Dee Acosta on the Art and science of cold calling

Dee Acosta joins Adam Sockel to discuss how cold calling technology has gone from “nice to have” to “need to have”.

Adam Sockel (00:01.39)
You're listening to Bold Calling, a podcast presented by Orem where every episode we're bringing on the biggest and brightest names in the tech and sales industries for a discussion about their biggest challenges and the unique ways they're working to solve them. I'm your host, Adam Sokol, and I'm joined today by Dee Acosta, Senior Director of Sales and Strategic Growth at Modigi. Dee, thank you so much for joining me today.

Dee (00:23.714)
Hey, Adam. Pumped. Been a big fan of yours, of course of Orem's. And man, so many stories to share that you're just get into it. But yeah, I'm senior director of growth at Modigi. I'll share what we do at the end of the call. But lots on my plate. Lots of experience to get into it.

Adam Sockel (00:41.614)
Yeah, absolutely. And so because this is going to be one of the first few episodes, I'm sure people might be getting a little bit tired of hearing me, but I'm going to kind of run you guys through what we're going to do and where we're going to kind of travel along this conversational journey. We're going to start with Dee's background, and we'll talk about Muadidji for a bit. Then we'll get into the things that stress him out and how he's working to resolve them. And then we'll have some fun. So first things first, Dee, kind of walk me through your career path. How did you get to where you're at today?

Dee (01:10.498)
Yeah, yeah. So I'm going to try to do the abridged version. So I grew up in Florida. I moved up here. Kind of a neat story. My apartment wasn't done being built. I said, hey, I'm going to live with my parents for six months, save up to get a car. I've turned into a better part of 23 years now. You know, weighted tables through college. I was one of those people I had to work, you know, college. I went to college for a lot of years, but it really wasn't my vibe.

Adam Sockel (01:30.305)

Dee (01:40.418)
You know, like it just wasn't. so my first job out of college, and I think this is the poor one to note was at fidelity, making, you know, nothing. and it was a data entry job. So back then everything was green screens, you know, like DOS looking and you had to, you know, there's only so much computing power. So you had to like churn the data every certain hours and we were dealing with millions in 401k investments. So.

If you missed the churn one day and the market went up 10%, you were on the hook for 10 % of that investment. And it was, it was absolutely horrible. It was just like the worst job. Even back then you're like, why can't computers do this? And all of my colleagues were these overworked, you know, wonderful ladies, but overworked ladies and their fifties who needed knee jobs. And they were moving the team to North Carolina. And it was just, it was just miserable. And I remember thinking, you know, getting in the office at six and.

Adam Sockel (02:22.607)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (02:40.162)
Why did I go to college? You know, I went to college for this. But at the same time, a girl I was dating, I started working at a company called Buy Appointment Only, and it was cold calling. Pure cold calling, appointment setting, great company, they're still around, I have friends there. And she got me a job there, and quickly it became like life changing, right? You were dealing with cooler people, funner job, you were making more money.

You know, it was just like, the hours were better. It was just transformational. And then great recession happened. I went to Forrester for a little bit. I was at Aberdeen for 11 years. Had the pleasure recently of working at Metadata. I was head of revenue at Hockey Stack. And now I'm at Modigi, which is great, but you know, it's weird. Like sales, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and we're like, you know, and I think back to that first job and I'm like, man, I was just distressed out of that first job and I was absolutely miserable. So.

you know, is it sales or is it just human nature?

Adam Sockel (03:42.735)
It's funny, I feel like we've had, before we started recording, we were sort of talking about our backgrounds. I feel like we have somewhat similar paths in a sense. And when I graduated college, my very, very first job out of college was I worked at New York Life selling life insurance and looking at the kind of investment side of things. The reason I did that is my father owned a state farm insurance agency for the entirety of my childhood. He's retired now, but...

My, you know, when you graduate from college, you're like, I don't want to work for dad. I'm a, I'm a fully formed adult 21 year old. I can do this myself. So I went to New York life where it was 100 % commission based. And I realized all I was doing was calling on the people that I knew that in reality should be going to my father who had at that time, quite literally three decades more experience selling insurance. So I, after about five, six months, my dad was like, this is silly. Just come.

work in my office, you'll do the same thing. But you mentioned the green screen of data. That is exactly what I can visualize that to this day. Because that was where all his book of business, that was where all of our information, all of our what I now would just call call notes, all of that was in this green DOS, just horrible to look at computer. And it wasn't exactly cold calling because my dad was very good at

Dee (05:00.162)

Adam Sockel (05:08.559)
Relationship building which is important in sales and so I would call these people and whether or not they wanted to buy life insurance and very few people ever do They'd be like, you know Adam I appreciate it, but I love your dad. I'm not interested but you know, he's great guy and like you so I never got too many of those harsh like Lose this number and don't don't talk to me, but I know exactly that initial feeling So what you know kind of talk to me about?

Dee (05:26.722)

Adam Sockel (05:35.151)
you know, what for people who aren't familiar, what Modigi does and kind of how you're, you're leading the team over there.

Dee (05:41.186)
You know, I'll get there, but I want to take a step back. So my dad is a programmer, very good programmer, great career. He was laid off for a year and he tried selling insurance, like he said. He was horrible at it. He was horrible at it. But, you know, I was in college and he's like. Deidre, that's my full name, you'd be like Deidre, you got to get into sales. You'd be so good at it. You're just like these guys who are successful. And, you know, the irony and so he, you know, he comes here and you'll take care of the kiddo and.

