you know from the data inputted into your CRM system).

With that information, you can make a lot of determinations about the person’s background and personality where you can give them something fun, personal, and hyper-targeting. So that’s the hyper-targeted aspect: you know almost everything about them so you can very specifically personalize and tailor your follow up to include/match that information.

The next step is the omnichannel aspect. You want to contact them in every way you know how. This doesn’t mean bombard them in the same ten minutes, but it does mean taking advantage of every channel you can engage them with.

So you start with an email. Use the hyper-targeting information you have: include their name, the fact that they were in the military, including military images/flags, reference past conversations, etc. Send them a text message or social media message with targeted subject/intro lines. In a call or voicemail, address them by name, ask them to give you a callback, etc. them and we may do some social following or messaging to them. As you contact them through all of these different channels, you should dynamically adjust the messaging that’s going out so it’s personal and targeted.

It’s these subtle differentiators that turn a good campaign into a great one; a good sales process into an incredible sales process.

This at that personalization is becoming so important because people nowadays are getting so many messages and ads; the ones that are going to stand out are the ones that resonate with them and that are personal to them.

Beau explains that in Ricochet, you can pull any data field dynamically into a text message, email, social media message, etc.

Mobile-Only Use

Mobile use is taking over a lot of sales processes. We’ve spoken with quite a few professionals and noticed ourselves, that see that a lot of the interactions with the customer and the sales process in general fully takes place on a mobile device.

And that isn’t just a “young-person thing.” We’ve seen an increasing amount of data that’s supporting the fact that the Boomer generation and other older generations don’t even have a home computer; they only use their mobile phone or device.

With that in mind, we asked Beau what changes do we have to make to our sales processes to live and survive in a mobile-only environment?

His first tip had to do with email. The email HTML copy should be mobile-friendly. You can buy templates out there and he says that Ricochet does provide some templates that are specifically designed to be mobile-friendly. That way when the email comes up on a mobile phone, it’s going to look a lot cleaner, not have formatting issues, and look professional.

There’s nothing worse for sales and engagement that when a consumer or lead opens up an email and it’s garbled, you can’t see it, or it’s unreadable. That wastes your and their time, and it will only serve to make you look unprofessional.

Beau’s next tip for a mobile-centric sales world is utilizing text messaging. The first step is making sure consumers opt-in to receiving text messages; you have to make your it’s all compliant. If and when you have that, Beau says that communicating via text message has a much higher conversion rate compared to other communication methods in terms of getting responses and getting a dialogue started. Ricochet even allows you to embed your phone number into the messages so it’s super easy for leads to click it and call you right away without even having to dial a number.

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More on Email

Next, we dive a little deeper into the topic of email. Do you want an HTML email only, or can plain text work fine? What about links? Message length? All of these attributes can have a direct effect on sales, conversion, and engagement, and Beau has some interesting insights.

He first cautions about links. You don’t want to embed too many links in your email because this can increase the risk that your message will be sent to their spam folder, which helps no one.

In terms of shorter messages, Beau agrees that shorter messages are general read more and have a greater impact on leads and newer clients. Most people aren’t going to read long-winded messages. However, he does say that if the person is already a client or already heavily invested with you, they might be more likely to read a newsletter or a longer message, so keep that in mind to have various options and message types. But if you’re trying to attract a person, you want to keep it short and sweet.

He also clarified his thoughts on HTML. Adding a little bit of HTML into the message helps it be a bit more mobile-friendly. However, short and sweet messages with plain text are perfectly fine.

In short: a little bit of HTML, a few great links, and short and sweet messages are going to be your best bet.

More on Text Messages

Some people are a bit cautious about using text messages to contact and follow up with leads because they view it as intrusive or bothersome. However, 75% of Millennials prefer text messages to other forms of communication and all consumers are more likely to open text messages before any other message/communication type. That shows you just how impactful text messages can be, and Beau agrees.

With Ricochet clients, Beau has seen that a lot of the companies that weren’t doing any text messaging at all in the recent past, once they got the opt-in and they started to do it, they saw upwards of 30% increase in application rates in the insurance space. He also heard from one client that they’d had a 37% increase in appointments just from turning on text messaging and starting to communicate with leads/clients via text messaging.

If you do it right, short and sweet, contextually targeted text messages with an embedded phone number, names, or contacts are the future of sales processes. Ricochet can add in those things and send them out to clients easily for an incredible uptick in communication, appointments, and sales.

Even if you think that texts are intrusive, think about it like this: people often prefer texts over a phone call because with a phone call, especially during the day (which is when most sales and marketing people call leads/clients) it’s pretty interruptive. Texts are overall less interruptive of because they could just see the text message and look at it later versus having to worry about a phone call or figuring out who it is or whether or not they want to answer.

Beau agrees that while you still need to do the phone call (and all other forms of communication), texts and social media messaging are super easy to get done during the day without causing an annoying interruption in the person’s day. It’s easy for them to communicate back and forth via text message even during the workday without upsetting their boss or causing a disturbance in their work, for example.

