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On this episode of the Revtech Revolution, we have Top Sales Leader Justin Michael for an in-depth discussion on future tech in sales and rev ops. Justin predicted major innovations like GPT and generative AI years ago in his bestselling book Tech Powered Sales. We dive into personalization at scale, training SDRs for C-Suite conversations powered by Chat GPT, and the consolidation happening in martech stacks. Justin shares predictions on AI automation for the top sales funnel by 2025, competitor platforms to LinkedIn, and more networking intelligence to uncover deals. We also explore the idea of TQ – your adaptability and efficiency with using sales tech stacks. Justin offers tactical advice for cleaning noisy CRM data with AI and aligning quality tooling between sales and rev ops.

Guest: Justin Michael is an executive coach, author, and sales expert with over 20 years of experience. He is the creator of the Justin Michael Method (JMM), a revolutionary outbound prospecting system grounded in neuroscience. Justin has authored multiple bestselling books including “Tech-Powered Sales” and “Sales Superpowers.”

As co-founder of Hard Skill Exchange, Justin has built a coaching marketplace helping sellers increase pipeline and revenue. He also co-founded HYPCCCYCL, a community of 15,000+ innovative executives. Justin has advised over 200 tech companies and coached thousands of sales leaders and executives.

His coaching methodology has generated over $400 million in revenue for his clients. Executives Justin certifies consistently report doubling or tripling their pipeline and income within 6 months of working with him. He is considered one of the top sales coaches in the world, helping sellers master prospecting, social selling, targeting, personalization, and other critical skills.

Justin is a sought-after speaker and works with leading companies like Cisco, Okta, Salesforce, and DocuSign. He brings decades of real-world sales experience combined with the latest in sales technology and neuroscience research to get sales teams results fast. Justin’s mission is to equip today’s sellers to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution.

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Betsy Peters: All right, welcome back to the Revtech revolution. And we’re thrilled today to have outbound sales leader and Übermensch Justin Michael, thank you so much for joining us today.  

Justin Michael: Yeah, thanks for having me, Betsy. Excited to be here and talk about the future of technology and the various and sundry awesome things going on and try to predict a lot of it two, three years ago with my book, and it hasn’t happened exactly the way I planned, but I feel like I was ahead of the game on predicting chat, GPT and OpenAI, so I feel pretty good about that.  

Betsy Peters: Nicely done. Yeah, we met a few years back when you published tech powered sales. So would love it if you would give our audience of Rev Ops professionals some context about the book and how you became the ultimate sales cyborg.  

Justin Michael: Yeah, and I even started calling it Salesborg, which was Tony Hughes, my co founder and co writer in that. But yeah. So about 2017, 2018 timescale, were building an agency in Silicon Valley called Outbound works, and at that time were doing artificial intelligence from the prism of sentence injection. So we had 30 custom fields in outreach and sales loft and replied, IO. And we’re trying to scrape profiles and inject person in common company headcount, technographic, anything that would make it look personal almost to pass the Turing test. It seems goofy now because with chat GBT, you can very quickly build email cadences that are wildly better. But at the time, if you had a few elements of personalization email, you could have something high quality and you could still use the predictable revenue model.  

So I was in sales 20 years and I ended up moving towards the top of the funnel. I worked for companies like Salesforce and LinkedIn, and I started to see that the outbound process was not mobile responsive. 80% of people worked on a mobile device. And multi paragraph, non visual, just things that were not aligned with neuroscience were happening. And so I wrote that book and I kind of tried my best with Tony Hughes in Australia to predict the future of sales technology. And it became somewhat of a Rev ops Bible because we reviewed 400 text acts and to this day, there’s still stuff in there that I think is ahead of its day. So, yeah, that’s how I ended up here. I’ve been consulting companies, probably advising 200 companies in the last four years on elements of tech stack optimization.  

In the book, I talk about TQ, which is technology quotient, which is your ability to upskill using the tools, like the way a race car driver understands the clutch and exactly the Formula One, all the controls in perfect synergy. If you can synergize with your tooling, you have an edge. That’s what I’ve got.  

Betsy Peters: That’s amazing. And how do you take that premise or thesis and move it forward in sales? Superpowers.  

Justin Michael: Yeah. So what we figured out is back in the day, three, four or five years ago, the economy was booming and even into the pandemic, and it’s like we’re just going to go on a purchasing spree like the supermarket sweep in the average enterprise has 91 solutions. In the tech stack, I read.  

