Staffing and recruiting companies have a sixth sense for hot passive candidates.
But business development and expanding into new markets might not be second nature.
Meet Steve Bryerton, DiscoverOrg’s Vice President of Sales. Steve sat down with Maurice Fuller, founder of StaffingTec and the New Vector Group, to reveal biz dev strategies that staffing firm leaders can – or should be – doing to grow their business and candidate pipelines faster.
Specifically, Steve shows:
- How to find and focus on decision makers
- How staffing firms can build customer relationships faster
- How to use video to personalize and differentiate yourself
- How to get creative with direct mail
- How small staffing agencies can win big against enterprise competitors
- How recruiters can expand within accounts
- How to leverage Opportunity Data
- How to be the first staffing agency in the door with Intent Data
- How to use intelligence to land and expand
- How to integrate your existing CRM or applicant-tracking systems work
Read on for tried-and-true sales development strategies that staffing firms can use TODAY.
1. How to find and focus on decision makers
First thing first: If you have direct access to decision-makers with budgetary discretion, such as DiscoverOrg’s signature org charts, how do you start honing in on the people we should be contacting?
Aim for a multi-threaded relationship – and look for planned projects
“You’ll need to uncover not just one key stakeholder,” Bryerton says, “but look for multiple points of contact. Otherwise, when your single point of contact leaves the company or moves to a different department, you’ll have to rebuild the relationship from scratch with someone new. Or lose the deal altogether.”
First, look for information about company events:
- Upcoming projects
- Rounds of hiring and firing – especially new C-level leaders.
- Financial events like investments or mergers
- Installed technologies or software in use
Be aware of what projects are coming down the pipe, and what your prospective company is focused on. What are their pain points?
These events help inform what their problems are, open the door, and highlight the right individuals at the right time. You can find this information in DiscoverOrg’s insider Scoops feature; you can also find a lot of relevant scoops yourself by setting up Google Alerts for your company along with hiring-related keywords.
2. How staffing firms can build customer relationships faster
Fuller wanted to go a little deeper: “What are some of the other things that the savviest staffing firms are doing to build client relationships faster?”
We like a few different techniques. It’s a lot of blocking and tackling so you have to use all the tools you have – and it’s not always sexy.
Look at job responsibilities – not just title
You can get direct-dial phone numbers, verified emails, and project data from DiscoverOrg – or use LinkedIn if you don’t have our platform – to identify the right people. Since titles differ between companies (“Coding Ninja” won’t turn up in a search for “Web Developer”), so look at job responsibilities – not just title.
Use social touches and an email cadence
According to Bryerton, the most successful staffing and recruiting companies use multiple social touches and an email cadence or sequence.
Here’s a common process our sales team has used successfully:
- Day 1: Call the prospect.
- Day 2: Call again and leave a message if you don’t get through.
- Day 2: Follow-up with an email, and reference your voicemail.
- Day 3: Call again and leave another message.
- Day 3: Send them an email if you have it, or a LinkedIn message – and reference the voicemail again.
Read (and watch): 7 Cold Voicemail Do’s and Don’ts
3. How to use video to personalize and differentiate yourself
“Video is becoming a great personalized video,” Bryerton says.
In fact, in a recent interview with keynote speaker Jill Konrath, Engage.io’s CMO told us that including a video in an email introduction was her favorite way of engaging with new vendors. It’s a great way to stand out from the crowd and personalize your message. (How many of your competitors are using video this way?)
Look for video tools like Vidyard, a modest paid subscription; or Loom, which is free, and used by a lot of our sales reps and customers use. Tools like this make it easy to record a quick video to lend a face to show that it’s personalized.
Bryerton offers this example: Suppose he is trying to reach out and noticed his prospective company had an open rec for VP of Marketing. He might record a quick video and say:
“Hey Maurice. Steve over here at DiscoverOrg. Noticed you got a position for an open VP of marketing. I’ve got lots of great candidates for you that I think would be really beneficial. We’ve made a lot of other placements for companies like Expedia and Starbucks that are in your area. Give me a call.”
Short. Sweet. Personalized.
Maurice Fuller agrees: “I landed my second-largest account using video to the chairman of a very large billion-dollar company, and it worked fantastically well!”
PRO TIP: Almost no one opens attachments unless they’re expecting something – so be sure to embed the video in the body of the message.
4. How to get creative with direct mail
“We’re also seeing a lot of our customers differentiate themselves using direct mailers.”
DiscoverOrg captures physical addresses, but you may also be able to find this with a Google search of the prospect + company name.
Double-check that address against the main office location: In the age of remote work, these are often different.
