Salespeople are always looking for new ways to generate more initial appointments. How do you do that? There are many strategies. In this episode, Donald and Carman Pirie talk about utilizing strategies that include co-creating and content building.
Carman Pirie is the co-owner of Kula Partners. It’s a manufacturing marketing agency that helps manufacturers transform their marketing and sales apparatus by making it more digital in nature. He is also a co-host of the podcast called The Kula Ring, a podcast that focuses on manufacturing marketers and telling their stories.
Prospecting is a huge part of the sales process. Carman personally does prospecting every single day and he coaches many salespeople on how to do it right. It can be difficult to pick up the phone and start a conversation with people. Many sales leaders and managers have not explored other options outside of traditional practices. They have limited their sales teams by thinking and training the old methodologies. While picking up the phone as a way to prospect isn’t bad, the answer to prospecting isn’t just activity management.
There are many tools available for sales reps to use in order to prospect. We don’t want to just bombard people with calls and emails or rely heavily on LinkedIn invites. This is where the challenge lies.
In working with B2B manufacturing organizations, Carman’s company almost always interfaces primarily with the marketing function. These marketers have an overwhelming thirst for people in sales to actually care.
Carman suggests three approaches that Kula Partners recommends for co-creating and content building.
The first is through a podcast. The Kula Ring podcast is their primary vehicle to generate prospects. They put out episodes weekly. They expand their reach by simply talking to more
manufacturing marketers and getting them on as guests for the show.
Through the podcast, these guests become more familiar with what Kula is offering and some have eventually become their clients. Sending out emails with a subject line that sounds like a request, or extending a LinkedIn invitation, doesn’t typically yield a positive outcome. Inviting somebody to be a guest on a podcast, asking about their industry and showing an interest in what they offer is a much better opportunity to build rapport. The interview gives you a better insight into their problems and challenges. This information then allows a salesperson to come up with specific solutions to offer.
As a salesperson, you can use an intent data platform and bring in guests that are likely in a buying cycle. However, it’s best to approach them with the pure motive of getting to know them. After a relationship is built, a discussion about business can happen organically. This introductory conversation can even happen by the end of recording a podcast.
Traditional outreach, like a phone call, can typically have a response rate of 10%. In Carman’s experience, they’ve seen that the targeted podcast outreach campaigns have a response rate closer to 50%.
Every business is different so it’s up to the salesperson to experiment with a variety of formats to see what works best for their particular industry. If scaling can work, then go for it. If it’s written content or other similar strategies that work, pick one of those. What works for others may not work for your client’s specific needs so take the time to find the right niche. Look for the right angle or a topic that’s of interest to your client. Create your podcast based on that information.
Another suggestion from Carman for co-creating and content building is to host a peer round table discussion. For example, invite 12 – 20 target prospects in an information-sharing environment and serve as a host to the dialogue. They did this at Kula and they called these meetings marketing leadership exchanges. They brought in marketers who shared common characteristics and fostered an information-sharing conversation.
You can easily make an agenda out of five to six topics or questions and turn them into a 90-minute round table for information-sharing. For marketers who are widely distributed geographically, a virtual round table is more plausible. When you can, however, the preference is to have everyone in person.
Despite the limitations in a virtual setting, the dialogue can still be rich. The exchange of information is still helpful for prospecting and building rapport. The guests are telling you the challenges they are facing in their business and asking their peers for advice. All you do is to play host to the dialogue. How to activate the conversation and transition it into a sales opportunity is up to you. After that dialogue, you now have permission to email them and build a working relationship with them. This is a much better choice as opposed to a cold call.
There’s a difference between the podcast and the peer round table. There is an ongoing continuous recruitment process in the podcast guesting. However, marketing leadership requires more effort as it needs time to get a specific number of people to gather for a particular time. It can be difficult to organize a date where everyone can come together and talk.
When traditional tools aren’t working, these co-creating strategies can be highly effective in moving someone from a prospect to a client.
You can start planning your co-creating and content building by looking at some content pieces related to your niche. If you’re a salesperson in a technical space and you’re selling mostly to engineers, you can look at the challenges common to your prospects and your client base. You can partner with one or two clients or prospects in creating a solution to address challenges specific to that industry.
One of the great results in using the peer round table strategy is that guests naturally follow up with each other and continue to exchange and share information with one another. It’s important to trust the process and let these relationships happen organically.
