The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 4 years ago

Sean Campbell on Virtual Selling

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

More and more organizations are implementing virtual selling as they reevaluate their travel budgets, cost of sales and changing desires of buyers.

Sean Campbell, CEO of Cascade Insights, a B2B market research firm specifically focused on technology companies, sat down with us to discuss what virtual selling is and why it’s becoming increasingly common in sales.

You're listening to the BDB revenue executiveexperience, a podcast dedicated to helping the executives train their sales and marketing teamsto optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three,two, one. Welcome everyone to the B Tob Revenue Executive Experience. I'myour host, Chad Sanderson. Today we're talking about virtual selling, a hottopic many are discussing and debating. His organizations continue to reevaluate travel budget,cost of sales, changing desire of buyers. WHO WANTS TO BE FACETOFACE? WHODoesn't? To help us with this topic, we have Shawn Campbell,see you, of cascade insights, a be to be market research firm specificallyfocused on technology company. Sean, thank you very much for taking time tobe on the show today. Now, thanks for having me on. So, before we jump in, we like to start with coming an odd questiongive our audience a little bit more insight into you as an individual. Andso, if you look back over your career, can you select or finda defining moment that maybe change a trajectory of your career or gave you someinsights and share that with the audience and tell us kind of what that eventwas and what you learned from it. Yeah, that's pretty easy and Iimagine that's probably the same things going to be true for anybody else who starteda business. It's it's starting a busit, you know, it's selling. Sellingis hard no matter where you're in, whether you're selling for somebody else's businessor for your own. But like I told somebody on a different showthe other day, I said, you know, the thing you should nevergive away when you're growing from like one to ten emploise is selling. Andso many times a new person who starts a business, the first thing theywant to give away as selling. If they're one of these guys that's kindof a doer who likes doing the job of the business. And I likedoing the job of my business too, but you have to hold on tothat for a while. So for me it was starting a business. Firstone I started was in two thousand. I grew and sold that business andstarted cascade in two thousand and six, and the story from that standpoint wasabout two years ended that business. We had been doing. You know,our own selling. Personally, it was me and two other business partners andwe had good relationships with the clients that we had and things like that.But we decided that we wanted to grow our relationship with Microsoft and for abouta six to nine month window we tried some contract sales resources and it justdidn't work. And that's not to say that they don't work always, butin this case it was clear to me that this individual just really did notknow how to sell us, no matter how much they tried, and theydidn't really even want to learn Microsoft to the degree they needed to. Andthis is when Microsoft was cool. Microsoft is somewhat cool again, somewhat cool, I might add, but there is a point where they were cool.They were like the Google of two thousand and two, and no one believesme when I say that, but like, if you went there in one thousandnine hundred and ninety nine, which was my first trip there to doany kind of work for him, it they they looked kind of like agoogle if you transported them back to one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine.You know. And so at the end of the day, the reason Ibring up the story is I looked at this individual who was doing the selling. I looked at my business partners and I said I think I could tellMicrosoft by buses. Partner's lost to me that I looked at them. MyDad had been in sales for his whole life. I thought I had someof the genome, you know, and I thought I could do this.I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and it's some degreeright. I mean it is enterprise accounts selling on a massive scale, andso we did really good at it. I mean good enough to grow thefirst business eventually have enough repleny in it to sell it. But there wasa ton of stuff I learned and that was definitely kind of a defining moment, just kind of stepping up and volunteering to take on Microsoft. There area lot of people out there that, when you ask them, you know, how'd you get into sales, I very rarely hear. Well, whenI was young, playing with my fire trucks, I told myself I wantedto be an enterprise sales. There always seems to be a securitist route intoit, right, and so they're those that find it, you know,quite fascinating. Like I'm like myself. I started my career and on thedark side. Why get depends on your perspective, but I started in marketingand went into sales because I like the problem solving aspects of it. ButI was not that kid, you know, playing with the fire trucks and whoI can't wait to do enterprise sales right. So it's always it's alwaysinteresting to hear how people, you know, kind of make their ways into thatand hat and insights that they gain as they do that. So let'stalk a little bit about cascade insights. help us understand a little bit moreabout them and your role there. Yeah, so cascade insights is a firm thatdoes market research and competitive intelligence services for technology companies. That only beto be focused technology companies. I tell folks all the time we have avery narrow front door. I sometimes refer to it as a Kittie door atthat small. That's essentially that that you can fit in and if you canfit through that door, and we regularly turn down stuff. It's one ofthe more surprising things about professional services, and I hate to say this,but I think anybody listening knows it's true...