Get creative! Here are a few great examples we’ve seen lately:
5. How small staffing agencies can win big against enterprise competitors
“You mentioned an interesting point,” Fuller says, “that even smaller staffing firms can use the same tools, like DiscoverOrg, that large enterprise companies use to get intelligence about their accounts”.
“Yeah, our users run the gamut, big to small,” Bryerton says. “Here’s an example of a successful play from one small 3-person recruitment shop.”
They sent out a short email to CIO’s that they targeted from the Fortune 1000 list, saying:
“I’m sure you’ve got a bunch of projects that are either behind schedule, over-budget, and your livelihood depends on these project getting across the finish line. We’ve been doing this for over 35 years, and we can help.”
Within the first three months, because they had accurate data about the right people, they landed Farmers Insurance and two other major corporations for seven-figure deals.
6. How recruiters can leverage Opportunity Data
“I want to talk about account expansion,” Fuller says. “Suppose you’ve penetrated an account, you’ve found the right person, you’ve developed a relationship with them, you’re receiving job orders, you’ve made placements so you have an account.
“Then you see opportunities to expand and go deeper. How do we do that?”
We call this context Opportunity Data. These are action-based signals indicating the time is right for a purchase, such as leadership changes and funding events.
These sorts of trigger events are associated with buying opportunities, because it means budgets and priorities are changing, and new people are anxious to make their mark.
These kinds of opportunities include:
- Company awards
- Earnings reports
- Employee departures
- Hiring plans
- Initial Public Offerings (IPO)
- Leadership changes
- Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)
- New hires
- Open positions
- Product launches
- Projects and purchase initiatives
- Request for Proposal (RFP)
“When companies are experiencing growth, all that new human capital needs to be leveraged and the potential needs to be realized,” adds Brandon Battey, our sales development manager. “When we reach out to high-growth companies, or companies with specific positions posted, we’ve found a distinct increase in win-rate … without changing a thing about our sales cycle.”
7. How to be the first agency in the door with Intent Data
One of the more unique pieces of data that DiscoverOrg has been focusing on recently is Intent Data: tracking firms doing a significant amount of research about contingent staffing, employment agencies, IT staffing, or any hiring needs.
Intent Data is really important because so much of the buying process happens online nowadays. The average B2B buyer is 67% of the way through the buyer journey before they ever engage with a salesperson.
“Buyers are in that ‘homework phase’ of whittling down their list,” Bryerton says “And so you miss out on a lot of opportunities that you didn’t even know you were even in the game for! Now we can point you in the direction of organizations that have a significant spike in consuming content related to your topic of choice, so you can be first in the door.”
8. How to use intelligence to land and expand
If you have an existing placement relationship in a company, it’s easy to approach the HR team, or Legal or Finance, or others who might have that position. You can say something like:
“Hey, I’ve been working with John over in IT. I’ve made three placements for him over the course of the last year. Feel free to get his feedback, but I can certainly help you in this area.”
It’s a way to present value. You have a reputable story. You know the names of the other people because you’ve either worked it, or you’ve got DiscoverOrg’s org chart to help navigate the account. This way, your outreach is far more relevant. You know what you’re talking about, and they’re far more apt to listen.
“We know that staffing is done,” Fuller says, “wherever IT is. More and more, IT is moving out into the business units. It’s being done directly within marketing departments, within operations. It’s done within HR. It’s no longer the domain strictly of the IT department.
“So if we want to find those opportunities, we need to move into other departments. And that’s where org charts can help us get there.”
True story. Let’s use DiscoverOrg as an example:
“We recently posted a position for a Salesforce developer at DiscoverOrg to work on integrations for our own platform,” Bryerton says. “A recruiter reached out to me (he had the reporting structure because he’s a customer) and asked, ‘Hey, is Scott on the development team the right person to talk to about candidates? Or should I connect with Desiree on the HR team?’
“He knew the right names, so I was far more inclined to point him in the right direction and help him out. and I saw the back and forth go, and I think he’s already passing some potential candidates over to us as a result.
9. How to use the tech stack to get in the door at net-new accounts
If you don’t have an existing relationship at a company, you’ll want to take a slightly different approach: Leverage their tech stack.
Bryerton suggests: “Suppose you see that the organization is hiring a VP of marketing. You discover that the company uses Marketo, and they also have Highspot as part of their content management system.” (DiscoverOrg includes organizations’ installed technologies; you may be able to find this by asking around.)
“Reach out to the potential hiring managers, or the organization directly, with a compelling message like this:
“‘Hey, I understand you’ve got an open-rec for a VP of marketing. We have a large pool of people that we can pull from, including several who are Marketo-certified and have experience with Highspot. Can we set up a time to talk?’