However, he again makes the point that you can’t rely solely on text message; you need to take advantage of the omnichannel approach. There are some people that prefer a phone call, or hate typing via text message, or won’t opt-in for text messages.

Different strokes for different folks, as they say.

Embedding a Phone Number or Contact

Beau’s mentioned a few times that you should put a callable or direct phone number into a lot of these different messages. Where should that phone number go? Should it be direct? Do you have to do fancy programming to make the click-to-call work?

The first thing Beau explains is that if you put the dashes between the area code and then the, the primary number, most phones are able to understand that it’s a phone number and will make it clickable. Putting them into an email is slightly different and a bit more complicated. A little bit of HTML coding will make the number a hyperlink.

He also explains the cool feature about Ricochet: you can dynamically enter phone numbers that should be called in each message depending on the purpose of the contact. For example, you could insert a sales number in a sales text message and a customer service number in a customer service email. The Ricochet CRM will pull a specific phone number and automatically embed it in there so you’ll have the most relevant number based on the message type.

CRMs and Marketing: The Basics

Now that we picked Beau’s brain about some general lead follow up questions, we wanted to get more into the CRM side of things, seeing as that is his speciality. We asked him about some of the basic questions about CRMs: at what point should someone start to consider a CRM? Does it matter what kind of marketing is being done? When should you start thinking about a CRM?

Beau keeps it simple, and we agree with him: you need to consider using a CRM if you’re doing any sort of customer service or sales. The reason for that is that our own brains simply cannot handle all of the data and information that you have to work within those fields.

We have limited memories and if you’re working with hundreds or thousands of people, you want to know the details that you simply cannot remember for everybody. You want to know when you talked to them about last, what you talked to them about, how you’ve contacted them, etc. The most efficient and easy way to keep track of all of this information is through a CRM system.

A CRM will help you show that you respect their time since you’re keeping things personal, you’re efficient in your communication, and it shows you care about them as an individual.

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CRM vs Lead Manager

While these two concepts are similar, there is an important distinction between the two. Using a CRM is more about nurturing the database that you already have and tracking different things that are going on across your database. Lead management is more about the real-time or the data that’s coming in and reacting to it to trigger different things to happen.

CRM systems imply that you have some sort of relationship with the person while the same isn’t necessarily true for lead management since they could be bought leads, cold call numbers, internet leads, etc. When you don’t have any relationship, you need to approach the contact and conversations differently.

Do you need a CRM or lead management manager? Ultimately, you need something that can handle both of these applications. If you’re a larger organization or if you have a sophisticated organization with specific needs, you really should take the time to write down what your needs are, what your daily operational procedures are, and see if there’s a system that can streamline these things along with both CRM and lead management applications.

Where to Start with Your CRM

OK, so you’ve invested in a CRM system. What’s the first place to start? What’s the first thing to get right?

Beau recommends starting with the simple things: getting your data into the system and mapping it should be your first steps. You’re going to create your “fields” and entry points based on your industry.

For example, in Ricochet, Beau  explains that that already have all the insurance fields built out. So all those clients really have to do in Ricochet is import their data and it’s going to map in automatically. A benefit of a program like Ricochet is that is has an application that guides you step by step on how to enter and map your data in the system.

After that, the next step is coming up with your call and email plan. Calling and emailing are really easy to set up and get going on quickly once your data is inputted. In the Ricochet system, for example, they’ve created “the blueprint” of call and email plans for you. This includes exactly how many times you should call the lead, the cadences of when you should call them, the text messages, etc. All of these plants are all prebuilt depending on the industry template you choose.

For example, you can go into Ricochet, pick the “Insurance” template, and you’re going to get a series of emails and texts that are all prebuilt for you to immediately get started on your contact campaigns.

Once you have your plans set up, all you have to do is train your agents on how to use the platform and they can get going!

Beau stresses that the goal of Ricochet has been to bring everything together seamlessly and to automate a lot of your day-to-day processes so you can focus on other things like planning, campaigns, marketing, etc. Let the CRM do the data and busy work for you and use it as a tool to help you reach your goals.

And while this does streamline a lot of processes, it isn’t going to do all of the work for you. It’s going to help you get the work done more easily and more efficiently, but you still have to make the calls and you still have to make the sale.

Built-in Scripts

Another awesome feature of Ricochet that Beau highlights is scripting. They have scripting built into the software. This is awesome for new hires, making adjustments to the script, and reduces the risk of making a mistake as a newbie.

You want to give your employees the best chance at being successful and making the sale, Beau says, and that’s why the built-in script option is so helpful since it puts the general outline of the call right in front of them at all times.

We think that this is helpful for all employees even your most seasoned salespeople. Even just having a kind of a framework can help you go through the call more smoothly, remind you of things to mention, remember certain steps, etc.