Marketing organizations are often hungry for sales reps who can offer insight into the sales process and customer needs, as well as someone who is active in the social media channels. Salespeople can be involved in the marketing function and develop relationships with their prospects before the prospect ever even has a need for their services or products.
One of Carman’s guests was on their podcast and this guest had a manufacturing talk radio podcast himself. He used the podcast to give his business exposure and ended up becoming a source to develop his business. As a result, his steel company turned into a broadcasting company. It was unconventional but worked for them. If you want to use a podcast to sell, understand it won’t become daily bread for the next quarter, at least. It takes time for momentum to build.
Podcasts are a natural megaphone for great ideas but it’s really about building relationships, co-creating and content building.
Salespeople can start co-creating and content building with your prospects without other motives but to build a relationship with them and not just because you want to sell to them. Find Carman Pirie on Kula Ring in all major podcast. You can also check their site KulaPartners.com.
This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077.
We have a new semester beginning in January and we would love to have you and your team join us. Follow this link to apply to the program.
We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to.
You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial.
As salespeople, we often ask ourselves about the main things generating the most leads right now because we always want to be in on everything that works. Consumers’ purchasing decisions are affected by their experiences and we want to know what affects them in order to appeal to those emotions and convince them to buy our products or services. Sales professionals that we are, we love leads and we like getting new prospects.
Vlad Calus is the founder at Planable, a content collaboration plan for freelancers and marketing teams. It is the most visual platform that helps you preview your social media content before publishing it. Planable helps you check and review your content before publishing it. It makes collaboration and asking for feedback from your teammates easier as well as asking for clients’ feedback before finalizing the content and scheduling the posts through social media.
There are three things that helped Vlad to get leads. The first one was writing a book. He wrote a book called Marketing Themes of the Future which gained them over 2,000 leads in just a couple of weeks. They also published the Content Academy and it generated them more than 500 people in just a couple of hours.
Publishing is one way to generate leads and that’s what Vlad and his team did. They also did a content calibration report where they reported on the state of content marketing and how content marketing teams are working. For them, their team wasn’t able to generate many people by just a sudden initiative. They did the planning on how to create their content and spent a lot of time on it. The content are called special initiatives. They worked on it for about 12 months and all of the people involved were on the same page. They then had press releases for client launches and they constantly repurposed their content.
Vlad’s team looked for the problem in their industry and wanted to address it. Research shows that there have been no content calibration reports done for the last nine years. They wanted to understand the state of the market but there are only old data available. In marketing, data are key players to a business’s success. They then understood the need to generate a lot of data and started the project with their customers, connections on the net, and the people they met. They generated leads by using the data of the report they collated.
One of the data they have is on how to repurpose content for their followers. There’s also the part where you need multiple stakeholders as part of your content strategy. They also discovered in their research that broken collaboration is wasted time and communicating with your stakeholders vie spreadsheets and emails is one of the most broken workflows there is. They use all these data and share their marketing reports to their clients and potential clients to motivate them to jump on a call with them and start using their Planable.
It’s applicable to other industries as well regardless of the size of the company. You can make reports using the data from the audience that you are working on and start by sending your audience Facebook polls or sending them a simple type form they can fill out. You can collate the data and use it for your marketing strategies.
Publishing a book to get more leads works especially if you promote it yourself. Put your email signature in the book and see the number of people who click on it every single day.
People who have read Vlad’s book started recommending it to other people they know. The book presented the benefits of collaborating on the content and using many different platforms to create a more collaborative market. The ebook also presented solutions that you can use for your content marketing collaboration as a marketing team.
Every email we get, we put them into an email marketing flow and we ask them to jump on a call with us for them to find out more about Planable. We send people case studies on how Planable has been helping companies.
The other thing that helped them in generating the most leads right now is their Content Academy. They interviewed over 30 experts in content marketing from different industries. These people are the front line in creating content, from the ideation, editing, writing, publishing, and generating leads. The Content Academy includes seven-step videos with topics like ideation strategy, content editing, content publishing, promoting, and so on.
Vlad’s team presents it to potential clients and we give them sneak peeks of the things they can learn in the Content Academy.
He makes snippets and minute-long videos showing how it would help businesses and publishes the videos on his LinkedIn and other social media.
In content marketing, don’t be afraid to try creating content and putting yourself on camera. Get yourself out there and just start creating content. Listen to the feedback of the community and write again until you are able to make quality content.
Reach out to Vlad Calus via his LinkedIn.