“Show that you’ve done your homework, use some of those data points as a jumping-off point, and watch your response rate and conversion rate skyrocket.”
10. How to integrate your existing CRM or applicant-tracking systems
Fuller posed some questions: How do systems work together? Do you have to use the DiscoverOrg platform to access the data? What if you have your own applicant-tracking system (ATS)?
The short answers: Our system was built to play well with others. No, our data flows through dozens of other systems. And, that’s okay!
“Certainly within staffing,” Fuller says, “Bullhorn is the most popular system that staffing firms are using. How are you integrated with Bullhorn and other ATS or CRM systems?”
“We have a really tight partnership and integration with Bullhorn. So much so,” Steve says, “that DiscoverOrg has a fully native application for Bullhorn. If you were to pull up an account or contact record in Bullhorn, you’ll see all of the DiscoverOrg data right there.”
We also integrate with 18 to 20 other systems like Salesforce or Pipedrive or Eloqua, or Pardot, Marketo, Act-On on the marketing automation side, to name a few.
If Nike was one of your targeted accounts, you can pull it up in Bullhorn and see all of DiscoverOrg’s intelligence on Nike (100+ data points). You’ll see the reporting structure, or “org charts” on all of the different departments: HR, sales, IT, engineering, dev, etc. You’ll see direct-dial phone numbers and verified email addresses for decision makers at Nike. You’ll see insider Scoops on planned projects … and all that data lives within your ATS or CRM. No need to bounce around. It’s a big advantage for Bullhorn users.
The other advantage of integrating is the constant data refresh. The DiscoverOrg Squad – our in-house QA team – curates all of our data, along with a host of proprietary technologies, so each datapoint is verified and updated over the course of a rolling 60- to 90-day period.
The result is a very high level of accuracy, and the highest percentage of direct lines and emails. We’re layering in technology information, projects, scoops and all of the other things so that now you can go to one source, eliminate a lot of the back and forth that you’re probably doing between tools.
And with integrations, it can live right within your ecosystem.
“As recruiters yourselves, you know the increasing speed of employee turnover, especially in the tech, sales, and marketing departments,” Bryerton says. “There’s a good chance that a business email address that worked six months ago is no longer valid now.” That’s just one of the reasons why constant data refresh is so important.
Much like employee turnover, new data points are constantly added to your prospects or candidates. Likewise, you’re probably trying to uncover projects or new insight on your targets all the time. Without a tool like DiscoverOrg that’s uncovering this intelligence and integrated tightly to your stack, the burden to find – and, more important, enter – that information into CRM/ATS is on you as the recruiter or sales person. With DiscoverOrg, our Squad is putting in the effort to source these gems, which then can be delivered directly to your inbox through our subscription alerts, and on top of that can be automatically added/updated directly into your ATS/CRM – no hunting and no manual data entry by you, freeing you up to do what you do best.
DiscoverOrg also integrates with sales development tools, sequencing tools, and cadence tools like Tellwise, Outreach.io, and SalesLoft. Integrations make the data actionable. With these kind of integrations, it’s easy to get your prospective candidates in a call campaign, get them in an email sequence. Automate some of those touches.
To sum: A tech revolution in staffing and recruiting business development
“It’s kind of amazing when you think about it.” Fuller says. “Up until a few years ago, you were kind of flying blind when you were trying to work into an account. And now, the right tools, it’s like you just have this visual understanding of the complete account that you’re trying to go into, the job is easier.
“Not that sales is easy,” he adds, “but certainly helps a lot!”
The “democratization” of data
Bryerton agrees. “Years ago, it was a very different way of selling. Enterprise organizations were able to dominate the market because they had the resources, they had the money, they had the ability to build those relationships. It was far more difficult for early-stage or mid-stage companies to break down those walls.”
Now the challenge is that there’s so much data available now. Too much, in some cases. You have all of these different services: LinkedIn, Google searches, company websites. Aggregator data tools and RSS feeds… The list goes on.
A lot of the sources come up short in the data they’re collecting (because it’s not made public), and in their verification and cleansing. This leaves you to sort through the mountain of information to figure out what’s real and what’s not and how to fill the gaps left. That’s not something any of us want to do.
Catch StaffingTec TV episodes weekly every Tuesday at 9:30 Pacific time, featuring a different staffing industry technology solution each week.
And if you’re new to DiscoverOrg, check us out and get some free data on your target accounts. We’ll get you some real data for free, walk you through different solutions your peers in the staffing-recruiting industry are using – and finally, help you build a larger pipeline and make more placements moving into 2019.