Adam Sockel (05:52.078)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (06:10.626)
You know, he has stuff that he does here, you know, hobbies and property here. And remember, he heard a cold call. It wasn't a very good cold call. And he was like, I'm so proud of you because he knew how hard it was. I think that's the proudest he's ever been. He's always been proud of me for other reasons. So what do I do? You know, Modiji is a startup like, you know, we we our companies work, you know, or we both support cold calling at the end of the day. Right. Like and right now, cold calling is hot. Right, Adam. Like, do you feel that? Do you feel like cold calling is hot? Like I see it.

Adam Sockel (06:21.386)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (06:34.158)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (06:40.339)
Yeah, I, you know, I, so I started at Orem in November of 2022. I had to think about what year it was right now. so I've, I've been here, I guess a year and a half at this point. And even at that point, when I started, it was Thanksgiving week was my first week. And I remember talking to my boss, Ting Ting, and our, our CEO, Jason Dorfman had had this presentation to everybody. And it was talking about getting Orem, like, yeah, over the chasm from like a nice to have to a need to have. And before I was here, I was at a...

Dee (06:46.594)

Adam Sockel (07:10.127)
very, very large corporation. And before then I was at a fairly large corporation. I just remember thinking like, that is a years long thing to get over that chasm. Like why, why are we talking about this? When in reality, just in my time here, it has gone from like, even at the end of 2020 to people being like, yeah, I mean, we cold call a bit, but you know, we're really more email focused, we're social selling. And now,

Like it's, and it's, I guess, a tribute to our marketing team and our sales people. Like people know and recognize what Orem is and all of the kind of AI dialing platforms, honestly, to give a, a nod to our competitors as well. They've set their game up too. Like people really are realizing like, no, if you're willing to pick up the phone and dial, it is the most direct way to build pipeline and do a sandwich relationship. So I, this is a long rambling way of saying like, yeah, I absolutely have seen.

Dee (07:46.178)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (08:07.65)

Adam Sockel (08:09.166)
people are fully on board with the fact that if you pick up the phone, results are going to follow.

Dee (08:15.202)
I'm giving you a virtual air hug because I respect that so much and I'm seeing it too. I think that's what when I have a hard day, that's what gets me a little excited. We are a startup, so what do I do? I do a little bit of everything. I create content. I make a lot of cold calls. I had two days yesterday where I had multiple meetings set.

Adam Sockel (08:17.071)

Dee (08:42.082)
You know, I don't set the strategy, but I help influence the strategy and I close deals. So, you know, with a startup, it's just so much you have to take on. Like, man, I, you know, creating content, I have a LinkedIn live and, you know, I've created playbooks and then you're also cold calling and then, you know, you're navigating deals, you know, from the very transactional, you know, sub 20K deal to the very strategic, you know, we have to map out.

100k plus deal with big companies. So it is a lot, but candidly, I love it. Gosh, what a big GTM company. What I do well looking at the same 100 accounts and yeah, yeah. But I have a very high bias to action. I think we both do. You definitely do. I've known you digitally for a while, Adam. And you see something stupid, you just can't take it. So...

Quick story. So I worked at Aberdeen for 11 years, were acquired by a company. I'm not going to name names, but it was so archaic. And I would bring up these problems and they would just get ignored because nobody wanted to deal with them. And even stuff like we had like three project management solutions. I pointed that out and we eventually got down to one. But that business unit has collapsed. And I was like, I told you guys, I told you. So I do it all.

Adam Sockel (09:52.398)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (10:10.722)
And we support cold calling. You know, we work really well with Oram. As a matter of fact, we have a lot of mutual customers. I know a lot of your sales team and you know Oram is so powerful, but it loves data. So we work really well together. We provide GTM data, specifically mobile numbers. Yeah. It's kind of cool that we're talking and I'm rambling, but one of your sales people were actually meeting to like strategize a deal together.

Adam Sockel (10:33.29)
that's amazing. Yeah, that's fantastic. Because you're absolutely right. Like, there's so many things you just mentioned that I want to kind of chime in on one also, you know, or we're getting more and more well known, which is wonderful. But we are still also technically a startup. We're not a massive company. And so especially from a marketing standpoint, much like you said, like there are I know that there are benefits to different sized companies. And I'm sure people listening to this are coming from all different sized companies. I worked, like I said, I worked for a corporation before this where there were 300 marketers like

Dee (10:46.465)

Adam Sockel (11:03.086)
just marketing had 300 people and which is an insane thing. And so there's so much, you know, obviously part of that what came with that is like basically an endless budget. So we could do whatever we wanted to. Literally one of the last things they did before I left was made like an office slash parks and rec style, like short YouTube series with professional actors and professional videos and all these different things. And I'm just thinking about whatever the amount that cost was probably more than the budget I have for the year. But at the same time,

Dee (11:25.282)

Adam Sockel (11:32.558)
To your point, I love the flexibility of like, we're recording a podcast right now. I'm working on finalizing an AI report after we get off the phone. I'm setting up some, you know, different LinkedIn stuff we're doing. Like I love kind of bouncing all around, but to get back to your point about, you know, cold calling loves data, like you're absolutely right. I think that is one of the things that I love so much about what you guys are doing is, you know, anytime...

we here at Orem are talking to prospects, whether it's through top of funnel content that I'm doing, through sales enablement, through the actual conversations with executives when it's time for procurement and everything. All anyone wants to know is data. They want to know, what's your connect rate? What is your bridge to connect time? They want to know all these things. And without an organization and a tool like Modigi, it makes it really challenging. It doesn't matter.