The System Is a Tool, Not a Silver Bullet

Speaking with seasoned professionals like Beau can give you a great perspective on how to use certain tools to your advantage. Ricochet is just one of many CRM systems, but it’s a great option for streamlining and automating your process. It sets you up to have amazing fundamentals and organization to make your sales process easier and more efficient.

But don’t think that this is going to do everything for you. It’s still a tool that you need to use alongside your own sales and marketing mind to be truly successful.

To learn more about Ricochet360, check out their website. You can also learn more about some of our other favorite tools on our blog and on our podcast.

Leave us some questions in the comments or contact us to continue the conversation!


Speaker 1: (00:02)
Hey, age leads store fans. Welcome once again to a video. We’re going to do something a little bit different today. Um, I’ve actually got a bowl Brayton with me and he’s with ricochet, three 60 a speed to contact, uh, just an awesome CRM system. And, um, as we’ve been talking about sort of introducing you to more and more technologies that are at your disposal. Uh, we wanted to get some guests on here that can actually talk specifically to the types of technology that you can use. I will make one sort of overall caveat before we start talking to, to Bo here. Um, whenever we do these videos, we are introducing you to technology that’s available, uh, to put into your sales process. Uh, but of course depending on how you’re generating leads and where are you getting leads from? Uh, it’s always important for you as an organization to make determinations, uh, as to what you need to do, uh, to stay in compliance, uh, and in a good legal spot, uh, with yourself and your organization. So those determinations are terminations. You, we’re just here to introduce you to some cool technology. So Beau, a welcome to age lead stores, a kind of inaugural podcast. Uh,

Speaker 2: (01:10)
thank you. Thank you bill. I’m super excited to be here.

Speaker 1: (01:13)
Yeah, this is awesome. So give us a little bit of background, um, and described kind of the technology. You, you’re doing a CRM system, but I know you do something, um, a lot different than the others. So give us just a kind of a thumbnail as to what your software does.

Speaker 2: (01:27)
Absolutely. So it is, it is a CRM, but it is a cloud phone system. So a fully functioning cloud phone system, a di Taylor, he says, cause I’m with progressive Eileen preview, dialing, predictive dialing a and then marketing automation. So it does the text messaging, the emailing, it’s got some social media components and it’s got chat and a lot more, but there’s the thumbnail.

Speaker 1: (01:50)
Okay, very cool. Um, and so you guys have been in business. How long, I mean you’ve been around for quite a while.

Speaker 2: (01:56)
10 years now. Almost 10 years. Yep. Just from an opponent.

Speaker 1: (01:59)
So Cal a cloud telephony. Well before I get into asking you some questions about kind of sales technology, um, I’ll have to, uh, ask you a, you are related to someone really famous and one of my favorite shows. Um, but this is still the coolest. You’re kind of the coolest friend I have because of this. Uh, tell us where we might’ve seen some of your family members before.

Speaker 2: (02:22)
Well, uh, you know the, the joker movie now you, let’s put a smile on that face. That’s one of the classic lines from my dad created in the office. In fact, he is here in LA. If anybody’s in LA, it’s probably isn’t gonna air on time, but there’s comic con going on this weekend in downtown LA. My dad’s going to be there signing autographs, but he’s pre Bratton from the [inaudible] office. Yes. Grossly overshadows me in my, uh, and my complete lack of famousness. But, uh, but in this fun,

Speaker 1: (02:48)
it is cool. It’s super cool. I, I, that’s one of my favorite shows. So, um, so let’s talk specifically, I mean a lot of, um, the folks that are watching this and talking to us, they are using uh, age leads obviously with age lead store. Um, and something that we talk about a lot. Um, when we’re using consumer data, whether it’s your own database, um, of referrals that have just kinda been sitting around. Maybe you’ve acquired a book of business that’s pretty popular in insurance. You get an insurance business and somebody hands you a book of business. It’s a budget sort of database of kind of age data. And then of course you may be purchasing some leads. Um, tell us a little bit about kind of what, you know from experience with your clients as to kind of the best way to approach follow up and just this kind of general, we talk about making developing systems, um, but what are some of the kind of the key things that they should be doing to just kind of initiate some followup on some of these older data?

Speaker 2: (03:47)
Yeah, great question. So, you know, I think that a lot of people, uh, Lee valve, the Omni channel, which is kind of a, a term that gets passed around really easily these days. But I like to, I like to always look at it from the perspective of you might be dealing with a millennial and you might be dealing with your grandpa [inaudible] and depending on who you’re dealing with, um, you, they may appreciate communicating with you through a different medium, whether that be text messaging or whether it be email or a good old fashioned phone call. Uh, and it was, it was funny recently, Gary Vaynerchuk, uh, the personality said that in about a decade everyone will stop using phones and he believes there’ll be someone sitting on their toilet and they’ll just talk to an AI and do whatever they want from there and make their calls, make their appointments.