Go ahead and hit me up for concerns and questions about sales. You can also reach out to me via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let me know how it works for you.
This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. Our next semester starts on November 8 and we would love to have you.
The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Come and join us. You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website.
We want you to join us for our next episodes so tune in to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to.
Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial.
On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk to content marketing leader Pam Didner about the critical role content plays in sales and the importance of collaborative sales and marketing.
Content plays a critical role in educating customers and prospects, making sales enablement a natural extension of content marketing.
Email is often our most common form of automated marketing.
Over time, with the integration of social media, social selling emerged, and it has allowed sellers to add other features to their automated marketing platforms.
Every organization automates its marketing differently, so your automation efforts will look different than those of other people around you.
Most people consider sales enablement to be related to sales training and development. If we expand it, though, we’ll recognize that there are things marketers are doing to enable sales.
Sales and marketing aren’t the same, but they complement each other.
Consider sales an additional marketing channel for your organization. With that in mind, consider the things you can do using existing marketing elements to better support your sales team.
Consider the example of a whiskey company who wanted to increase its shelf space in a specific city, so it offered to run specific paid ads on social media to drive foot traffic to the stores.
Who doesn’t appreciate more foot traffic?
This kind of effort requires sales and marketing to work together and think through some of the elements that marketing can use to support sales.
Sales and marketing people tend to lose sight of the fact that they are doing the exact same things every day.
Sales and marketing have the same business goals and they should work toward them together.
Things get complicated because their department goals are different. Sales focuses on revenue while marketing focuses on brand recognition.
Sales also has more of a short-term priority than marketing, which tends to have more of a long-term mission.
Finally, the two departments tend to have different resources and support allocations available to accomplish their tasks.
Sales and marketing can never be 100 percent fully aligned, but is it possible to find commonalities? Can we drive a joint initiative together?
In smaller environments like emerging startups, sales and marketing tend to work closely together.
In every organization, the mandate to work together must start at the top. Without direction from the leadership, the two teams will avoid working together because it’s more difficult than working separately.
It’s similar to parenting. Two kids from the same family have different personalities and different interests, but parents can lead them to work together and facilitate their relationship despite those differences.
The three critical keys to enablement are
Sales and marketing teams should try to understand those on the other side of the equation. Marketing is probably on the forefront of digital communication, and they can help sales understand how to use digital platforms well.
Have a conversation with your marketing department to learn from the things they already know.
You can connect with Pam at pamdidner.com. You can also grab a copy of her book, Global Content Marketing: How to Create Great Content, Reach More Customers, and Build a Worldwide Marketing Strategy that Works or Effective Sales Enablement: Achieve Sales Growth Through Collaborative Sales and Marketing
Her challenge is this: if you read her books and don’t find anything of value in them, schedule a call with her to let her know. She’d love to hear about your challenges and help you find solutions.
This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.
We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.
Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.
This episode is also brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.
Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.
Leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.
If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.
Today, we talk about the idea of partnership or getting the right people into a project. How am I going to get this deal? Shall I collaborate with somebody else? Should I split the commission? Should we get connected with them? The challenges of partnership, so to speak.
Here are the highlights of today’s episode:
Trying to get a bigger client or doing big things that you can’t do on your own
My BIG THINGS:
One of my big things was to do business on the side until I can do it full-time and leave my day job one day. And that became The Sales Evangelist. A couple of months from now, I am celebrating one year from my full-time software sales job.
When my podcast took off, I thought about putting a conference together and getting with like-minded folks to connect people. My next big thing is the Do Big Things Conference that is going to be launched in November. But I knew I couldn’t do it on my own.
How I overcame this challenge:
Collaboration is key.
So I collaborated with an amazing guy Travis who was introduced to me by another friend to get this event possible. On my own, I could not do it so I knew I needed to get the right people on board. Travis couldn’t do it on his own either so we came together, set the rules before the game, started working on the details, and started filming a Kickstarter video.
The idea behind the Do Big Things Conference:
To inspire people to take action and to do big things
Who are the ideal participants of this conference?
Individuals, salespeople, entrepreneurs who have ideas deep down inside but are afraid to take action.
What I learned in setting up this conference:
Join a mastermind group or connect with influences in your community that you can align with so you can bounce ideas off and help each other.
If you think partnering with someone will only reduce your commission in half, you would actually gain a lot more opportunities in return. The key is to collaborate with the right people.
Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at www.audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.