...that a lot of professional services,especially if they're kind of highend consulting. They kind of do whatever walks inthe door. Right, regardless of what the website says, and we reallymean it, we turned down the other stuff that knocks on the door.Our clients work in different industries, but our clients are only be to befocused technology companies, and so for them we do, you know, marketresearch services and competitive inntilwork. My roles on the CEO and I'm an equalcofounder, Co owner with a guy named Scott Swiger. Use The CTO andpresident, and basically day to day I focus on motivating and educating. Ithink, you know, I don't know what it's like to be CEO ofeven a hundred person company. I mean in terms that we have clients thatare pretty large, but you know, I've never been a CEO of aBayer Company Than Two thousand and twenty five people. And at the end ofthe day I think that's what a lot of CEOS find themselves doing, youknow, outside of all the other stuff that they focus on, number,orient etc. It's a lot of motivating and educating and from a day today standpoint, I manage a relationship with key accounts, I lead sales andour marketing efforts and I oversee a lot of the operational stuff like finance andlegal, and that's that's kind of the day to day and week to week. So I've got to ask. I know it wasn't on the list ofquestions I provided about just kind of done on me. I did professional servicesfor over a decade and one of the things that I saw a lot offirm struggle with was that focus. Right. So you guys are, if youlook at the website and just to listen to you talk, you guysare very focused on a very specific set of customers and even it sounds liketurning down business that doesn't fit into that. How did you I'm just curious formy own education, how did you come to that realization that that was, you know, the secrets of your success moving forward that level of focus? Well, it's interesting. It was a little bit of an up anddown thing. The first business was so hyper focused on a particular client needthat a lot of our business came from Microsoft and Intel and we had asmattering of other work. And we all know that when you open up asmall business, if you look at their PNL, they'll say like yeah,we have key account and then you realize they have to key accounts that arelike sixty percent of the revenue. Right, that's real typical for small businesses,right, and so and and if you if you don't believe that andyou're listening, just open up quick books for most small businesses when they're startingand they typically have like a couple major accounts. And so, regardless ofwhat the owners telling you, right. And so, at the end ofthe day, we were very focused in the first business and we're like,we're never doing that again. That was way too stressful to be like sohyper focus on a couple accounts. And so we got really broad when westarted cascade in the very, very beginning for year two and I traveled theworld literally, like when all these kinds of different places. We had accountsin different industry and we realize that what was happening is we were just goingto be commoditized because at the end of the day, right, unless youhave some incredible, almost patentable way of doing what you're doing in services,might like this this incredibly just boxed in way of doing it and you've writtenseven books on it or whatever, it's really hard to differentiate if you're ifyou're going to hit every industry right, because eventually the client start to sniffout the idea that you're not really focus, you just following a box. Andso we looked at and said, look, let's go back to whatwe know. We're awesome at. We are awesome at dealing with large technologycompanies and down to the mid market and we really get tech and we reallyget B to be and and let's see how much we can grow if wejust put a mode around that and say we're never leaving that castle. Andagain, you know, we have a client that's in life sciences, butthat's a be to be sasplay. That's in life sciences. Right the lineI draws like sure, our client might be in life sciences, but we'renot going to go work for Merk and ask them what doctors think? Right, if that's a pure just sitting over in farm a kind of thing,and it creates some problems, to be honest. I mean, you know, are we going to be three hundred people with this focus? Know it'sprobably too narrow, but I don't want to be three hundred people. Idon't have plans for world domination and I think as long as you know whoyou are, then it has a lot of benefits when you're in competitive scenariosbecause, frankly, somebody's looking at you and three other guys and the otherthree guys say they work in all industries and blah, blah, blah.Right, and we've all seen how that pitch goes. Right. Like,I have lots of experience across lots of industries and hence I can generalize.I work for a gold mine before I work for you, and we goin and we say we've only worked with your competitors and you, or peoplelike you that aren't even your competitor, you know which proposal is going tofloat to the top and if you do your homework on all the rest ofit, you're in a much better position to win. And so for usthat's been a really good, strong thing in the final thing is you justget smarter about the space and that's that's a lot of fun because every timeyou just learn a lot more about a certain set of problems. Well,and it's I mean it's great to see you know, you guys doing thatand do it with purpose because I, like said, I saw a lotof services companies that struggled, you know, with that, you know commoditization,because, oh no, we do it all. Well, all right, not really. You're not not as...