Speaker 2: (04:34)
I, I disagree. I think that, uh, the phone is not going away that quickly. I think a lot of people still like to pick up the phone and, and talking about it anyways. So strategy is you upload your data and do some sort of CRM system. You got to have data, main managements, you can keep track of the conversation. And then, uh, I like to call it hyper-targeted omni-channel communications. It’s a huge mouth hold, but ultimately that’s, that’s our recommendation that you do. You tag tagging’s not the best word to use, but you communicate with the client from every perspective but in a very targeted way. So for example, uh, if we look at the consumer finance industry mortgage, uh, and let’s say it’s a mortgage company or an insurance company, and the person was in the military, maybe there’s a field that’s asked if they have military experience.

Speaker 2: (05:24)
And the answer is yes. Um, or if they have a car, uh, if it’s for auto insurance and they have a certain type of vehicle, you can make it a lot of determinations about that personality where you can give them something fun. So in the email that would go out. So let’s say you upload your data and then we’re going to start to call on them. We’re gonna start to email them, we’re going to text message them and we may do some social following or messaging to them. But in those messages you want to say their name so you can embed their name into the emails subject line into the text message, uh, and into your voicemails of course, into the, like for example, an email. You can actually put a military background with flags. Thanks for being part of the military or if the car could be part of the background. So you can dynamically adjust the, the, the messaging that’s going out. And it’s these subtle little differentiators that make a good campaign, a great campaign or I should say a good sales process and incredible sales process. You get that uptick in conversions that makes you the number one performer, you know, in the state for example.

Speaker 1: (06:33)
Right? And this at that personalization is becoming so important because people, they get so many different messages and so the one that’s gonna actually stand out with them is the one that has something that kind of resonates with them, right? I mean that’s just an, and you can do that with, with the tagging. Is that primarily through email or are you also able to pull that into text messages and that sort of thing?

Speaker 2: (06:57)
Yeah, so in a, in, in our system and ricochet, you can absolutely pull any data field dynamically into the message, into the text message or the email. And, um, so yeah, so another option other than just the, the design of the email, uh, could be the wording so you can put little touch points for your, you know, Mazda, Miata, et cetera, et cetera. And then they know, Hey, I know I provided this data, they’ve got my, they know my information and they’re ready to go. They’re professional.

Speaker 1: (07:28)
Yeah. Um, and then, you know, one thing that I’m curious about, and we’ve talked to other folks about this, but just kind of this, um, you kind of talked about it a little bit with, with the Gary Vaynerchuk, um, thing, but kind of the mobile only. Um, and when we’ve talked to some people about just kind of thinking about the customer and the sale, um, only in fully taking place on a mobile phone. A lot of people think, Oh, that’s a young person’s thing. But actually I’m increasingly seeing some data that’s supporting the fact that, um, kind of the boomer generation and the older generation, a lot of them don’t have a computer at home anymore. They’ve just kind of migrated to their mobile phone and they do everything there. So what, what changes do we have to make to our sales process to kind of live in a mobile only and not actually a desktop sort of environment?

Speaker 2: (08:17)
Yes, good point of we see on our traffic as well. Um, the skew is more towards mobile, so I would validate that from our side at least of our data. Um, you know, a lot of people don’t think about mobile on their email, so you can, you can write, uh, the, your, your email HTML copy should be mobile friendly and you can buy templates out there and we provide some templates that are mobile friendly. Uh, but ultimately that way when it comes up on your mobile phone, whichever one it is, it’s gonna look a lot cleaner and not be messed up. There’s nothing worse than opening up an email and it’s, it’s, it’s garbled and you can’t see it on your mobile phone and you’re like, well these guys are not professional. That’s part one. And then just utilizing text messaging. I mean obviously you’ve got to make sure you get the opt in and that it’s all compliant. But if you, if you have that, absolutely communicating via text message is, it’s a multitude, much higher conversion rate with regards to getting responses, getting that dialogue from consumers and then embedding and telephone numbers that they can click the call in your, in your emails and your text messages, uh, is huge because you’ll get a lot of people just click on it and make that call right from the email or the text message.

Speaker 1: (09:30)
Um, okay. So there’s a lot that you’ve kind of packed in there. So I want to come back to text messaging for a second, but then I, I’d also don’t wanna cause we always try to give kind of really actionable stuff here. And I want to loop back real quick to email specifically thinking about it on mobile. Um, do you guys have any sort of insight into, um, sort of what works better? Do you, do you actually want an HTML sort of email going out or maybe just plain text works? And then what about links? I would think with mobile phones actually, the, the, the shorter and shorter that message gets probably the, the better it works. But do you guys have any insight on kind of those, those four different characteristics and how,

Speaker 2: (10:10)
sure. I mean, you absolutely have to be careful. You don’t want, uh, to embed too many links. You can get sent to spam. Um, you know, there, the shorter the message, more or less people aren’t going to read big, long winded wept messages. They might read your newsletter if they’re already a client. But if they’re, if you’re trying to attract a person, um, you know, like for example a lead, uh, that is, uh, that’s aged and they’ve never talked to you before, then you’re, you’re gonna want to keep it short and sweet and you don’t really need to provide too much color. When I say HTML, um, I’m more you add, you can add a little bit of HTML into the message so that it’s mobile friendly, then the text passes through. Okay. You can still do a few things. Ultimately, also if you, if you’ve been able to, it just depends. If you’ve been able to determine if that person has been to your website, you’ve been able to determine whether they use a computer or not, or operating systems. You can do dynamic things of how you send the emails. But I think short and sweet and tech plain text is perfectly fine. Um, maybe a little bit of HTML, uh, but be careful about adding too many links.