Betsy Peters: Wow.  

Justin Michael: Yeah. So at the time there was a cambrian explosion of technology where there’s 20,000 martech solutions. I think at this .1 thousand, 500 just SaaS sales solutions. And you can either drop a headcount or two, you can expand your rev ops team to have data operation, to have more sophistication. But a lot of what happened now with the downward pressure on the economy is consolidation. And so what started to happen was subspecialization and consolidation, where the predictable revenue model called for. We have openers, we have closers, we have distinct sdrs or inbound mdrs. Them have. And what’s happened now is more like moneyball, the Oakland A’s baseball movie. Right? So someone’s really good at email, and there’s a specialization of just using an email agency or having reps that are doing data analysis or reps that are just doing calling and breaking that up. 

Justin Michael: And then on the actual technology layer, how can I go back to my CRM and how much can I get Salesforce to do or HubSpot to do? And so the giant crms have either acquired or expanded functionality. And a lot of the upstarts became big. Like, Clary has sales engagement now, gong has sales engagement now. Everybody’s writing AI emails now. So, yeah, those are the two forces at work. And there’s had to be more innovation, the tools have to be more practical because there’s not a lot of soft money. And so my books now are about the operating system behind how do you program GPT? How do you write high quality b two b linguistics that are going to appeal and convert Betsy or the CEO of Reva, how will I get the attention and have the business case?  

Because a lot of times artificial intelligence will destroy that. In a way, it looks vanilla. I don’t know, it’s ingratiating. The tone isn’t what you need to open up a six figure deal.  

Betsy Peters: Yeah. And I was going to ask this later on, but it’s a perfect time for this. It also occurs to me that we are empowering, maybe not our best trained folks in the organization with this amazing technology. They catch the car, so to speak, when they have chat GBT, write the perfect email that resonates with the C suite player. They get a meeting. But then how do we make sure that the business acumen of the SDR who got that meeting based on all of this amped up technology matches so that conversation actually goes well?  

Justin Michael: Yeah, well, it’s all about acumen. Yeah, we lost on that question. Sorry.  

Betsy Peters: Interesting, because Justin froze for his last answer as well. Did you get him? Okay, I’ll just do it from the top because I circled it. So it occurs to me that now that we have all this sophisticated technology and we’re getting better at using it’s also having an effect on our hiring, especially the traditional thought about who an SDR is and how much business acumen they need. So if all of these systems can write the perfect email, outreach resonates and you book a meeting. Now, your next challenge is you need to have the business acumen with the SDR, who’s now caught the car and has a meeting with the CEO. What are your thoughts about that? And how are you companies?  

Justin Michael: Yeah, so I’ve really focused in on the problem of, like, when I was 27 years old, I just called executive directors all day, and I worked for a company where the founders sold their company to Oracle. And I’d wear a tie or I would try to sound more knowledgeable. And my mentor then, Eric Schrader, said, the way you speak adds ten years. And what’s interesting, like, if you have a 22 year old fresh out of college, how do they develop enough acumen? And so what I’ve done is built linguistics systems, which I call heuristics, which is a shortcut term from coding. And I help, basically, folks starting out build acumen with the way they write. So it’s kind of c suite communication.  

Not to get so far into the weeds, but closing the knowledge gap of people who are new to the tech industry and having them talk to cios when they’ve been in the field for a year or two is going to be a tough gap to close. So it’s a lot about curiosity, the types of questions that they ask, learning how to understand a few use cases to intrigue and pull curiosity, and then making sure to tee up senior decision makers. And that’s if you do have an sgrae handoff and have to make it smooth. The other school of thought is the full cycle seller. Returns. We employ tons of automation at the top. 75% of that could be automated. And then we start to employ automation on the buying side to filter out vendors.  

So you’re sitting there and your AI is listening to emails and the emails are coming in and it’s matching, and then it’s like ding, ding, and you take the meeting. And so, yes, you need more senior and strategic salespeople, better onboarding training, more acumen. And that’s why I believe all reps should be able to give a demo of the product. They should be able to understand it enough to show it in the browser. I worked for an israeli company where to get into the field, it took a month of onboarding and I had to pass a demo with the CTO and it was not easy, it was a lot of memorization. But I think in other roles it was like just having a conversational knowledge of the ROi, compelling outcomes. Most technology is sold on make money, save money, like revenue and cost reduction.  