...good as you think you are atit. So I appreciate that insight. But we we're here today to talkabout virtual selling. So it is definitely a hot topic. It's I wasjust having drinks with another co worker and it came up last week. Butwhat I'd like to do is start with Cann Keem, our audience a definitionor context around the phrase. What do you mean when we when we sayvirtual selling? Yeah, I would say the shortest definition is how to geta PO without being there. There's a longer definition, but that's the shorterdefinition. The longer definitions probably more like this. You know, running asales process where you can take many months to do it. You got phonecalls, Proposal Presentations and even the contracting process and and all of that,or at least ninety five percent of that, and we can talk about that,like the times when it needs to be ninety five percent versus a hundredpercent is done virtually, and that's to me, is virtual selling, wherethe whole thing from the moment they said Hi and you said Hi to themoment you have a po and and potentially even all the delivery of the workout. But is just done virtually and it's so that's it's an interesting kind ofchange. I've been not not to give away my age, but I meanI remember Microsoft in one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, and I've beendoing this for a while. I remember when I first started in sales,it was all about get in front of your customers, facetoface, and andso now you hearing about everybody talking about how there's a change. Right,people don't necessarily. It seems more like it's you're really interrupting them or takingaway too much time if you show up facepace. You have to be verystrategic about when to do that. So, you know, we kind of mentionedwhen it should be ninety five verses a hundred, a hundred percent.How do you differentiate? You know, okay, we've done ninety five percent. This one needs an inface, like where's your wizr line for that?Well, there's actually two things to say about what you commented on. One, you're right. Back in the day you it was almost impossible to geta Po unless you showed up, if not once every time. Right.I mean you sold an enterprise account. You basically we're talking about one thousandnine hundred and ninety nine, two thousand and two, two thousand and fiveand like that, but you lived at the hotel next to campus. Basically, I mean they knew your name, they knew your preferences, they kneweverything, and that was the only way to really navigate that account. Itwas the only way to get referrals, it was the only way to getmind share and meeting and it was the only way to really get a PO. And Pos would even get stuck until you showed up. It'd be likeyeah, well, rewarded to you, you know, but we need ameeting with your first right. And what I've noticed is you could almost graphin my own career. I don't have this graph, otherwise a chair,but I know it's I know it'd be true. The size of the Pothat I can generate without ever showing up just gets larger and larger every year. And that's not like an ego thing. I don't mean like you know,hey, I can building two big POS. It's more just it's thechange in Byre behavior. They accept you not being there and the time wherethat extra five percent comes in is really almost dependent a little bit on theclient. But I think the risk in it is if you're used to traveling, and I went through this actually maybe five, six years ago, whereI realize I was traveling to clients who probably didn't really need to see meto open the Po and I had on the wire myself. Right. I'mlike, there's less people in this bobby then there was five years ago,and it's been harder to show up as a vendor than it was five yearsago. You know, my wife has a line I use all the time, by the way, because she's been involved in the business over the yearsdoing like a counting and finance and payroll, and she always as well. Well, you know, Sewan, you're never going to see a welcome vendorsign in the lobby, right, and she's what, she's right about that. But, but, but, there's less people in that lobby than therewas in years past and I had to kind of recognize I was even holdingon an old school method. Now I'm talking about like two thousand and ten, two thousand and nine whatever, and I needed to change but there's certainlystill sometimes where that one flight, but I'm only talking about one flight,not like living on the hotel next to campus right, kind of moves thedeal out of the pocket it's in. And I almost guarantee the person onthe other side of the table a little bit to age here, because I'mforty seven, is about my age or older. Now, I don't believein judging entirely based on age, but I do believe in paying attention towhat I see right. And I know that if I'm selling to a youngerbuyer, they absolutely don't want me to show up in the building and they'rehappy to kind of let me do it. You know, the difference between sellingto a thirty year old VP of marketing in a sixty year old VPof marketing when it comes to how much onsite time you need, is prettystark. Right. So there's a there's certain issue there, but but atthe end of the day it's it really just comes down to maybe one onemeeting that goose. Is it forward? And I would say that for midmarkets that's almost non existent. Yeah, and the one of you knows shift. It's an interesting shift and and you talk about that decompression right, becauseI lived, I mean the man one...