Speaker 1: (11:13)
Yeah. Um, okay, so let’s switch to text a message. Am I actually on the email front? I’m actually seeing a lot of people build campaigns that actually look a lot like text messages. They’re that short, they’re that specific. Um, and I think I’m kind of getting to a little bit of a strategy of saying, Hey, I’m just trying to get their attention or their interests and then I’m going to do the sales hopefully on the phone. I’m so going into text messaging, uh, I think kind of the number one anxiety that I hear a lot is people like, Oh, I don’t want to reach out and use text message because it’s going to bother them or people are going to be annoyed with that. Um, have you kind of seen that change? I mean, I, I know I do a lot more text messages than I ever did before and it even with, you know, used to it was just to kind of family and friends and, and now it’s become, um, something I, that I spend a lot of time, uh, with my business and, and clients actually text messaging back and forth. So what do you think about that sort of, the attitudes towards text messaging?

Speaker 2: (12:12)
It’s, it’s, I mean it’s night and day. More and more people, I’ll tell you this much whether they like it or not, if you, a lot of the companies that we’ve had that weren’t doing any text messaging at all, once they got the opt in and they started to do it, uh, they saw upwards of 30% increase in application rates in the insurance space. 30. The last one I heard recently was around 37% increase in, in appointments, um, just from turning on text messaging and starting to communicate the via text messaging. So without a shadow of a doubt, people, uh, it’s, it’s an easy medium and they always see it too because text messages pop right up on your phone. Yeah. If you do it right, like you said, short and sweet, contextually targeted with their name, with whatever they’re looking for, a telephone number and an opt out, of course it can be automatically add the words tech stopped, opt out to fuse, future messaging so that you’re not, you know, you’re already showing them your compliant and not trying to bother them. The uptick is incredible, bill.

Speaker 1: (13:12)
Wow. I’ve also heard anecdotally, I’m wondering if you would reinforce this that some of the people that are doing this in their sales process or in their shop, um, are actually saying that a lot of kind of just again anecdotal feedback from the client is that they actually prefer that over the phone call because a phone call, especially during the day, which is when we call, but probably the worst time to call. Um, because that’s our work day too. But they they, that was less interruptive of what they were doing cause they could just see the text message versus having to worry about a phone call or figuring out who it is or whether or not they want to take it. What’s your, any take on that or,

Speaker 2: (13:49)
yeah, I mean, again, I think that comes kind of back to my original [inaudible] comment of you. You, you still need to do the phone call, you need to do the email and you need to do the text and you can even do the social absolutely during the day if they’re, if they’re working, if this person’s working, it’s easy and they want to get this done. It’s easy for them to communicate back and forth via text message without upsetting their boss or something of that nature. But there’s other people that are, uh, at home and they just want to get it done. They want to get on the phone, they don’t like typing, they don’t like thumbing it in. So again, you know, different strokes for different folks, but I do think that more and more people are, uh, definitely, uh, appreciate doing the text messaging. Uh, and they just won’t mention them, but I think you should call them. And there’s a whole strategy to the cadence of calling and the hours that you call them that are, that are, that are and best for getting pickups and conversations. And I think you should text them and I think you should email and I think you should even potentially stop them on the internet. I’m just getting them on a Twitter. You know, why not?

Speaker 1: (14:52)
Yeah. And it probably depends on your industry too, but I think there’s really nothing wrong with that. Again, for most of these leads that you’re working, um, they’ve actually requested for you to follow up. They’ve requested a rate quote, they requested some sort of information. So it’s almost, um, you know, you’re kind of violating the agreement if you don’t actually actively follow up and do your best to, to sort of contact them. It’s kind of always been my philosophy there. Um, you mentioned, uh, putting a callable or a direct phone number into a lot of these different messages. I see people messing that up a lot. Uh, even when I get emails, there’s like, there’s no phone number in there. And then I’ve got to figure out how to do it. Kind of what’s the sort of the the right way to do that. Um, and where should that phone number go? Should it be direct? Does it go into like, you know, the general phone number again? Um, do they have to do anything fancy to make kind of the click to call work? Um, so what is your experience in, in, in a phone number?

Speaker 2: (15:49)
Great question. Quite a few things there. Number one is if you put the dashes between the area code and then the, the primary number, uh, phones seem to pick that up better for click to call on text messaging. Uh, so with the dashes, uh, same thing. Now with email, you can put the age ref, so make it a link and you can pass some variables through there. I won’t go into too much technical detail there, but ultimately if it’s an email, uh, you can add a bit of code. And so a little bit of HTML on the number which would make it hyperlink to if they’re on their computer popping up. Um, uh, requested some, you know, often computers have Google voice or some different things built into call. Um, so, so yeah, so dashes in between the numbers and potentially some HTML on the phone inside it.

