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Founder & CEO @ SalesReach | Host of The Buyer Enablement Podcast
B2B buyers now spend 80% or more of their journey alone before engaging with a salesperson.
So, when they do finally engage with sales, they expect minimal friction, a great experience, and easy access to information to help them make a decision.
This is why Josh Fedie founded Salesrach.io — to organize the sales process in a way that makes sense to your customers and 3x the likelihood of closing high-value, low-regret deals.
Learn how to optimize the B2B buyer experience and make buyer enablement work for you in this episode of Closing Time.
The B2B buying journey has shifted in recent years. Buyers are now armed with more information at their fingertips than ever before, and they are tired of wasting time with pushy sales reps.
So much so that Gartner data says buyers spend up to 80% of the journey alone, before engaging with a sales rep (see image from 6sense below). This revelation is not just a statistic; it’s a call to action for B2B sellers to adapt and evolve.
Reflecting on his own experiences, Josh highlights the initial challenges he faced in the sales process before starting his company — he’d send the buyer information and resources only for it to get lost in their inbox days later. The constant back-and-forth with buyers and individuals in the committee is not only a waste of time on the seller’s part but also adds friction to the sales process.
It was this frustration that spurred Josh to create SalesReach.io. His solution? Custom web pages designed to streamline the information-sharing process, making it more manageable and efficient for both sellers and buyers.
This innovation wasn’t just a workaround for a personal challenge; it was a response to a broader trend. The increase in self-directed research by buyers, while empowering, often leads to information overload and confusion. Josh’s platform, conceived even before the trend was widely recognized, offers a way to simplify the complexity of the B2B buying process.
The evolution of buyer behavior, especially post-COVID, underscores the necessity for B2B sellers to offer clarity and ease in the decision-making process. The shift from a 70% to an 80% self-guided journey highlights the growing preference for independent research and the critical need for sellers to facilitate a smoother, more cohesive buying experience.
Josh emphasizes that sellers must now focus on making the process as straightforward and informative as possible, guiding buyers through their journey with ease and efficiency.
In the highly competitive world of B2B sales, standing out is everything. Yet, according to Josh, he estimates that less than 1% of sellers use video as a tool to differentiate.
If you watch the Closing Time episode, you’ll see that Josh has a high-quality external camera, ample lighting, and a professional microphone. He humorously attributes his on-camera presence to natural charm, but the crux of his message is serious: video is a largely untapped resource in personalizing and enhancing sales outreach.
Josh emphasizes that while video can indeed be a novel addition to cold outreach, its true potential is unlocked when used consistently throughout the sales journey. From initial outreach to meeting follow-up and introducing oneself to decision-makers, video is a powerful tool to narrate and guide the buyer’s journey. (See more tips for using video in sales in this Closing Time episode).
The ability to personalize messages, such as including the recipient’s name on a whiteboard (one of Josh’s iconic tricks), significantly increases the impact of these communications.
Josh argues that this personalized approach is not just about making a memorable introduction; it’s about continuously supporting and guiding the prospect with relevant information, insights, and reassurances, effectively standing out in a crowded marketplace.
Moreover, Josh highlights the evolving complexity of B2B buying processes, with review teams expanding and decision-making becoming more collaborative and intricate. In such an environment, video can play a crucial role in ensuring that a seller’s message is clearly conveyed to all stakeholders, thereby mitigating buyer confusion and fostering a sense of familiarity and trust.
You just finished a demo with a key decision-maker. You took great notes and you know what resources they need to share with the rest of the buying committee. It’s here, during the follow-up, where Josh says video can be a game-changer.
Josh emphasizes that the content of a follow-up video should be tailored to the specific stage of the sales process the potential client is in.
His method, using SalesReach.io, involves creating a custom web page for each prospect, filled with resources relevant to their needs and journey. This web page becomes the focal point of the follow-up, with Josh recording a video that guides the viewer through the page, highlighting key resources, documents, and even specific segments of videos that are most relevant to specific individuals on the buying committee.
This approach transforms the follow-up from a generic check-in into a valuable, personalized walkthrough of resources.
By directing the prospect’s attention to specific elements that align with their needs and interests, Josh not only saves them time but also demonstrates a deep understanding of their challenges and how his solution addresses them.
When sellers approach interactions with the intention of guiding buyers through the information, market, tools, benefits, and values, they transcend the typical seller-buyer relationship. This approach turns the sales process into an informative journey, where the goal is to orient the buyer rather than push a sale.