...of the big deals I close,I was bouncing back and forth between the East and the West Coast every week, going to site, you know, on site in the West Coast,goat of a headquarters on the east coast. And it's just like you said,they expected to, almost expect you to be there. And now Itry to. I don't know if I've closed anything in the last eighteen months. It's required me to show up and we're talking we're not talking, youknow, multimillion dollar deals, but we're not talking small ones either. There'sthis level of you know, Oh hey, I finally meet you, when Ishow up to perform some of the services for the first time, Ishake your hand for the first time. And the hardest thing for me waswhen I went to the airport and didn't have status anymore. That was Iget, that was the way I was. I was MVP. Yeah, Iwas MVP gold for a long time and you know, flying isn't thatpainful when you're that level of status and then all of a sudden you're like, okay, now I really remember now, like people hate flying at hotels andcar rental. Yeah, that's right. Okay, yeah, but to yourpoint, it's really gotten less and less and less, and I honestlythink there's a generation of sellers, and I was in it, where you'revery tempted to keep buying plane tickets instead of building a toolbox and a setof activities and routine that really allow you to be successful with virtual telling andso what. So, okay, so that's kind of a one perspective onwhat virtual selling is. What is virtual selling? Not Virtual selling is isnot doing it while you're in a drivethroom. That's probably the best way I coulddescribe it. I think there's a lot of people to think virtual sellingis easy, for it's I can be a little lack of days a goalabout the approach, or I can have a really cruddy Bluetooth headset and stillget the job built. I mean there are certain things that almost become amplified, is what I'm trying to say. Right. You know, if youwere never really good at picking up on nonverbal audio cues, you better getgood at it now, because that's three seconds of silence in the meeting whenyou can't see everybody. And I know there's video calling and we can talkabout the pros and cons of that too. But but the reality is you haveto become this incredible listener and questioner that really exceeds what you would haveto do in person, because in person you have all this other cues thatyou get to deal with, right, and so I think, I thinka lot of it is it's not. It's not setting yourself up for successright and that standpoint. And people will kind of start doing virtual selling andthey say it doesn't work, and I think it's because they're actually using kindof the old process applied to this new approach and that it ends up notworking really well. For me, it requires a different level of focus.In my experience, I like you have to really have done your homework,if you really focus on what's going on, no distractions, like if you're onthe call, you're on the call, not written an email or dealing withslack or going through the drive through or walk into the fridge, asyou know we were talking about earlier. I think it requires, at leastfrom those that I've seen and the Times that I do it, it isit is a different level of focus and and being present than I would haveseen in more facetoface situations right now exactly, and there's some tradeoffs for sure.I mean, you know, if you're facetoface and you know Canon hashis buddy, you know stacy, who's down the hall that he wants toconnect you with for a future project, that's a little faster when it's inperson because you might just walk you down to Stacy's office, but the realityis your sales process wasn't going to end there anyway. So if they introduceyou over sale and have a phone call, you know you still got to dothe rest of it regardless. And I think there's there's definitely like alike you said, there's a level of focus you have to have and it'seven some advantages, frankly. I mean I remember with a lot of inperson visits where you know you meet somebody. Let's use the Microsoft example again,right. You know you're talking to somebody that are a new product team. There's a new product they launched. I mean it launched yesterday. Thisisn't like a prep issue. You know you're being introduced to them now.If you're in person, you can't pull up the website while you're right infront of them right you can't. You can't