Speaker 1: (16:38)
Okay, cool. Very cool. All right, so now I want to talk about that.

Speaker 2: (16:41)
All right. Sorry about one more, one more comment on there. In, in, in certain systems like ours too, you can have dynamic, you can dynamically enter the phone number that should be called in there. So you can have a multitude of numbers, whether it’s a sales email, customer service, email, depending on the type of being all ours, we’ll pull in a specific phone number and automatically embedded in there that’s relevant to the type of messaging that’s going on.

Speaker 1: (17:07)
Gotcha. And that’s really important if you want to do some more sophisticated tracking and that sort of thing, figuring out where things are coming back at you. Right. Um, okay. I want to jump into, because we get tons of questions about CRM. Um, and so I would love to know kind of some best practices around CRM. Um, just starting with some basic questions like, um, at what point should I start to consider a CRM and does it matter what kind of marketing I’m doing or just give me, um, some sort of indication as like, okay, if I’m on this call and I’m, I’m, you know, watching this right now, um, what’s kind of that entry point? When should I start thinking about a CRM?

Speaker 2: (17:47)
I mean, if I was just running my own business in a single, you know, entrepreneur, I would use the CRM. And so I would say that you just need to consider a CRM or you should consider a CRM period if you’re doing any sort of customer service or sales. And the reason is, is because, uh, we have limited memories if we’re working with hundreds or thousands of people, uh, you know, you wanna you want to know when you talk to them about last and unless you, you have, you know, some sort of savant level ability to, to bring that back up, you need to look at your notes and you need to keep notes. You can say, Hey, last time we talked about this cause you’ll convert better. So if you care about conversion, you want to remember what you talked about and you want to get right to the point and they’ll, people will respect that you respect their time.

Speaker 2: (18:33)
So a CRM has really you respecting their time. Uh, so yeah, period. Everybody should consider a CRM or a lead manager. And I like to think, I like to talk about the difference between a CRM and lead manager. A lot of people, it actually took me a long time to kind of figure it out the difference they bleed together. But a, a CRM really is more about nurturing your database that you already have a and uh, tracking, you know, different things that are going on across your database. Whereas lead management is more about the real time or the data that’s coming in and reacting to it and, uh, um, and triggering different things to happen in my opinion.

Speaker 1: (19:12)
Yeah, no, that’s a key distinction. Um, it’s, it’s kind of funny, uh, back years ago when I was in this business, we actually, um, this aisle, this tell this little funny story. There was no concept of lead management. Um, and we had what we thought was a lead management system. And so we actually went and wrote and you can go back and you can actually see my name. We actually wrote the Wikipedia page for lead management so that we could start to point our customers to it. Um, but it’s a key distinction because back then when we were kind of wrestling with this, um, we would always say, you know, customer relationship management, CRM system mean it implies you have some sort of relationship. And at the time, again, this is 15 years ago, um, this thing called internet leads was just starting. And so for the first time salespeople, we’re getting hundreds of, um, people that they were supposed to follow up, but they had absolutely no relationship, you know, and so you needed something to start to, to kind of help build that process.

Speaker 1: (20:15)
So I love that and make that distinction because I think that’s so important for people to get is there’s a whole category, especially if you’re dealing with internet leads of people that you do not have a relationship. They made a request of you that you don’t have to, you don’t have a relationship. And so you have to handle that differently and you have to do it at such a scale. Um, that I think is critical to, whether you call it a lead manager or a CRM system, you’ve got to bring that system in because in order to convert it into a relationship, you’ve got to be handling hundreds of those and your brain just can’t remember of those contacts. And, um, so I think that’s, um, super clever.

Speaker 2: (20:52)
Yeah. Real actually before the next question real quick, I have another comment on that, which is important of how to determine what you should get. Uh, so whether it, you know, I don’t think it’s so important to say, Oh, I need it. Do I need a CRM or lead management manager? Ultimately you need something that can handle both these days. And, and a lot of these people are going to be buying age leads. Uh, so they’re definitely gonna need a lead management system. But what you do need to look at is, so if you’re a larger organization or if you have a sophisticated organization with specific needs, you really should take the time to write down what your needs are, what are your daily operational procedures that you already do across the board and see how you can, if there’s a system out there that can streamline them all together before, as in, you know, for example, maybe in some cases Salesforce is kind of the go to everyone things Salesforce, right? Uh, and maybe Salesforce is the right thing for your company if you need to do, uh, you know, processing, merchant processing and all. Yeah.