Dee (12:02.466)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (12:28.302)
if you're using Orem's Power Dialer or a Parallel Dialer and saying, well, I've made 500 phone calls this afternoon, that's great, but you need the right numbers, you need to be able to exactly, you need all the analytics. And so that actually, that kind of transitions me to the kind of second aspect of this discussion is with all of the different things that you're doing and the...

Dee (12:39.234)
You need the analytics. Yeah.

Adam Sockel (12:55.406)
deals that you're closing small and large and doing, like you said, you're doing content, you're doing enablement, you're doing all these different things. What is the thing that keeps you up at night? What is the work -related stuff that is stressing you out? Or if it's not stressing you out, what is the most challenging aspect of your role?

Dee (13:13.954)
goodness, everything. So there's, you know, there's different kind of people, you know, people who like, you know, they're motivated by the positive, right? Well, I'm neurotic, man, I'm motivated by the negative. So, you know, what worries me now, you know, deal cycles are longer, I think that's no secret, you know, we're all dealing with substantially longer deal cycles. No one wants to take, no one wants to screw me.

Adam Sockel (13:16.013)

Dee (13:42.242)
Right? That's what it is. We're also, and this was Chris Orla that posted it, we're in a demand neutral environment. Like there is no demand. People are cutting tech stack. You know, they went crazy post COVID, right Adam? Like post COVID, they're like, we need to do something, right? You know, and there was so much demand you could just run LinkedIn ads and fill a pipeline. The biggest one for me right now is driving pipelines. So we have, you know, we have great advisors. We have great network.

Adam Sockel (13:57.165)

Dee (14:11.714)
We have a tool that people need like the value is so linear. We work with great companies like Aurum. It's like, how do we turn that into pipeline? I want to see, you know, multiple discovery calls a day, right? You know, I want to see that because we can support that. And I've been with hyper growth companies, you know, I was at metadata and hockey stack when they were going like this, I doubled hockey stacks customer count. And, you know, I know we can get there, right. And our value is so linear. But it's like, how do we take those steps? You know, how do we get there? And,

You know, our founders are phenomenal, right? They're excellent. They understand. They're open to growing. They listen to our advisors. But, you know, that bias to action is like, we can get here. Let's get here, right? You know, so like our website's been a challenge, right? And it's not a knock to anyone, but, you know, I look at, we use Orms. I was like, look what Orms is doing, right? And user gems, Trinity is amazing. I'm like, look what they're doing. We just got to like do 90 % of what they're doing and we'll be good. And...

Adam Sockel (15:03.565)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (15:10.626)
The other thing is, we're both connected in the startup community and I look at companies that are winning, right? And I really cherish that. And Oram's winning, UserGems is winning, I saw Cord beat their numbers. And it's so easy to say, well, the market's hard or sales is hard. But when I look at those winning companies, it really inspired me. Like Novatic, are you familiar with Novatic? Do you know Natalie at all?

Adam Sockel (15:16.813)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (15:36.302)
I don't know Natalie, I'm familiar with the organization though, but for people who are listening and if you want to talk about it, please go ahead.

Dee (15:42.914)
So Natalie is amazing, right? Very unassuming, incredible marketer, gets both the data side and human motivation. And they weren't lean there, right? They're not a big company. I don't think they raise anything more than like a seed round or small series A and they blew away their numbers. And, you know, how do they blow away their numbers? It's just good messaging, good sales and marketing alignment. They're head of sales. Ben is exceptional. And just getting out there and the vendor releases their top spend.

top spend report. They don't have a category for Orem. I'm like, where's the Orem category? You know, I'm going to add their CEO, who's a great guy to add y 'all. But they were number one, and they were number one against companies who were like 10 times as big. And yeah, Natalie, hear this, congratulations. But you know, companies are winning. You can do it. There's a blueprint to winning. And we know what that looks like. Orem obviously knows what that looks like.

Adam Sockel (16:38.733)
Yeah, I, I first off, thank you. I really appreciate it. We actually, when I first started here was when we were just starting our, our website redesign, which now we're very proud of. And we, we do, we use it to do some things. We do like various takeovers and stuff when we have campaigns going on. And to your point, like the way that we look at brand, we're very, we're very fortunate that our demand, Jen director, Sarah, who people have seen, she's.

Dee (16:54.274)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (17:08.174)
She's gone viral a bunch of times on LinkedIn the past couple of months. She's one of those people who just, she's so tan. Yeah.

Dee (17:10.69)
Dude, your marketing team, I stan. Like, everything they write, like you too, everything like, what did Adam say? And then Colin as well, I love Colin.

Adam Sockel (17:18.413)
It, yeah, we're very fortunate to have these very bright minds and thank you for including me in there. But Sarah is one of those people who like, she never really posted on LinkedIn until like this year. And now everything she does is like, just gets hundreds and hundreds of people commenting, but she is a huge believer in brand is demand. She believes that we can create demand gen through our brand. And we're fortunate that we, you know, our leadership, you mentioned Colin and I mentioned Jason earlier, our leaders.