But with senior leaders now it’s all about risk mitigation and regulation. So that’s just like the focus of outbound is typically wrong. People are risk averse and loss averse and react to that when the vast majority of digital communication, be it social or email, is actually pleasure focused and looks like marketing email.  

Betsy Peters: Interesting. In the scenario where the first scenario gave us where it’s training oriented, it sounds like getting your sdrs, who might not be full service, up to speed, is that something that the rev ops team gets involved with? So they take the approaches that you’ve been developing and now it’s part of the sales enablement software? Or is it more tacit knowledge that you’re trying to pass on in trainings?  

Justin Michael: I’ve seen it done both ways. But to be scalable and repeatable, like the first area was like in outreach, at snippets, or in different systems, you have the ability to store rebuttals and answers and quick things like faqs. Almost. Now we’re getting into systems like attention tech like Gong 3.0 type things where there’s conversational intelligence, it records, it analyze. If you’re trying to employ medic, it’ll look to see where you’re missing elements. It will listen and then plug it in. It will then recommend what to follow upon in the email. As a manager of a team, you can have your conversational intelligence listening for patterns, what are the best reps doing differently? That type of stuff will help you quantum leap in the coaching and training of it. But you need a rubric.  

You need a core set of messages that are message market fit aligned. But then you have to really role play and drill what the response patterns look like on that.  

Betsy Peters: As you’re consulting with these companies, how often are you talking to rev ops people?  

Justin Michael: Yes. So I end up interfacing with rev ops quite a bit because there’s typically. Which tech stacks should we put in here? When we talked about this, a lot of data issues with do we want to invest intent to see the triggers, who’s hitting the website? What’s the list building piece? So that involves rev ops. Then there’s a question of like, we have a multi geo organization and we need data for Europe and now APAC and us. So there’s sometimes multiple data providers. How do you have governance in those systems that someone wants to DNC? That simple can be hard. Some organizations are more sophisticated building their tech stacks and use things like workado and Zapier to merge things together and create triggers and flows. But the integration points are really important.  

There’s usually just some kind of evaluation going on with new elements of the tech stack, either to reduce vendors or the hot new thing, which now is everyone’s trying to use AI to write messages or automate LinkedIn, which is creating spam. The big one too is because contact rates are so low. These auto dialers, these parallel assisted dialers, really competitors to connect and sell, which was the gold standard, still is, are spinning up. But not all of them have finger dials, which is murky, a gray area for the TCPA and FTC and then Canada and Castle and things. So it’s like with more power, you have to have more responsibility. And then recently Gmail and Yahoo brought caps over the email capability. That scared a lot of people.  

But that seems more like a y two k moment, because when I started doing this, 2017, 2018, the goal is like, hey Justin, can you send 1000 emails a day? It was really volume. We’d spit up four or five domains. But I know companies now, startups that are using 20 domains to try to get around the restrictions in the enterprise. You could do 50 per email mailbox, maybe 50 a day. So you got to have a lot of personalization and you need rev ops for the intel on what to personalize to speed that up. Otherwise it can take hours.  

Betsy Peters: Yes, it’s going to be an interesting beginning of the year. I did miss. You froze when you said it’s going to be a y two k thing. Tell me what you said, because that’s a great analogy. I like it.  

Justin Michael: Yeah. So I think a lot of times Apple came out and turned off the pixel tracking for open tracking, which now is more of a proxy because someone on an iPhone can say, don’t track me. And it’s hard to see that pixel fire and see how many opens you got. Right? And so we’re in a similar moment now where the end of email like winter is coming. The Gmail and Yahoo restriction, which basically said 5000 emails per day per domain and a 0.3% on 1000 spam rate. But I talked to the COO of retention.com and he said basically already, if you sent emails at that volume, the domain would shut you off. So it’s more looking globally at the domain. It’s trying to stop spammers. Just like there’s been a big move to robocalls.  

That said, 50 emails a day has been the Gmail cap for years. It used to be 250. Used to be 500. So already we’re in a paradigm where you need to be really thinking about relevance at scale and personalization of scale and using rev ops systems that get you there. You can’t send thousands of people the same message. And if you’re in enterprise, there’s no way to really send hundreds of emails every day. It’s small batch now.  

Betsy Peters: Yeah. What’s your advice around relevance? Because personalization, I think is simpler for people to Grok, but relevance is.  