Speaker 2: (21:53)
All sorts of, because the app store, you can get a lot of that stuff done and it’s all gonna be in one system. But you’d have to realize Salesforce isn’t, it’s not easy to modify or configure it for your specific needs. It’s not just built for you. And, um, if you, if you’re like, look, we want to keep it more assemble, we want all of the necessary components and we want something for our space, then you should look at different systems that are built for your space that handle all of your, your needs and, um, and that it’s really important to write, write that, write that all down.

Speaker 1: (22:28)
Yeah, yeah. No. Having those kind of baseline requirements, which kind of goes to my second point. So let’s say you invest in a CRM best in lead manager, um, or you know, get Rick of shaped three 60. Um, when you open that box so to speak, um, there are these systems like have so much, so much capability. Um, where do you recommend people start so that they can, as quickly as possible, uh, get some, some return on that investment. So what’s the first place to start? What’s the first thing to get right? Uh, when you kind of open your software for the first time or you are, you, you know, purchase this new CRM.

Speaker 2: (23:07)
Um, well, so, you know, definitely getting your data in and mapping it. And so you’re going to, you’re going to create your fields where they may already be created. Like in ricochet, we already have all the insurance fields built out. So all you really have to do is import your data and it’s going to map in. Um, but that’s, that’s step one is getting your data mapped. I mean we’re talking about if you already have a system you need to migrate it over. So you want to find a system that makes that process as smooth, smooth as possible. I’m not gonna oversell ricochet here. We make it, we have a, uh, a, an application that ushers you through step by step on how to do that. And hopefully the company you’re working with as account managers, they’re going to hold your hand and make sure that you get launched.

Speaker 2: (23:44)
Cause if you can’t get launched, you make money. So get your data. And then step one really is coming up with a calling plan and an email plan. You can definitely, you know, I’m hoping you have the, the option to email these people and obviously you can call them and you should have the opt in to call them as well. So, so barring compliance, uh, calling and emailing are really easy to set up and get going. I in our system, what we’ve done is we created the blueprint, we like to call it for insurance. So this is exactly how many times you should call the lead, the cadences of when you should call them the text messages. They’re actually all prebuilt. So you know, if you go into ricochet, say I want the insurance template, you’re going to get a series of emails already prebuilt for you, uh, text messages, all the phone called dialer’s statuses and fields and integrations with you know, anybody.

Speaker 2: (24:39)
And then all you have to do is train your agents on, basically just set up your agents by their phone numbers, report the phone numbers in and train them on the platform. And then, you know, put in your plug in your logo and your telephone numbers into your templates and you’re off and running. So we, we really do look at that bill. That’s, I’m glad you brought that one up. How do you get going as fast as possible and how do you hit the ground running? Right. And that’s where we really invested a lot of our time and effort is and just creating the best practice for, uh, any space and uh, giving that to them right on, right on day one so that they don’t have to go recreate or create the wheel from scratch.

Speaker 1: (25:17)
Yeah. It’s kinda neat to have that template Instructure and to go with, depending on what your industry is to go with, you know, a technology that that has a lot of background data, they’ve seen it kind of work. Um, I don’t think that’s huge to that point. Um, and uh, not to kind of telling your customers, um, but as you look at clients, I would suspect that you are starting to see or have over the years seen some patterns as to um, kind of who when they come into your system is going to do well and who is probably going to struggle. Are there any specific things, um, uh, whether it’s characteristics, whether it’s the type of things they do, um, what kind of seems to be the pattern for, um, the salesperson or the sales organization that comes in and, and just really knocks it out of the park. Um, in your [inaudible]

Speaker 2: (26:09)
I think it’s a dedication to recognizing the importance of building a good foundation and infrastructure versus this is, Oh, I don’t want to do any work. Can you just set it up for me and I’m going to get, you know, I want you guys to do everything for us and we do as much as we possibly can for clients. But the people that were realized, look, this is a longterm investment once you get this setup correct, it’s, it’s almost plug and play. It’s autopilot. That’s ricochet is, tries to automate 95% of what you do on a daily basis. And that’s, that’s really what you want you having said that, if I told you, okay, I want you to go out tomorrow and I want you to set up a phone system. I want you to go find an email marketing system and text messaging. Marketing.

Speaker 2: (26:54)
Yes, system social. This system is a lead management and a dialer and I want you to have that all working seamlessly together with reporting so that you can just run an and automate it all by the way. And don’t let it break. You. Got, okay. I’ll be, let me have a little more time. I’ll get back to you in a couple of months. And so that’s really where ricochet tried to do is we’re all in when we brought it all together seamlessly, easy to use, easy to launch and gives everything that you need and kind of like an iPhone type of management managerial way. So it’s easy to configure as well. Change. Having said that, um, it, it is complex. It’s 10 softwares in one and that, and there are, let’s just put it this way, there’s at least 10 components of everyone’s business that they should be looking at in order to operate smoothly.