It’s about creating an environment where the buyer feels supported and informed enough to make a decision that’s right for them.
Using the term “guide” liberally, Josh encourages those in customer-facing roles to focus on being better guides. This involves recognizing that the individuals they are speaking to are incredibly busy, and the conversation with the seller might not be the highlight of their day. This perspective requires sellers to ensure that their follow-ups, recaps, and communications are concise, clear, and precisely what the buyer needs to hear.
Another crucial point Josh raises is the goal of turning prospects into internal advocates. This goes beyond merely making a sale; it’s about empowering the buyer to champion the seller’s product or service within their own organization.
The question becomes: How can sellers make their prospects feel confident and equipped enough to endorse their solution to decision-makers?
Success in this area means providing the prospect with all the necessary tools, knowledge, and support to answer questions and address concerns as effectively as the seller would.
By focusing on being a guide, sellers can build deeper connections, foster trust, and create lasting relationships with their clients. This strategy doesn’t just increase the chances of making a sale; it establishes a foundation for mutual success, where the seller and buyer work together towards a common goal.
It’s a powerful reminder that in the world of B2B sales, the most effective way to win is to ensure your client wins first.
Here’s another startling statistic from Gartner: 75% of B2B buyers prefer to avoid sales reps altogether.
This preference, Josh argues, stems not from a dislike of salespeople per se but from a rejection of pushy and unhelpful selling tactics that have become all too common.
Josh sees an opportunity for sales reps to truly stand out—by turning on the charm, being entertaining, and most importantly, being genuinely helpful, reps can make a memorable impression on their prospects.
Josh shares a personal tactic of using humor to break the ice in online demos. Trying opening the demo with Apple’s new built-in reactions (learn how to turn on the setting here). Starting a meeting with laughter can set a positive tone for the entire presentation.
In B2B buyer expectations are at an all time high.
So how do you optimize the buyer experience and improve win rates?
We’re going to talk all about it in today’s Closing Time.
Welcome to Closing Time, the show for. Go to Market Leaders.
My name is Chip House.
I’m the CMO at Insightly CRM, and today. I’m super excited to be joined
by Josh Fedie, who’s the founder and CEO of
SalesReach.io, welcome, Josh.
Thanks for having me, Chip.
Hey, so Josh, we talked a little bit about this
in the pre call but you know, there’s been lots of research published
about the buyer journey and how buyers, especially in B2B,
are just doing more and more research themselves.
And I think the Gartner number is they do about 80%
of their entire buying journey before they ever talk to a sales rep.
I know that you know this, by the way, because we talked about it, but
part of the
reason, you seem to be ahead of the game because you started SalesReach.io
Did you know this was a trend and that’s why you started the company?
Isn’t that funny?
No. This article didn’t even come out from Gartner
until we were already two years into building our platform, which was funny.
So originally, the reason I built my platform
was I felt like sales professionals were doing a very good job
of making buying from them, very challenging.
And what I mean by that is, I was looking at my own sales process to begin with.
I was looking at the fact that every meeting I had ended with,
hey, Josh, sounds great.
Can you send me some information? Right.
And I would go back to my desk.
I’d load up my email with a bunch of attachments, a couple web
links, maybe a video, if I was really ahead of the time.
Send all this stuff over.
Conversations would keep going for 6 to 9 months
before they went to a review team
and I’d be constantly sending them information along that whole time.
And then when they finally went in front of the decision maker,
that’s when they’d reach out and be like,. Hey, Josh,
we can’t find that one thing you sent that one time about X, Y and Z.
Can you re send it?
And I just get so mad because it’s like, can you just search your inbox?
Why aren’t you saving that stuff? Like, why did, I already sent it.
I did my job.
You need to do your job for me, right?
Because I can’t hold your hand through this whole thing.
I’m working all these deals.
But after I got over being upset about it,
I realized I was a problem and I started to fix that problem.
I actually started building custom web pages for my customers
for the deals to help them follow the deal 15 years ago.
I built it myself.
It was just a product only I could use.
I had no vision for how this could be used with other teams.
It was later down the road that I realized that this was a big problem
that other people were also having in their sales process.
I saw all the articles about how challenging
it was to buy in B2B, and I thought, okay, well, this is a great way to start
cleaning that up because we can make it make more sense to everybody
instead of expecting people on the receiving end to organize properly
the material you send to them, you can organize it for them.
That all made sense to me.
It was two years after we built the product.