Justin Michael: I love that word from Robert Heinland, stranger in a strange land. I think it’s from the Elon musk called his competitor grok next AI. So the whole idea with personalization is like, well, I see that you like hiking on LinkedIn. I’m like, let’s hike up the revenue mountain. And it just feels just, you know, you’re on LinkedIn trying to do your job, not make friends. So relevance is more powerful. The way I’ve always cracked it is I look at emails as ad units and I came from massive media buying across Facebook and Google, UAC. So basically, if you take 5000 people and you use Occam’s razor and you think, what are the three main sets of people here? What are the three icps? Then you write for the vertical and the title Persona versus down to the single person.  

So if you have 50 vps of ecommerce that have cybersecurity risks and all have the same use case, then you put them into a sequence and you personalize it or make it relevant to that title in that vertical, and that’s how I was setting up sequences even seven, eight years ago. And it’s been more and more flawless because it’s work focused. They see social proof in other people you’ve helped, they see a use case with the technology and sometimes not going too personal makes them trust it more. So that’s how I try to scale relevance. And the one to one personalization stuff is more powerful when you’re doing LinkedIn work and you’re going in and having conversations one to one and chatting, and that’s another area.  

So it’s kind of a paradox because you kind of have to be more relevant in email and find ways to stand out in social.  

Betsy Peters: Tell me about the main data challenge in front of Rev ops when it comes to all of, but certainly for 2024.  

Justin Michael: Yeah, I’ve seen companies like synchrony be standalone, trying to concatenate and coordinate data through different systems in real time. That’s one way to solve it. Obviously in your space, there’s just a lot of HIPAA compliance. Sock too. There’s a lot of compliance that has to happen. That makes it so you can’t even use some of these new vendors, which the vendor will claim they can do 1000 emails a day and they can, and they’re going to rotate 20 domains, but without sock, two compliance, you can’t even use it. Certain industries, right. So what I would say is there’s a huge issue with trying to get phone numbers and emails and job changes and clean data in crms harder than ever, and that’s post pandemic.  

It’s also because now you have a system of record for message sending, a system of record for calling and then a CRM. And if those are in different silos with like a zap taking you across, you’re going to get noise and you’re going to have an issue where someone who was taken off the list wasn’t there or reps aren’t getting perfect information on the previous calls. So we’ve already been talking to you and the next rep comes in. Classic thing is something even the data companies, the reps reach out and then you’ve had ten conversations and they don’t even know this. It’s like dory the fish. It’s like, wait, who are you? I said I just talked to you five times.  

Betsy Peters: Yeah. I continually hear the holy grail of next best action is what everybody’s working towards in rev ops. But without the data working, I don’t know how you could possibly get anywhere close to that.  

Justin Michael: Yeah. And I follow seth Mars at Forrester, and it’s this brave new world of reps. Don’t need to log in the CRM now because everything’s recorded, so it can be automatically logged. Right. But if the contact record isn’t clean and there’s multiple duplicates of the company and the opportunities, I think the next frontier is building technology that goes in and sitting in your smartphone. It’ll say, like, you have duplicate contacts here, the apps you’re not using. We need to build AI to clean the CRM, to question when it sees the dissonance in the data, because the cleaner that back end in spine is, then you can run awesome stuff. Root cause analysis. Right. Systems like salonis, like crazy process mining. Yeah.  

Betsy Peters: There’s a lot of work there in terms of noise, for sure. Tell me a little bit about the concept of TQ. You referenced it earlier, but I think that’s one of the biggest contributions you’ve made to the field of sales.  

Justin Michael: I think so, because, like I’m doing now with my books and bringing things from other disciplines, know, business consulting or life coaching, and bringing things out of other domains into sales. I found this term, I think, from psychology today. I don’t know if Tony used that initially, if it was TQ. It’s technology quotient now. It’s been called AQ adaptability quotient, technical quotient. We use it different ways, but essentially there’s three systems. There’s your iq, which is your intelligence that can be built. The neuroplasticity in your brain allows you to become smarter at any phase in life. That’s why people work for the CIA and know speak conversational Bulgarian in nine months, because they had to for the mission. Right. I’m going to prove my statements here. EQ emotional quotient. Right. You can get better at that.  

You can learn to be more empathetic, you can do the inner work to be a better person, more compassionate. Totally possible. But the big thing that we’ve all been doing since the 80s, since forever, is learning to drive cars. And what’s really crazy is the learning curve on learning to drive or learning to ride a bike. Like when you first drive, you’re literally thinking signal, check, glance, hit that button, do this, and you go from incompetence to conscious competence to unconscious competence.  