Dee (17:45.186)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (17:47.341)
basically, and my boss Ting Ting, our VP of Marketing, they basically tell us, they know I'm a very creative person, they know Sarah's a very creative person, and they say, okay, what do you guys got? Go crazy. And so earlier this year, we created this, so yeah campaign, which is now sort of been all over LinkedIn. I basically came up with this idea, I was like, I see negativity in sales all the time. It's constant, yeah, everyone just wants to rag on their jobs.

Dee (18:11.362)
that's all we are. Yeah.

Adam Sockel (18:17.389)
post these memes about people not showing up to the meetings and I was like, let's focus on the positivity. And we talked about, before I started recording, anyone can go on my LinkedIn and see, I talk about mental health all the time, I'm not shy about it. And I was like, I wanna focus, thank you. And I was like, I wanna talk about the positivity. And so I came up with, I was like, let's just say sell yeah, like hell yeah, you get to sell. And I jokingly told Sarah, our demand gender director, I was like.

Dee (18:29.922)
Incredible, by the way.

Adam Sockel (18:43.213)
Really the impetus for this is I want a bright orange sweatshirt that says, so yeah. And she's like, well, we'll get there. And lo and behold, we have created these bright orange sweatshirts that anytime we post a photo of them as Orem, people are like, let me get one of those. But to your point, it's like, we have, we do a lot here, but we're a small team. Like you said, we're a startup. And so for me, it's all about triaging. It's like, okay, what can we control? And from a marketing standpoint, what we can control is we can...

Dee (19:05.666)
Yes. Yes.

Adam Sockel (19:12.205)
have a voice and tone out in the market that's like, we're positive. We use AI to make sales more human. We want to keep the seller involved in the process because we understand that while decision makers, VPs, people of your level are ultimately making the decision to purchase Orem, the users are managers and sales reps. And so we want to be able to talk to everybody. And so this is a very long rambling way of saying our triage was okay.

Dee (19:34.498)
Yes. Yes.

Adam Sockel (19:42.029)
we can focus on our messaging and we have people on our marketing team that are able to do something very uniquely well that others can't. Like my superpower is writing, our events manager's superpower is experiences. Like we know we can do these things. And so for you, thinking about, like you said, building pipeline was ultimately the thing that stresses you out the most. Like how are you guys triaging to understand?

to accomplish that. I know you're a big believer in all bound, but what's the way that you are triaging it to say, here's how we can win most effectively?

Dee (20:19.074)
So I want to compliment you all because cold calling technically, you know, usually has a negative connotation. And I think you all have kind of made it fun, which is hard, right? Especially when you're selling a big ticket enterprise item. I'm going to be candid. We're still getting to our messaging, right? You know, we don't really scale with tiny companies, you know, like a small startup. But...

What I've been pushing is, so we have a great advisor and credible rev ops operator, you know, his track record. Like I just can't say enough good things about that guy. he shared a story and he's like, someone was killing their numbers. He came to me and he said, I asked him, how are you doing it? He's like, well, did you, they have mobile numbers. And I think a lot about, you know, the challenger sale where, you know, things are brought to executives, right? And that's how they really say, we need to get this for our team.

So right now, we're trying to continue the top level through our co -founders and our advisors, but trying to build out a little bit more of that human nature. So I host my own podcast. We're trying to drive questions about, hey, what was life like growing up? How did you get into sales? Not just like tactically, okay, do this, do this. And there's a lot of agenda items. And I will say,

that idea of making sales fun, you know, something that I'm probably going to grab a little bit, right? You know, making sales fun and shout out to user gems, you know, hey, pipeline anxiety, goodbye. But it's, you know, it's, it's challenging. We're getting there. We're making updates to the website. My CEO is incredible. Ken Hoppe, he's, he started posting and he's enjoying it. And he's like, you know, we work, we have, I have a friend that helps them, you know, they don't write for them. They don't ghost write, but they help.

Adam Sockel (21:52.14)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (22:16.748)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (22:16.852)
And I'm like, so, you know, trying to get that out there, make us more accessible and less of, you know, kind of a early 2000s, you know, XVP flavor. But it's tough. It takes time, you know, brand doesn't happen overnight. Right. And, you know, I'm even sure with Orem, like you came on and there was customers that had a bad experience or there was, you know, people who said, a, you know,

You're much more than parallel dialing, but say a parallel dialing is bad. Those are some of the things we're doing. So I did sell to marketers for 15 years. I've worked with very good marketers. I've seen hyper growth, so I am able to crib some of those things. Shout out to Mark Huber, the entire metadata team. They were fantastic. When I worked with them, I'm like, you guys are so good. And that's another thing. Sales, if you work with a good marketer who's brilliant, just let them run.

Adam Sockel (22:50.188)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (23:10.571)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (23:16.61)
and ask them for help, don't tell them what to do, because if they're getting results and they're brilliant, like your team, like I would work with you, I'd be like, hey, how's that report coming? Can I get some stats? I wouldn't be like, the report has to say this, you know, so that's kind of my theory on that relationship.