Google reviews as a product andand of course, to your point about being focus, you have to knowhow good of a multicaster you are. Can you listen and do this stuffat the same time? But if you can, what a huge advantage.And the same thing. We taken notes right. We know, everybody who'sdone sales knows you can't be this kind of typing machine while you're in themeeting right where you're just taking really, really great typed notes or written notes, if that's what you want to go about it, because you got tomake eye contact, you got to like be connected with the person kind of, you know, nonverbally and physically and stuff like that. You're on thephone, you could take some pretty awesome notes right because you're just right there, you know, talking to him over the phone. Now put the video. You got to stare into the camera a little bit more. But eventhere, I think your ability to kind of have them say something and youeven, in line with the conversation,...

...look stuff up is great and I'veused that even from selling us in the sense of, you know, Ican very quickly say go check out our site while we're on the phone andthat always felt a little more sales the if I was in the room righthey, look at my screen, here, looks look at this, or canyou go to your computer and check out this? You know, it'sa little less of kind of in their face, I guess, in andit's a little easier to do if you're just on the phone. So Ithink there's a lot of advantages. But you have to structure the call inyour time the right way. And so when you look at you know kindof virtual selling, I mean it's not it's not new. I'm just gettingmore prevalent, I believe. But if you look at it kind of whenit started, say five seven years ago, how have you seen virtual selling changeover the last you know, five seven years, since since we weregiven the tools, whether they were good or not at the point is adifferent discussion. But since we started to get to tools like go to meetingand and video conferencing and stuff, how have you seen virtual selling evolved?Well, one thing I mentioned earlier the clients accept it now, it remindsme eerily is something that happened with our first business where we didn't have anoffice. We had a DSL line. Just to show you how long agothat way and we and that was considered fast and we had an exchange serverin one of the owner's basements. Literally, remember, this is three guys,right and so. And it worked. And I remember vividly going into meetingsas people at a Microsoft, at an Intel, seter and they pay. So where's your office? And say we don't have one. And initiallythere was this like Oh, you're not real right, right, it's likethe same thing your relatives do. Until you have employees, you don't reallyhave a business, you know, kind of thing. And so it's thatwhole that's whole thing. Yeah, you're like, no, wait a minute, now they have why is that legitimate? And so that went away. Nobody, nobody cares about that anymore. Right and and what I used totell people back then is you could pay for it. If somebody got reallydifficult. I literally say that in a nice tone of void, that youcould pay for our office. They and for a second they be like whatdo you mean? Like, well, who else is going to pay forit? You're going to pay for it. I mean, at the end ofthe day, I'm going to build it to you, not directly butindirectly. I am. So why don't we just like assume I don't needan office? And so I think the virtual selling in some ways is changedto a similar degree. They like the fact that they don't implicitly have topay for your plane ticket and they don't have to pay for you to comeout all the time and they can instructure they and the second thing is thetools. The tools have just gotten great. If you think about crms ten yearsago versus crum's now, there's a plus or really good choices, usuallytied to your industry, tied to your selling motion. You can pick somethingthat's a very tailor made for you. Scheduling tools. I don't know howmany times clients has said that calendly thing you work you use, is great, that Calundley is not the only game in town, but there's there's otherones like it. But what they're saying when they say that. And forthe listeners, if you haven't use coundy, you basically send out a link andthe link is structured by you. You say I offer thirty minute meetingslots or our meeting slots on certain days and you set up the algorithm andyou send out the link and then the person, you said, it tofix their time to meet with you. And they're similar tools like this.And and seriously, I must be five times a week somebody in an enterpriseor mid market goes and I don't know how they haven't seen these tools yet, right, if sellers are using a work but they're like that was great, that was so easy to set up a meeting. And what they're reallysaying, I think, even if they don't articulate it, is many moonsago when people met me, we sat with