And when you can reach that point on a tech stack, as many listeners here who are senior rev ops leaders in technical, till one person is like, okay, go fix all this stuff in Salesforce, it’s going to take them 20 hours, but someone who has done it a lot, they can get that done in an hour because they know where everything is, they know the flows. If you’re a sales rep and you’re trying to be very effective, if there are a thousand people you compete with in your vertical, they all have equal selling abilities. Are the top reps at all the top companies? If you’re the one that has rev ops knowledge and tech stack knowledge, and you can really synchronize with your tech stack. That’s the Jarvis Iron man analogy, right? Because it gives you an edge, gives you an efficiency.  

Like, I think sending emails one at a time or dialing one at a time can be archaic. That said, it’s been overdone now almost by going backward and taking the time to slowly dial slowly research, you stand out. And so the ultimate future is like the whole top funnel is replaced by AIS and you select a premium option to talk to a human seller and it costs more. So it’s like vinyl records and it’s a nostalgia thing. It’s like, I’ll talk to a human, please. And you know that now from like, if you get an express card, like, it’s just awesome to get someone to talk to you. IVR could handle it, but they help you and it’s worth the customer service element. So if you want a real strategic conversation, there will probably be AIS in Agi by 2035. That’s as good as the human, but you might still want to pay more to meet with a human.  

Betsy Peters: Yeah, I saw something yesterday, and it might have been you who posted it, that somebody was joking around about using fax machines again because it will break through. Because people still have fax machines, but nobody’s using them for good. But at any rate, yeah, it is a really interesting time in sales. One of the things that I think has been great that you’ve done is just the open source component of your codices. How do you find rev ops using those? Or is it mostly sales? Who’s partnering with Rev Ops to push that?  

Justin Michael: I found a lot of rev ops people take a huge interest in strategic selling. My brother has worked for Google for 20 years, and one day he calls me, he’s like, what’s the challenger sale? Because even at Google, they need to learn to sell. They can’t all be inbound. There are communities like wizard of Ops and things where a lot of the really technical rev ops people hang out. And I have some people read my first book and go, wow. Yeah, that’s the tip of the spear. There’s other people who are super technical where they’re like coding in SQL and they’re building advanced macros and the system clay.com. It’s like, wow, look@clay.com. It integrates these 68 vendors. 

You can do all this and you’re like sitting in the spreadsheet for hours and the old school part of me is like, okay, well, you spend 5 hours in your spreadsheet, I’ll just go get three meetings. I’ll just call some CROs. But the flip side is that may not be possible soon. So you’re going to have to work really closely with Rev Ops. So Rev Ops has to understand the mind of the seller and the unique challenges and sort of the stage gates to align quality tooling. And so one understanding the other and not over resourcing it, because sometimes the tools, there’s conflict or it doesn’t work. I’ve consulted companies where one piece of tech stack is just blocking the ability of the seller to do their job. Sometimes it’s even expense management, just like it doesn’t work and they just avoid it.  

Betsy Peters: Right? When you’re talking about that gradation from the Rev ops folks who are close to sales versus the ones who are kind of more in the tech, where do you think, in your experience anyway, where are we clustering now? Are more people in rev ops less technical? And I mean, that actually isn’t the right way to say it. They’re closer to sales than they ever have been, or are we still on that migration?  

Justin Michael: Well, I think as the platforms get more sophisticated and they’re more codeless and more user friendly, then it’s going to be strategic. Rev ops, like right now, understanding how know having all the salesforce trailheads and being really fast know list, know getting systems to talk, like getting the CRM to talk to the data platform and be able to pull the signals together. And there’s just big operations of mass cleanups of data. Like when people shift to the ABM model in crms, they have to move from a lead model to the account and contact level. And I was in a company where the entire company almost like working at Nordstrom and having to label everything for a sale. All of us were fixing the data in the CRM, the entire company of 300, because it was an enormous problem.  

So I do a lot of rev ops work and tech stack optimization strategy, help people vet vendors, help them test different things, give them innovative ideas of the use cases. But then I have people I partner with who are far more technical than me who are going to actually roll up their sleeves, log into all the platforms and make sure it all fits together. So it is a very important skill. Now, Rev Ops was supposed to be this huge revolution, but it was too technical to really take off the speed that I predicted. For example, the hashtag rev ops on LinkedIn only got about 1400, and things like SaaS and innovation of 30 million. So it’s really a small, esoteric niche, but you can’t not have it.  