Adam Sockel (23:26.412)

Adam Sockel (23:32.78)
That is, that's something, you know, we've mentioned Colin and Ting Ting a few times now, our VP of sales and our VP of marketing. I will say the collaboration between our sales and marketing team here is really, really dynamic. Actually last year at Saster, I wrote a speech for Ting Ting and Colin about our sales and marketing collaboration. And they presented that at Saster and it was like, it was just great to see because it wasn't just like window dressing. It wasn't just them.

Dee (23:58.466)

Adam Sockel (23:59.244)
saying the words that I was like, okay, make people believe that we actually get along. We do. I connect with our top sales reps every single week, every thing I write. Aaron Milner is one of our account executives who works in enterprise. And anytime I write a piece that we want to be, whether it's a blog post or a report or like sales enablement piece, I send it to him and I'm like, okay, would an enterprise person actually care about this from a sales standpoint? Please be honest, because I'm just a marketer. And like,

Dee (24:13.89)

Adam Sockel (24:29.068)
That stuff, it works back and forth. Then, you know, because you establish these relationships with salespeople, now when they're sending something to a prospect, they'll come to me and be like, hey, can you help me tweak this message so that it actually is like fun and playful or is, you know, serious and toned? And you're absolutely right, like that partnership, I always talk about de -siloing our teams here. Like my goal is to be so...

Dee (24:43.778)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (24:53.41)

Adam Sockel (24:57.516)
positive and effusive and talkative in Slack or in person when we have the ability to do that is so that people are like, I can come to Adam for anything. He's not gonna say he's too busy. And vice versa. I wanna, I wanna, you know, I've gotten so much FaceTime with all these people now, like I know I can go to our CEO or I can go to Colin and be like, I need you to record something for two minutes. I know it's exhausting to do and you have a million other things, but we've built that kind of like that.

Dee (25:01.954)

Dee (25:17.556)

Adam Sockel (25:25.291)
that trust just like you do in sales. We've built that trust to say, okay, let's help one another. So yeah, I totally hear you and it is so vital to strengthen those relationships between marketing and sales for sure.

Dee (25:34.946)
Yeah. You know, marketing is more than just leads. You know, if you let marketing run, they will create pipeline. And in the interim, there's so many things that you can do with marketing to create your own pipeline, bolster sales, you know, understand the market, just understand the way people think. It's just so valuable. So, yeah, we're working on that. You know, we are a smaller team, you know, I...

Adam Sockel (25:42.923)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (26:01.89)
I know so many great marketers. I often look at LinkedIn and I'm like, man, if I had to build a marketing department, I could build like, just people who are on the market, I could build like the greatest marketing department ever. But we are getting there. Yeah. I can add you to that list and be like, hey, what's that I'm doing in two years? No, I'm kidding. Don't kidding.

Adam Sockel (26:16.748)
That's amazing. Yeah. Listen, throw me on that All -Star team. Listen, that's actually my favorite thing about LinkedIn is connecting and interacting with people who, for every comment people see on LinkedIn about you commenting on my post or me commenting on a person's post at a different company, they don't see all the DMs that we all send each other. Like, my God, I love what you're doing. Yeah, that's the stuff where, that's the good stuff where then you get to go to a conference or you see each other and you're like.

Dee (26:39.298)

Adam Sockel (26:45.42)
just kind of noodle on stuff. That's how future teams listen. We're all fluid. People come and go. That's OK.

Dee (26:51.586)
I love complimenting people like setting them a DM and you know, hey, that was a great post or hey, I love the way you think or like your marketing campaign like I've done that with Sarah like her post on my hey your post so good. I just want you to know I think for marketers to cuz like.

Adam Sockel (27:00.651)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (27:07.394)
you know, sales, we have our number, right? Like I like, I like positive feedback. There's not enough in sales. Like good job, you know, like that was a hard deal. so, you know, give sales kudos, but I think marketers too, like maybe they don't hear that enough, you know, and they go to the board meetings and it's just like, what are the numbers look like? And, you know, you can say, Hey, this was really good. This was really helpful.

And then, you know, getting back to cold calling, it all helps cold calling. I remember in metadata, Danny Reed, great, great seller, by the way, if you want to connect with someone, Danny Reed's awesome. But he said, hey, man, I remember when people would pick up the phone and know who we were. And it's just transformational. You see a lot of cold calling advice and they're like, hey, I'm from Gong. Want to schedule 20 minutes? And it's like, dude, that's so different than 90 % of the market. Like if OpenAI called me, I'd take a meeting. I'd be like.

Adam Sockel (27:55.499)

Dee (27:55.522)
open AI? Yeah, sure. I can't buy anything, but yeah.

Adam Sockel (27:59.627)
Yeah, I always, I love going in Cleveland where I live. They have the Content Marketing Institute was founded and so for a long time they...

Dee (28:08.546)
no, that's right. CMI. I've been to three of them.

Adam Sockel (28:11.531)
Yeah, so the founder, Joe Polizzi, I've interviewed him a bunch of times actually. He's a wonderful guy and for a long time they would do Content Marketing World, which is their big conference here in Cleveland. And now they kind of take it on the road, which is smart for them. But to your point about like someone calling, making a cold call from like, hey, I'm from Gong, let's talk. They always do these presentations at Content Marketing World where it's like...