Gartner came out with the article
that they’ve revised a handful of times since then.
The original stat was 70%, Chip. 70%
of the buyer’s journey is done without a sales professional.
Three years later, after COVID had hit our first couple waves of COVID.
That stat jumped up to 80.
And the other thing that that article talks about is not only
that the buyers are doing all this work on their own, but the important part
about the article was the fact that all of this work that they’re doing on
their own is doing nothing but making them more confused.
Let me tell you, as a B2B buyer,. Josh, I mean,
I love this trend because it is hard to buy in B2B.
And the other thing. I think I’ve kind of observed
is sort of maybe it’s the dirty little secret some of your best
performing reps were doing this already, right?
They were like you, they highly organized decks
and they were thinking about the buyer’s experience
and they were doing the work for them, which frankly is how it should be, right?
Because I think bad reps will put
a lot of responsibility on the buyer themselves to like,
as you said, organize emails, maintain a spreadsheet.
And it’s, you know, it’s just not realistic in today’s buying committees.
Especially as they’ve increased,. I think the numbers from like seven people
on average pre-COVID to about 11 people on average
in a buying committee, because it’s a buying team.
Right. And so you simply need
to think about
that buying team if you’re going to have a chance of success.
So related to this.
So, Josh, you look great on camera.
And I know
it’s a lot because you’re set up, right?
I mean, you have a great mic,
you have a great camera, and you’ve done tons of video.
That’s a big piece of your platform.
And I’m a fan of video and maybe 5% of the messages
I get in my inbox are B2B people using video.
And I think it’s unfortunate because I’m much more likely to respond
because it is highly differentiating and it’s helpful to have a rep
describe something or show something in the initial video.
Building on your experience with video,
What are some of the tips you would give to the people out there?
And just for clarification, I tested Chip.
I tested with a inferior camera and I still looked this good.
I was just born this way.
There’s nothing I can do about it.
No, but 5% is actually a very high number,. Chip, if you really think
that you’re getting personalized videos from 5%, that’s a very high number.
You are a very high demand person.
I’ll tell you that right now.
Most people, when I ask them,. How many videos do you receive
personalized videos from reps, they say closer to zero.
That’s what they say.
It is a huge missed opportunity.
It is very rare that somebody tells me they don’t like receiving personal videos
from people. It’s very rare.
It has happened.
I actually just talked to someone yesterday that said I find the videos
creepy and I said, Well, you’re the only one.
I find spammy messages written by AI bots to be creepy.
That’s creepy. But I
like a personalized message.
Video is incredibly powerful in sales,. I think too many people.
Do you have your little whiteboard padle with you?
Well, of course Chip. I never don’t have it.
I’ve got yeah, I’ve got three of them on my desk right here.
I love that thing because you can do a little personalized message with it
and you do it all the time.
That’s what I do. For every video I make.
I put the person’s first name on the sign.
Right?. That way they know I made it for them.
But here’s why I think a lot of people with video look at it in the wrong way.
I think a lot of people stumble upon video
and they think this is the cold outreach solution that I’ve been looking for.
I mean, it’s good.
It’s good in cold outreach.. It should be part of your cold outreach.
It should be a part of your LinkedIn connection request.
You should be making personalized videos when you connect with people
and that’s all great.
But where video, without any question, hands down, is the most powerful is after
you’ve had meetings is using it as a guide, as a resource
for the person that you’re talking to, to re explain what the conversation was,
to explain where we’re going, to explain what we’re working towards.
If you are sharing materials with them, explaining what those materials are,
the real value here, as you were talking about earlier, Chip,
the review teams have grown the stat that I last read said that
they’ve grown from 9 to 14 individuals, which is absolutely insane.
But it depends on your industry that you’re working in.
But regardless, you have never met
most of those people that are reviewing the deal.
If you use video properly throughout the entire sales process,
not just for cold outreach, narrating the entire buyer’s journey,
giving them resources, giving them talking points through video, supporting them,
and then introducing yourself to the team that’s reviewing it.
Even though you haven’t met the team, intentionally putting it in
a place where they have to see it before they see anything else from you
that puts you in the room and listen, we all know people buy from people.
I mean, it has to be, sorry to interrupt, it has to be highly
Yeah.. None of your competitors are doing that.
No, I mean, it’s most of the companies that are using my products,
they’re like, this is game
changing for us because when we go up against somebody else,
the customer comes back and says,. We worked with you
mainly because you were more organized than the rest of them.