The best thing you can do if you’re listening to this is invest in it, grow that division, get a really strong leader, put multiple elements in there. You know what I mean? Not just one person who was sales ops. Now running everything, there’s not enough time. You need a data team, you need a marketing ops team, you need various elements, especially if it’s a big. So mainly they’re under resourced and they’re stressed because it’s like one person to handle all the tech stacks, all the demos, get all the reps onboarded, get all the playbooks, get all the enablement systems, and systems just keep piling on. So over resourcing, that would be a competitive advantage, not just even buying the tech and then providing training on the tech stacks, which you never see.  

There’s like a little university from the tech vendor and people go through that and then there’s no adoption. So, like, I knew of a company, they put 35 reps on a sequencer and then they just like, didn’t work. No one adopted it. Well, if you get this sophisticated spaceship and you don’t have to use it every day as part of your job, like, adoption is still a big issue for sure.  

Betsy Peters: Before you went to adoption, I had a thought. Hamsters are running slow this morning. Where do I want to go with that? You had said something about underresourcing. Oh, I know where I wanted to go. We had Dr. Dover on this week and he was talking about the sales innovation paradox. Have you read that book?  

Justin Michael: Yeah, I have his book. I talk with Howard. He’s great.  

Betsy Peters: Yeah. So the other factor that I think is really impacting Rev ops is that idea that the market is driving the sales teams. The sales teams are adapting to what the market is requesting. The systems are behind the sales teams or the leadership. We roll the systems out for a market that’s already changed because our cycle time in getting it out there takes so long with the current approaches. So any thoughts about that? Or do you even think that my observation there makes sense? 

Justin Michael: Well, there’s an important point, right? Like the Clayton Christensen disruptive innovation and the speed. So you have these upstarts like instantly and smart lead and things like Reggie AI and Jasper and writer and all these different companies coming out, raising funding and coming in. And it’s like the mapping of that process and that sales cycle. By the time. Let’s look at the map of innovation with Jeffrey Moore. By the time the early majority and the laggards and late adopters get a hold of it, the market has shifted. So you have to almost establish a center of innovation in your company that’s consistently testing because there’s a drone and clarion call. It might be a con, I’m not sure, but the big marketing clouds are trying to say, consolidate, consolidate. We have it all. But that’s not the case.  

I learned this from mobile marketing and sdks and tech stacks. Your best idea is to consolidate as much as you can, but then use best of breed and point solutions on purpose so you get edge and expertise. And I learned this from studying cmos is they would always use like Adobe marketing cloud or some massive system, but then they would know what’s in your kit bag. These four or five new upstarts that are really the most innovative and that keeps you nimble and agile. But yeah, I mean, tell that to a Fortune 500 bank just to go through the procurement cycle on buying this stuff is very difficult. So how do you keep it safe to use this stuff behind your firewall and roll it out fast enough that it’s relevant?  

Betsy Peters: Yeah, great question. Tell me about your predictions for the next two or three years.  

Justin Michael: Yes, so I predicted in the book that there would be like a vast array of m and a popcorn. Zoom info is the one to watch. They have over a billion in revenue. People forget this. In revenue, that’s not even valuation. So that’s like the sleeping dragon. And they’re not sleeping. They’re doing a lot of GTM innovation. I think once the economy comes booming back could be post election. We don’t know how long this mini recession will last. There will be a ton of consolidation where rather than just building this stuff, they’ll just swoop up all these companies. So it will really depend on how fast generative AI moves, faster that system moves, and the more it gets integrated to all the tech stacks, the more the predictions and tech powered sales will come true. Right. So we will see in the next.  

By 2025, full automation at the top of the funnel, meaning you don’t need strs or bdrs or any humans at the top funnel. PLG has been a flavor of that. But I’m talking about a system that even makes the calls. So science with a c, no s. They have NLP, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, voice that can call again, that may be regulated, but in the future, and not too distant, I might opt in as a consumer and say, hey, it’s okay to call me. Just indicate your AI. So it says, hey, is this Michael? Yes, this is Betsy’s artificial intelligence. Okay, that’s fine. What’s up? And I might not mind talking to an inbound AI that identifies itself, because then nothing is hidden. So I did a test where I sent emails that said sent by AI.  