So we've brought in the brightest minds from Target and McDonald's and Nike to talk about their marketing strategy. And I'm like, that's great. Their budget is an infinity sign. It's such different. So I always try to find the tracks at those places where it's like, we've got startups or we have mid -market organizations where I'm like, okay, you have a budget. Talk to me about creativity as opposed to some executive who's very smart but coming on and they're like, so we brought in Kevin Hart to do a commercial for us. And I'm like,

Dee (28:39.362)
Dee (28:50.369)

Dee (29:01.41)

Adam Sockel (29:02.795)
Great, I wonder if Kevin Hart will make a cold call for a couple hundred bucks. So let's see what we can do.

Dee (29:06.978)
man. Dude, I love practical advice. I remember as a content marketing institute, it was a keynote and they talked about content piece of the year and it was a good piece, you know, by Informatica, you know, shout out to them. But it was basically like how we did it play books, right? I'm like, it's just another PDF. And I'm like, that's what's winning. That's the that's it. Like, like in. Yeah, content marketing institute, like.

Adam Sockel (29:22.412)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (29:26.539)

Dee (29:32.802)
Some of this is worth that grade. I'm going to be no offense to Joe. I know he had a lot to handle. But Cleveland Cleveland was great though. That's why I've been I've been to Cleveland like four times and every year we get nicer. You know it's during like 2014, 15, 16, 17 every year we get nicer. I also have a funny story so love the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame like they would have a party there. And I would go into the store. And. Shopped shot glasses.

Adam Sockel (29:35.052)
Yeah. Yeah, I know.

Adam Sockel (29:48.618)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (29:53.355)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (30:02.218)

Dee (30:02.306)
Just to be stupid. So I have like all these shot glasses from there, but there's a great pick. I'll send it to you if you want to put it with the with Tupac. You know, I'm in my like gingham shirt doing the West side with Tupac because I love gangster rap. You know, late 90s gangster rap and a lot of fond memories of Content Marketing Institute. Like not not just the sessions were OK, but like the people in Cleveland. But yeah, I think now like.

Adam Sockel (30:14.987)

Adam Sockel (30:19.371)

Adam Sockel (30:27.274)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (30:32.386)
You know, sales, marketing, CS, you know, there's talk about, there's a lot of bad CROs that only focus on sales, but really they're so aligned. Like, CS, who likes us? Who can refer us? Who's moving? You know, marketing, what are you hearing on the market? What's resonating well? Sales, what are customers saying? And, you know, really at a startup, like, that's what you have to do. You have to listen to each other's calls. You have to like ask, how's it going? You have to use tools like, whether it's Gong, you know, Align.

Adam Sockel (30:49.419)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (31:02.05)
Like we all have Riverside subscriptions. Yeah, yeah. It's all hands on deck.

Adam Sockel (31:07.211)
Yeah, I love it. Yeah. Okay, let's transition, not that we haven't been having fun, but let's transition to a little bit more fun, a little bit lighthearted questions. So the third segment of the podcast is just some kind of somewhat rapid fire fun questions that I love asking everybody. So the first one is, what was your very first job? This could be when you were a kid or when you were a teenager. What was your first job?

Dee (31:21.89)
Let's go.

Dee (31:26.722)

So my family business, they grow plants for landscaping and I worked for my grandfather and I was horrible at it. I barely did any work. You know, maybe I did more work than I thought, but I think about it in retrospect and I'm like, man, I was an entitled punk. But, you know, that family business has supported most of my family. So maybe I'm not the most entitled. That was the first. And then my first like corporate job was at Fidelity, which...

Adam Sockel (31:59.243)
Mm -hmm. Yeah. Seeing as how my fiance and I just spent hundreds of dollars on more hostas, I feel like we might have to have a second conversation about plants after this, but I'll...

Dee (31:59.33)
as they shared was horrible.

Dee (32:10.722)
Their business, like a $10 million business, has been around since I was born. It's incredible. And they live in Florida, so the demand is, every new development needs all these plants. So yeah, it's pretty cool.

Adam Sockel (32:20.394)
Mm -hmm.

What was the worst job you've ever had? And it very well may be landscaping and stuff like that, but what was the worst job you've ever had?

Dee (32:31.138)
fidelity job was bad. When Aberdeen was acquired was bad, but the worst job. So I waited tables through college and I briefly waited tables at this like Italian Tractoria and the head chef thought he was Gordon Ramsay and the owners were just so like pretentious that it was like, what am I doing here? Like this is not

Adam Sockel (32:50.954)

Adam Sockel (32:57.738)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (33:00.386)
And meanwhile, this is like in the massive Boston suburbs, like not even a fancy suburb. You're like, why are we so pretentious? We're serving broccoli rabe. What is going on? And yeah, I left as soon as I could. But so yeah, I've had, this is probably the three worst. So that one, Fidelity, Fidelity is probably the worst worst. And then, yeah, when we were acquired, it was like, you go from working for about a couple hundred people company to a...

billion dollar conglomerate and you're like what's the priorities here?

Adam Sockel (33:31.788)
Yeah. What is, do you have a favorite app for productivity? Like a favorite tool that you use during the work day that kind of helps maximize what you can do.