We love that page that you created.
We loved those videos that you made for us.
It really helped us understand we’re trying to clear up that buyer confusion.
So I just had an experience yesterday actually, where I was on the phone
with Nick Cegelski from 30 minutes to Presidents Club,
but we had a good discussion and he followed up with two videos
that were really, really helpful. And,
they’re just going to increase the chance that I do business with them.
So it’s a difference maker for sure.
I think that what people need to focus on is delivering value in every interaction
I’ve seen, people use video in a very tchotchke sort of way.
You know, they’re dancing around, they’re doing goofy things,
they’re wearing hot dog costumes, whatever.
We can be professional with these things.
We can be highly organized, we can be better guides.
And that’s really what’s happened to sales.
That’s the difference.
You know, people say, I hate. I hate cold outreach.
I hate when people are sending me this spam.
No, no, no.
But you don’t hate the whole sales profession.
You hate the bad actors.
You hate the people that have been trained improperly,
whose company is behind the eight ball and doesn’t want to change with the times.
Who doesn’t think that investing in better tools to be better personalized.
Who doesn’t think that investing in more time to understand
their audience better before reaching out is a good idea.
Those are the people that you hate.. Those are the tactics you hate.
So so Josh, I mean, it’s a great use case sort of following up
after that initial call.
What belongs in that video, you know, or what belongs in the follow up message.
What’s the best practice for that?
So again, depends on what stage you’re at in the sales process.
For me, what I like to do is so again,
I don’t want this to be salesy, but with my platform
I build a web page with all the resources people need from me.
Okay, so translate that, whoever’s listening, translate
that to however you do whatever you do. Right?
But what I do with my platform is I record a custom video after every engagement.
Typically speaking,. I will do a screen record of the page
that I’ve created for them, and I literally walk them through
the entire page.
And I say, based on the conversation we just had, here’s the resources
that I thought were going to be applicable to you at this stage in your journey.
If you share this page with your team, these are the pieces
that I would want them to be most looking at.
I literally just walk them through the page,
open up the documents right in front of their face,
explain to them what they are,
explain to them why they should be paying attention to them.
Try to help them understand like, Hey, this is a video that I put on this page
that’s 10 minutes long.
The only part of this that’s applicable to you in our conversation
is that the nine minute and 45 second point.
So you can fast forward to that if you want.
Or you can watch the rest because you might find value
in the rest of it as well.
But I try to just streamline
their process while still giving them the value that they need.
But that page, I modify that after every conversation.
So right up to the point where they say, we’re ready to move forward,
give us an agreement, then I update the page yet again.
Your agreement’s been added.
Let me walk you through the agreement.
Let me walk you through the pieces
that you need to understand before you sign off on this.
So there’s no gotchas in the end, right?
I want everyone to be happy.
Yeah. I mean, as as a seller.
I mean, the more you come my direction
as when I’m the buyer, the more you feel like a consultant.
Right? You’re no longer selling me.
You’re just walking me through information, helping me understand it,
helping me understand the market, the tool, the benefits, the value, right?
I mean, so it’s not
just leveraging video
and buyer enablement to sell, sell, sell.
It’s really about orientation for the buyer.
I use the word guide very liberally
because I really do want more people
in customer facing roles, not just sales, to feel like
they should work on being a better guide for the people they’re working with.
We have all these conversations all the time.
The people we’re talking to are just as busy as us, if not more busy than us.
And the conversation they’re having with you
is not the most important conversation they’ve had in their day right.
And we just got to keep remembering that.
And we’ve got to keep remembering that when we leave that conversation,
the recap is going to be really important and boiling this down to something
that makes perfect sense for them is going to be important.
But the most important thing is how do we turn the people we’re talking to
or the person we’re talking to into an internal advocate for us?
Because that is going to be the person that decides whether or not
they’re going to bring whatever we’re selling to the decision making committee.
They’re going to have to put their neck on the line and endorse it.
How have we made them feel comfortable enough to do that?
And have we given them everything they need to answer the questions
that are going to be thrown at them the way we would have answered them?
Right. Are we equipping them to do that?
And if we are, that’s truly where we win, right?
So we need to create advocates and a bit of a subject matter
expert in those review teams to advocate for us to win those deals.
And I think, you know, it feels like not enough
sellers are heeding this recommendation.
Right, Just judging by my inbox.
But it doesn’t surprise me that another Gartner Stat
B2B buyers say they prefer a rep free experience.