So where it normally says sent from iPhone, I put sent via AI. And I started showing people I was using AI on purpose and it generated some very unique responses.  

Betsy Peters: Yeah. Can you give us a little bit more color on unique?  

Justin Michael: Yeah, I mean, just the fact that they know it’s going on is interesting. I’ll get what AI are you using? Or why did you use AI? Or what part of it was or that was a great email. And it’s kind of just stimulating instead of passing the uncanny value because right now we’re living in an era where all the messaging, you kind of feel like, notice that you can feel when it’s what I call homogeneous, GPT. It’s like I’ve been GPT.  

Betsy Peters: Yeah, right. It’s like the eyeballs and the headshots.  

Justin Michael: Exactly. So what other predictions do I have? I think it’s going to get really wild. I think it’s going to be like you open LinkedIn, you open your messaging system, it serves you at prospects, and you almost like swipe left or right until you find the ICP. Then the system suggests the frequency of touches, the type of personalization it reads, the annual reports, it finds all the podcasts of this show, pulls out interesting nuggets, and it just curates and creates the whole campaign. And then you just hit play and then run scalable A B tests and then something else ingesting that is AI infused as well. So there’s AI assistance on both sides of the marketplace, if you will, and that’s just going to be kind of wild. And then marketers can run outbound and take over demand gen, almost like advertising.  

Like the inbound and outbound will blend together seamlessly and you won’t even need humans in the mix. But then there’s going to be a return to things like spin selling and challenger. And like you said, how do you talk to people and grow deals and find the problems under the symptoms. I think that’s why the best thing you can be reading right now is like old school strategic selling books by Mike Bosworth and Jim Holden and Jeff Toll. Because that’s where you’re going to need to because you’re going to be talking to people again very soon.  

Betsy Peters: Well, that’ll be refreshing for sure. The other thing I’d love your take on is nearbound or peer recommendations or again, that’s another component of the human based piece that seems to be rising in response maybe to AI.  

Justin Michael: Yeah. So after writing the book and looking at 100 tech stacks, I saw that the only scalable solution to the future of sales was basically co selling or referrals, because at the end of the day, if a real human texts you, it’s really them and says, check out this product. That’ll work. And that brought the rise of dark social and paid slack communities. And we predicted that in the book people would be willing to pay to be in a slack community with the decision makers. This whole ecosystem led, nearbound led, is what enables co selling. Because if we could overlap our two crms and confidentially look at where we have similar opportunities and then make introductions to affiliated software that fits hand to glove, that’s Ian. And know that’s really powerful.  

And some of the automation happening with reveal and crossbeam is the future because that stuff we used to do manually, were like, okay, your vp of sales meets with my vp of sales for the trade show and who are we both going after? And can we do like a better together, like peanut butter and jelly.  

Betsy Peters: – so we can clean room to make sure that none of the data is exported anywhere. 

Justin Michael: There’s that too. Yeah, so I mean, I’m excited about that. There’s definitely not enough mining of warm introductions and the whole team leak functionality that I sold at LinkedIn. Sales navigators know the story I was telling. Sitting in New York, I’m trying to go after Best Buy, and one of the engineers on my team knew the head of product for Best Buy and I’m sitting New York and they’re in Seattle. He goes on her facebook, sends a message, invites her to lunch, and there, boom, meeting within ten minutes. Just seeing those second and third degrees. So anything that can uncover the networked intelligence even better. I think one of the big prediction is there’s going to be a competitor to LinkedIn soon. Not sure been. My co founder Julian Namchinski built this company called Hard Skill Exchange.  

I’m the co founder and it’s a really cool coaching marketplace, and that might be the future. Marketplace is overlaid on community and dark social. That’s a new Rubicon, but we’ll see.  

Betsy Peters: Very cool. Well, Justin, where do people find out more about you?  

Justin Michael: Well, if you just go to justinmichaelmethod.com, it will go to my LinkedIn or just look up Justin Michael on LinkedIn. I have something like four or five bestselling books now, and I have a bunch of free guides, and they’re really interesting from a messaging perspective. So, like what you would put into the rev ops tools. Most people, I think, read tech powered sales, techpowered salesbook.com, because that’s an exploration, really, of the tech stacks and TQ and where that’s going. Yes. I’d be grateful if you did.  

Betsy Peters: Wonderful. Thank you so much for your time, Justin. It’s been a great talk.  

Justin Michael: Thanks for having me. It’s been awesome.  

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