Dee (33:42.946)
Yeah, so I'm old. I live by my calendar. I did sign up for a monday .com subscription. So shout out to Katie Ray. She's an incredible marketer. She uses not Avoma. I forget the other monday .com competitor and like I remember seeing her can been bored and it was just like the most beautiful productivity chart ever. And since then, I've been like, I want to be like that one day. But I don't know, I've been at this so long, like my calendar, I'm really good at

Adam Sockel (33:46.412)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (33:59.82)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (34:12.226)
scheduling stuff, you know, and little hacks. So like desk hermits like me that are like scared to, you know, if I go for a walk, I'm not going to be productive. I will schedule like chores. So I'll be like, OK, let me spend 30 minutes to vacuum or like fold some laundry. And that way I get away from my desk and feel because I'm in my desk from 830 to six literally to feel productive. But yeah, my calendar man is like block colors, you know, schedule, etc.

Adam Sockel (34:13.676)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (34:38.795)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (34:42.562)
Another hack is if you have an Apple watch all work notifications Turn them the email to turn them all off because that is the most I had a pebble watch when they first came out and it was literally like And I was ready to throw it away. So yeah, it's turn off slack here everything you can just have it be like text and like your favorite news and fitness apps

Adam Sockel (34:42.796)
I will -

Adam Sockel (34:50.315)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (35:05.388)
Yeah, I love that. I have a Garmin watch. I'm a distance runner and I literally, I do not get notifications on it because I can't. I'm just like, this is my running watch. This isn't a work watch. It is exclusively for that. So yeah, I totally, totally understand that.

Dee (35:10.754)

Dee (35:15.138)
Dee (35:20.514)
I love my CEO. His picture, he's a big sports fan. His daughter goes to Buffalo, sorry, University of Colorado, Boulder. And it's funny, like I'll be on a call and you'll see like his little coach product picture pop up because that's the one thing I don't block. And you're like, shoot, shoot. You got to like really put it into perspective. But yeah, yeah, it's powerful.

Adam Sockel (35:37.675)

That's so funny. What is your favorite app for fun? Do you hop on TikTok? Do you use the YouTube app? Do you have a game that you like to play? Is there something on your phone that you just use for pure enjoyment?

Dee (35:55.042)
man, so yeah, there are like I've been in a Reddit recently. I'm a big Formula One fan, so Formula Dank, but I'm really big on outdoor hobbies. So I ski a lot. I paddleboard, I play paintball. I shoot archery. I actually did archery and paintball last weekend. You know, nothing better to me than like getting in a canoe or a hike and having a couple beers.

Adam Sockel (35:59.948)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (36:23.874)
and just enjoying yourself. And the archery is competitive. So we do what's called 3D. I don't hunt, but we do 3D archery where you shoot foam targets at different distances. It's challenging. But that's really, I'm a desk hermit. And then the weekend, I want to get out of the house. And as a parent, I have a tween daughter and she's like, no, I want to stay home. I want to crochet or I want to play with friends. And you're like, OK, we can do that. But yeah, the phone can be deadly.

Adam Sockel (36:52.299)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (36:52.45)
The news is so bad, always. It's always been bad. So you're like, I couldn't imagine in the 60s and 80s, you're like, nuclear war, civil rights riot, nuclear war. Yeah. I do want to recommend an app. It's called We Kroak. So they do studies where they remind you that you're going to die.

Adam Sockel (37:01.246)

Adam Sockel (37:05.835)
Yeah, it'd be horrible. Yeah, I couldn't even imagine. What is, you know, you mentioned being at your...

Adam Sockel (37:23.499)
It sounds like a lot of fun.

Dee (37:23.97)
Like, yeah, I'm trying to remember the name, but we croak, yeah.

Adam Sockel (37:28.235)
Okay, I'll take a look at that. You mentioned, we both talked about a little bit earlier, how working for startups, we do a lot of different things. You mentioned being a desk roommate. So what's your ideal workday? Like, what is, what's, if you could build out a perfect workday, what would it look like?

Dee (37:43.938)

Six discovery call dash demos. That's not realistic. So, you know, make 10 cold calls before nine, right? Get into some discovery calls, spend 30 minutes creating content, close a deal. You know, that would be the best. But it is, you know, it is a startup. So who knows what, who knows what we get tasked with.

Adam Sockel (37:50.826)

Adam Sockel (38:03.019)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (38:09.227)

Yeah. And then, all right, last question for you. What, what is a cold call opener that would get you to at least hear someone give you a pitch? Maybe not take the meeting, but what's a, what's a cold call opener that would actually get you to be like, okay, give me, give me the rest of this.

Dee (38:27.682)

So the context is always important, but it's hard to find. So, you know, someone reached out to me and was like, Hey, hey, you know, so no one better do this. you know, Hey, heard you struggling with pipeline, want to develop it organically. You know, we have a really innovative way to do it. that would work, but if there is no context, let's be real. There's some of those, there's no context. Like you can read financial statements and, I go look at.

ads. I looked at LinkedIn ads, as always kind of a good tell. What's the context? Like, hey, you know, I see you want to sell into John Deere, you know, like, that's going to be the context. Like, yeah. But I think, you know, humor and self -deprecation off the bar. So like someone called me and they're really confident and they say, hey, D, this is a sales call, but I promise your day will be better for it. I'd be like, yeah, let's go into it.

you know, someone calls relaxed and they have that. So I want to give some, shout out to Haley Brodeur and, Sarah Plowman. I think people know them. Like they really like emphasize that, like, you know, they're like, Hey, you know, if we could help you. and then, you know, you've got the goats, like Morgan Ingram, who like, how are you not going to take a call from that? Cause the guy's voice is pure energy. He's just like the lightning bolt. So.