our Franklin copy day planners andwe look at each other and we figured out the next meeting time and thatwas efficient and I really like that. That can of course, not thinkingthis out loud, like nobody said frankly copy day planner right, the firstperson to say that on a podcast in the last seven years. But thepoint is, you know, it's hard to do it. Virtually it's emailback and forth and then by the time you get back to him, theirmeeting slop taken and the doors taken, you know, and eventually they getfrustrated with you. They don't really say they're frustrated with you, but they'relike, I'm going to work with the cello that's easier to schedule with.And what's he really mean by that? Is just his schedule lined up betterwith mine. It wasn't necessarily easier. And talently takes that all away andit becomes kind of a very asynchronous interaction and from their standpoint they cherry pickwhat they want. The same things true with things like Uber Conference. Ilove that school because it's painless. It's the same goofy thing. Just yesterdayI had two people from Intel and they get on the call in the like. This is really neat. It doesn't have a pin. This is awesome. I don't like. Okay, I mean, I know you're it,guys, convinced you as you're having a secure conversation every time and you reallyneed like a seventeen, you know, hexadecimal pin to make this thing work, but you don't. You know, you really really don't. You couldjust have a phone number and it would be fine. And and so mypoint is a lot of this stuff is just made it very, very smoothto have the call, get on the call, take the notes, scheduleall the rest of that stuff right. And I think, and I couldgo on with that, there's there's other...

...tools that I think they're really important, but at the end of the day, if you build up that little toolbox, you actually are much easier to deal with and you were back inthe day with your day planner sitting in their office and you can operate ita scale that you never could before. Yeah, without a doubt, I'mwith you. I think that calendar link and I when I'm working with clientsand teaching class and stuff, as one of the things I point out.I think it is probably one of the most impactful technologies that sales professionals havehad at their farewere have at their fingertips. It just makes things seem less andit and I'm to your point. I don't understand why more people haven'theard of it. It's not like it's like it's particularly new. I meanI guess maybe adoption of it's ramping up, but I mean there are people outthere that should be very aware of that and it just it saves mytime too. It saves the time for the customer, makes it seamless andI so I'm going to echo which on side, because I've looked at calndleeor schedule once or the hub spots got one in it like you guys.Need to find need to find one of those really quick and start using it. What other besides crm and Uber Conference off like that? Give me acouple of other tools that you're really fond of in the virtual selling environment.Well, one is a catch I oh, and that is in a class totools that similar. Again, it's like cannone. Like if you saidattach io competitors into Google, you probably end up at GTO crowd or oneof those sites that it would show you ten other options. So I justparticularly of like the catch I oh. And we use that for sending outresearch griefs, which is what we call our initial proposal. That goes outto the client and you load it up in the tool and it can showyou metrics of when they accessed it, which pages of the proposal they lookedat and how many different people have looked at it. And you know there'stools like this, but but if you really invest in them, a goodstory that happened this past year, because we've been using them for a fewyears now. Is End of the year. You know, clients reset their budgets, they get prepared for next year, talking about larger accounts typically right.That might run on a calendar and they've got a lot of kind ofstrategic planning prod and that impact you research, because a lot of times they wantresearch in advance of those meetings are after them, and so we'll tendto get a lot of activity that starts to brew up late in the yearand early in the year. And so you know, I've got, Idon't know, hundreds of proposals and attached I oh now over the years,and it's really funny. It's I love to fish and everybody's who anybody's beenfishing. You know, if you put a bunch of lines out, youknow you've gone over a school of fish because all the line starts to vibrateright. You have these magical moments sometimes where like all the lines hit andeverybody in the boats got a fish on you know that does happened all thetime, but sometimes it does. And that's where I'm going with this.Is With attached I oh, because those links aren't attachments to emails, thatthe best you could do is tell, like, if somebody open the emailagain now they