Speaker 2: (27:36)
And you can’t cut corners and you can’t say, Oh, I don’t want to spend time on it yet. We’re all busy work. A lot of people are working in their business versus on their business, but you really, really have to take the time, set it aside and look, go. Once I, this is going to be a bit of work in the beginning and a bit of a pain in the butt, but once I get it right, I’m going to make a lot more money in the long run. Um, so you’ve got to plant that seed correctly in the beginning of the people that are successful, recognize that they put the right investment into, to really getting it all done and set up correctly. Um, and not rushing their launch or trying to cut corners. Right?

Speaker 1: (28:14)
Yeah. I just always say to my sales teams, you still have to make the calls, right? So you guys do all these things. But at the end of the day, whether you’re, you’re building that tech or investing in that technology, got to do some work, right? It’s just not, there’s no, there is no silver bullet. You still gotta make the calls.

Speaker 2: (28:31)
Another, another good thing to point out, sorry bill, you’ve been brought here is scripting. So we have scripting built in and so if you’re going to be hiring new people, if you’re opening up an office, you want to probably build that entire sales workflows, ricocheted, built scripting interface where it’s step-by-step is your opening depending on whether they said yes or no, you click on it and then you can say the next line. That’s good for the new people, at least that you’re bringing on, but making it as hard as possible for your new employees to mess up because there’s a lot of overhead. There’s a lot of turnover I should say. And for example, insurance. And so you want to make, give them the best chance at being successful. Automating as much as possible and putting the words right in front of their face.

Speaker 1: (29:16)
Yeah, no, I think we talked about scripting all the time. Even for somebody who’s seasoned. I mean just to have kind of a framework that you go back to and to remind you to kind of go through certain steps or trigger thoughts on, you know, what might be holding a client back I think is super important. Okay. So as we kind of close out our time on this particular one, um, if you were to tell all of our folks like, Hey, this is the one thing you need to kind of walk away today, go back into your shop, uh, and either do or think about or figure out like what is of that one thing, uh, that’s going to help somebody be successful when they go back into their sales day,

Speaker 2: (29:57)
but are our, what have you, I think it goes back to my previous comment,

Speaker 1: (30:01)
is your system operating like a well oiled machine and is the time that it’s taking to fix the problems that you have worth it. If it’s not, you should go look at getting the basics right tomorrow. You’ll thank yourself in a year from now. Yeah. Just putting in that I totally with you, I’ve put in that prep time to kind of, you said it a couple of times with getting that solid foundation so that stuff works and you can build, I see so many times people get into, they’ll hear like these kind of these little tiny like incremental things that you can improve and they focus so much attention on that, but their foundation is just a mess. Right. So love that. Um, okay, so people want to know more about a record, say three 60. You want to know more about you? Um, how do they find you? How do they, they check out what you have in the way. A CRM and technical

Speaker 2: (31:03)
ricochet three is the website. Uh, so feel free to go check that out. Uh,

Speaker 1: (31:09)
six, six, six seven eight

Speaker 2: (31:12)
1288 is the number. Eight, six six six seven eight 1288. You always say it twice.

Speaker 1: (31:18)
And then we’re at ricochet three 60 on most of the, most of social media. Okay. Very cool. All right, awesome. I appreciate it so much though. Um, and we will, uh, I’ll hopefully get you back here again as we do more and more of these.

Speaker 2: (31:31)
No, always good to see you again, my friend. Thank you. And um, we’ll, we’ll talk soon.

Speaker 1: (31:34)
Awesome. Hey Garrett. All right, we’ll cut it there. Um, cool. So yeah, we’ll schedule another time to kind of figure out if there’s some more stuff that we can can work on and Oh, we’ll see how this thing does.

Speaker 2: (31:46)
Yeah. Coming out, coming out to LA next time you’re out in LA, you know, swing by our office and I’ll get my, I’ll bring my dad into a go to lunch.

Speaker 1: (31:54)
Yeah, that would be super cool. Um, are you going to lead a lead gen oral or Mike furries new thing?

Speaker 2: (32:02)
I am, yeah. We’re, we’re smart. We’re a sponsor. I think we’ve got the, the world package or something like that. So we’re definitely [inaudible]

Speaker 1: (32:08)
support Michael and awesome.

Speaker 2: (32:11)
Did a leads fun East. It was a big let down probably the word, I mean last year I did it and I liked it, but this year was,

Speaker 1: (32:18)
Um, okay, cool. Yeah, so I’m speaking there. So if worst-case scenario that’ll be, we’ll see out there in that sounds good. January in Denver, but I dunno, must make sense. I like going anywhere other than Vegas. I’ll be honest. I think he’s doing really well. I had an actual, um, I dunno if you know, uh, Jesse, uh, the Dolan, but he, I was trying to get him in as a speaker and, uh, Mike said he’s already booked up with sponsors and speakers, so, so that’s cool. That is really good. That’s really good stuff. All right, well thank you, my friend. I appreciate it very much. All right. Sounds good, bill. Take care.

About Bill Rice

Bill Rice is the Founder & CEO of Kaleidico, a lead generation agency. Bill specializes in mortgage marketing, legal marketing, lead management, and sales automation.