Adam Sockel (39:44.362)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (39:59.074)
Kindness, self -deprecation, that goes a long way. And those are the calls that I've taken, annually. That doesn't mean that I bought from them, but those are the calls that I've taken.

Adam Sockel (40:06.698)
Mm -hmm. Yeah.

Adam Sockel (40:12.139)
Yeah, no, I love that. I totally agree. It's when people just express and like kind of remind me like it's a human being called another human being. I'm like, okay. Yeah, I will absolutely hear you out for sure.

Dee (40:24.162)
But my cold call persona is Matthew McConaughey. I want to be like Matthew McConaughey at the Texas game. Hey, how you doing? Good. How about that? People say not to talk about weather. I'm like, the weather's hot. The weather's cold. It's not like how about that? I saw the you know, that heat wave in Texas. You staying cool, you know, like that'll get me to, you know, that's who I want to be on the phone. You know, talk slow, but yeah, it's it's that vibe, I think.

Adam Sockel (40:42.827)

Dee (40:51.746)
You know, someone jokes about Vi based marketing. Maybe it's Tim Davidson. I'm like, yeah, there's something to that.

Adam Sockel (40:52.234)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (40:58.443)
Listen, we joke here at ORM that that's our entire brand. Every new brand campaign we release, the theme of it is just vibes. So I totally, totally get that. Yeah.

Dee (41:06.586)
Is it true though? Like it's like, we know this content. So I love empirical content, right? But if it has a good vibe, it goes along. Like, you know, Devin Reed was the progenitor of that, I feel like, like vibe based content that has a lot of good data on it. And now we see that with you all and Peter Walker is great. Chanberg from Hockey Stack is doing that as well.

Adam Sockel (41:22.026)
Mm -hmm.

Adam Sockel (41:29.355)
Yeah, love it. OK, Dee, so I'll put everything in the show notes. But for people listening, where can they find you? Where can they follow along? You mentioned having a podcast. How can they get more information about you and Modiji and everything you guys are doing?

Dee (41:42.274)
Yeah, thank you. So LinkedIn, just D 'Acosta. There's a link to the podcast that I host there. You're welcome to go to our website, Mojitd .com. But I'm not even going to go to speed. We all live by our mobile devices. Companies aren't investing in mobile, in desk phones. They're just not. They're this e -waste. They're expensive, too. Like a Plantronic phone and then data for it is really expensive.

Plantronics doesn't even exist anymore. man. So we provide mobile numbers. It's transformational. I got like 10 connects on Fridays at three meetings. We've seen it with our customers. They're typically doubling call revenue. And it's just a very cost effective way to make sure you're engaging. And we work really well with parallel dialers because with parallel dialers, you can get to all those mobile numbers. And.

The best, you know, there's some great tools out there, but the best way to make a rep better is just get in practice and confidence and get that hang up over to that meeting set. So that's us. Yeah. Modigi .com and D 'Acosta. But that's it. Yeah. You, you, I'm pretty vocal, so pretty easy to find.

Adam Sockel (42:54.986)
Listen, that's how we, you know, like you said, we've been kind of digitally connected for a while, but I literally just shot Dee a DM on LinkedIn. It was like, Hey, we're launching this podcast. I'd love to have you on and let's chat. So I can attest Dee will respond to you. He will, he will be active on there.

Dee (43:08.77)
yeah. And so, you know, when I started in sales was white knuckle, you know, is everybody looking out for themselves. And I think with the pandemic and, you know, younger generations coming on, it's been more like, hey, we need to collaborate. And you see this with partnerships. But you see this with like, you know, like, like your rep that I reached out to him like, hey, we're both going to deal together. Let's trade notes. You know, it does make a difference. So don't be an island.

Adam Sockel (43:36.362)
Mm -hmm.

Dee (43:37.154)
You can hate your competitor, but don't be an island, you know? Like,

Adam Sockel (43:40.779)
Yeah, I love that so much. This has been fantastic. Dee, I really, really appreciate you coming on. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Dee (43:48.834)
Awesome, this has been a great way to start the day. Thanks, Adam.


Just like the 90s, cold calling is back in style.

Dee Acosta, Senior Director of Sales and Strategic Growth at Modigie, joins Adam Sockel on episode three of the Bold Calling podcast to discuss how cold calling technology has gone from “nice to have” to “need to have” in the last 18 months.

The resurgence of cold calling can be attributed to the advent of AI, which has revolutionized data-driven sales processes. This, coupled with a market shift towards human-centric sales, has brought cold calling back into the spotlight.

Dee Acosta shares his insights on pipeline building and the importance of effective messaging and marketing collaboration.

Leads come into your pipeline in various ways, from events to social content, webinars, and demo requests. If you don’t have properly enriched data for those prospects, you risk never connecting with them. Wanting to make calls is only part of the battle. You need to have the right platform and the correct data to make those calls.

They also discuss the role of positivity and fun in sales and the importance of building strong relationships between sales and marketing teams. They talk about the importance of giving positive feedback to build a cross-team culture, the impact of cold calling, the value of practical advice in content marketing, the essentiality of quality customer success, and Dee's ideal workday.