kind of come live like fishing line. And so last yearin December all of a sudden, like December two, a bunch of theline started to twins. And these are proposals I said a few months beforethat. They said they need to wait on budget or whatever, and itwas this incredible dashboard of analytics right where I was able to kind of resurfacethis stuff. Based on that, that twingle on the line again, right. And if I'd said it as an attachment, I wouldn't ever known,right. And and if I had tried to wait to have the in personmeeting, I couldn't have that many in person. So stay so attached.I was one. And then I would also say something like Zoom, youknow, for video conferencing. Make that idiot proof. Too many of thevideo conferencing tools that were in the first generation were frankly horrible in terms ofhow good they were, and so you need something where the client can justkind of jump in really quick we use video for almost everything now, clientcalls, status call, sales calls and it's fantastic. And and you know, on the next breed to tools. These are beyond what we would personallyneed, but I keep track of these because we work sometimes as marketing orsales teams and for their research needs, of course, and I'll kind ofwant to know what tool set they're using. There's tools like when I came acrossthe other day, it was like the courus dot Ai, I thinkwas called, and there's these tools now that will just plug into your insidesales team and record every call they're having, let you run analytics on it.It'll do automatic transcription of every interaction and there's obviously been monitoring tools forthis kind of stuff before, but the cost of where this is going.You can have like a five person inside sales team in some startup and youcould plug one of these things in and get fantastic analytics on everything that's happeningwithout a don another one like that called Gong Dot ioh that does it.Don't yeah, you know one too. And then there's a new yeah,Balto software actually designed to give to do all of that but then also giveyou a visual queue of word choice speed if you're at making too many statementsversus questions. That one's in Beta right now, but those things are amazingto me exactly, and I think the next wave of tools for sales automationwe're kind of at the space marketing automation...

...was maybe three years ago, Ithink, where you know, marketing automation as a phrase really meant your crmPlus your newsletter tool, plus a few social cool three, four, fiveyears ago, right, that's what it meant, and then it's not thatanymore. We all know that there's like four thousand tools or five thousand.There's that guy that puts out the marketing automation landscape poster everywhere, that biginflographic right, and there's like five thousand of those things on there. Sonow you're in a state in marketing automation where you have like incredible analytics andincredible kind of ability to monitor content and sales. We haven't even seen howfar this is going to go, although it does lead to another point,which is that I think on virtual selling, the marketing your company does has,it has an outsize influence on your success to in a way that itdidn't when you were doing a lot of in person selling, and we couldget to that at some point too. Excellent, and so I if you, if you could, you know, move talked to tools of talk kindof what the definition is, why buyers are more receptive to say, butif you can give the audience three tips that you think would make them moreeffective at virtual selling. What would they be, I would think, youknow, probably the it's off right. It's tough to boil that down rightafter that many years. But if, but if I was to say forvirtue still selling in particular and to some degree selling in general, ask greatquestions. You know, ask really, really good questions is fundamentally going toset you a part from almost anybody. So many people pitch, so manypeople have statements, so many people have an ability to kind of orate reallywell. You know, they their sales process is like Shakespearean in terms oftheir ability to communicate, but in entire four minutes they never ask a goodquestion. And I and I think and I think if if you open withgood questions the client all, and notice I didn't say good answers right.There's two distinctions there. Like like, yes, have good answers. Knowyour client space, know you're industry, but initially, sometimes, frankly,if it's a brand new company to you, there's only so much you can spinup on and for and you also have to watch out for Huprius.You don't really know them that well at that point. No, matter howmuch you studied, and so a good question, though, can go alongway. The second thing is I've said for years I've I've sold more bysaying no than saying yes. And I don't mean an obnoxious no. Idon't mean a superior no. I don't mean like no, like the Fand I guy does when you're trying