They don’t even want to talk to a salesperson, period.
And so if you are if you’re that sales guy
and you know who you are and you’re not going the extra mile for the buyer,
you’re not going to help yourself close any business at all.
No, that stat is a by product of all of the schlocky tactics
that we’ve been employing over the last handful of years of sales professionals.
That is it.
Buyers don’t actually not want us involved in their process.
I don’t believe that for a second.
I just don’t believe that they want us involved in a pushy way,
in a way where we’re not being helpful, in a way
where we’re not guiding, in a way where we’re not helping to educate them.
People want to have a structured way
to learn things and they want sellers to guide them through
I truly believe that.
So I think there’s going to be a reset and I think that there is going to be
some interesting developments while that reset happens.
I do think that buyers do want a place
where they can go to get the resources that they need,
where they always know this is what I need for this information.
This is where I can save it, make it easy for them to save it,
make it easy for them to share it.
I think a lot of the innovations
are going to be along those lines where the seller themself
doesn’t have to be as involved, but they will still have to be involved.
But I think that right now is the time.
If you are in a customer facing role,
turn on the charm, be the entertainer and be the helpful guide.
You will stand out, it’s a very,
it’s not hard to stand out right now, Chip.
It really isn’t.
There’s so many weak tactics happening out there right now that if you do anything
to really just stand out, you’re going to stand out
a ton, You’re going to be memorable.
And being memorable is step one, right?
Use every tool that’s at your discretion.
One of my one of the sillier things that I do, But I love online demos.
I love online demos.
One of the sillier
things that I’ve been doing lately is using these silly Apple gestures.
Right? You’ve seen those, right?. One of my favorite.
You’ve seen them every time I start a demo.
You know what I do?
I do this and I just let everyone know.
Welcome to the show. Let’s go. Right.
That simple thing right there causes
everybody to laugh on the demos.
If you’re starting from laughter
when you’re doing your presentations, that’s a really solid place to start.
Now you don’t have to be goofy through the entire demonstration.
People don’t want to buy from a clown or a comedian performer, right?
But infusing humor into your process, keeping people engaged in that way,
I think that’s another place that there’s
going to be a lot of innovation,. I think specifically for these video type
conversations in a sales process, there’s going to be a lot
a lot of innovation coming out that’s going to be really exciting to see.
Yeah, I mean, first be interesting and engaging and then second, be helpful.
And so I’ve even seen, you know, reps that do a great job of leveraging things
like PandaDoc, you know, which are CRM integrates with PandaDoc and we have,
you know, most of our proposals go out that way, but like a well-placed
PandaDoc is a great place to use a proposal
to communicate beyond just your champion to an entire buyer committee.
Right? Exactly. So
more of a mindset, I think, to be helpful.
And it’s, you know, maybe less important what technology use to do.
Yeah, it is.
And it’s just focusing on playing the long game and the long game
is understanding that, yes, right now building
business is more challenging than I think it’s ever been in my entire career.
For everyone in sales.
I’ve been in sales for over 20 years now.
I have never had to sell in this type of an environment.
It’s absolutely insane out there.
But what I have found is that if you treat people well
and you actually deliver on your promises,
those people will turn into advocates to the people in their group.
Yeah, and especially in SaaS, your job is not done
when they signed the initial deal because there’s more work to be done.
What else can they adopt on your platform?
How else can they optimize the use of it?
And there’s typically more money in there for the sales rep also
in addition to lots of goodwill with their buyer.
So Josh, I really enjoyed this discussion.
Thanks to ton for joining us.
This was a ton of fun, Chip.
I’ve wanted to be on a podcast with you for a long time.
I’ve known you for a long time and one of these days
I got to tell you, every time I hear your name,
the song Brick House gets stuck in my head.
One of these days I’m going to start a podcast or something with you
playing the baseline from Brick House, but I’m going to sing Chip House over it.
That’s what I’m going to do. I’m just going to put that out in the world.
Somebody can create it for me.. I think that’d be amazing.
Yeah, I’ve definitely heard it before, Josh.
I’ve played that tune
a time or two at the bar also and like the crowd
always loves it, you know, it’s the song that that packs the dance floor.
So anyway. There you go. Yeah.
That and Play That Funky Music you know that
era, that era of seventies was like, just golden.
Anyway. I love it.
Thanks for having me on though, Chip.
All right, Josh, hey, thanks so much.
And thanks to all of you for joining us on this episode of Closing Time.
And we’ll see you next time.