to negotiate your card deal. Right,I don't mean like that, but what I mean is no, I wouldn'tdo that. I would suggest this. No, I don't really understand whyyou're trying to do these two things at the same time. They don't quiteseem the lineup. Right or no, we don't do that. To thatpoint earlier, right in my own sales process, I don't know how manytimes times I in the middle of a call, I've said we don't dothat and they're drawn in. Now I don't mean it. It's mackavellian.I don't mean like I'm yeah, we really do it, to do it, but I just tell you we don't. That's not what I mean. It'slike we don't do it and they go, well, Gosh, youmust know who you are. You must and and this is true, evenif you're doing selling for somebody else right, like, like you really know whatyour company doesn't do? And I guarantee there's some sales managers out therethat are just screaming right now because they're like never, never, never,never, never write. And this happened either with my own seller doers inmy company when I'm training them, and happen the other day. We're havingthis call with Intel and I said we don't do this and we don't dothis and we don't do this, and the seller dower, said, Inever do that, and I'm like you need to start doing that. Ikeep telling you got to do that. And he's like an he's like,I know what happened that. They trusted you, right, because they haveto trust you if they're going to buy from you. You might as welltell them what you don't do. Yeah, you know, and so that's that. And the last one would be, I think, you know, forthis virtual selling, really focus on the audio and this is virtual sellingand specific like I don't know how many times I've watched somebody try to dovirtual selling through a pretty conference phone. I mean plant, you know,polycom is never made a good conference phone in my opinion, just just frankly, because that nobody likes talking to anybody's throne. And so really focus onhow your audio sounds like. Imagine you're a podcast, or would be areally good analogy. Like the kind of quality you want that podcast to soundlike. So when you crank it up to nine in your car, itsounds really buttery and it sounds really robust. Think about your calls that way,because I guarantee what will happen is people will just stay on longer,they'll enjoy talking to you, they'll feel...

...like this is a good experience andit's such a subtle thing, but it's huge. I mean, I haveno idea how much money I've spent on good quality headsets over the years,but I haven't regretted a dollar of it because clients are always like that soundsreally good, you know, and they're meanwhile talking to me on some prettypolycops. So I have but, but, but, but at least I soundgood to them. Sorry, Polycom you guys has done good work somewhere, I'm not sure where, but it's just not for us. All right, so not for us. Let's pivot here a little bit and talk aboutcascade insight. So we talked about the importance of mark you mentioned them importanceof marketing. When you do a virtual selling can you help the audience understandhow you structure those efforts inside of cascade in order to drive that new business? Yeah, so, so we have, like a lot of consulting firms,we have, you know, some usually a principle of the firm,me in this case, leading sales. And then, if you're doing itright, you also have seller doers. Right, you take some of yourpeople who are doing and you train them to be seller doers and at themoment two of our folks are analysts, have been kind of for about ayear now kind of being led through kind of on the job training at howto do it, and I actually just told them the other day they kindof graduated in at least it's stage one. And from that standpoint and and therethat'll take a while to get done right because you're taken a doer andtrying to convert selling. On the marketing side, I've got two marketing peoplethat reports to me full time and that's a real difference, I think,for a firm of our size. You know, we've got about a dozenemployees and got two full time marketers, but it's been huge because we've heardtime and time again from clients that we hit above our weight marketing wise.They love our site, they love the clarity of it, they love thecontent we produced, that it's on message, that it's the kind of things theywant to hear, and we're extremely focused on all aspects of good marketing, you know, whether it's appropriate use of advised for be tob for ourkind of audience, whether it's Seo, the kind of content we produced,our content calendar. We spend a lot of time thinking is that. Isthe website a perfect example of what we'd want to pitch deck to look likefor us, which is the funny thing. I sell have clients to this daythat will be like, send me Your Piss deck. I'm like,you know, that's the website right, like why, why would I haveanything other than the website? And they always laugh, but I said Ibecause they're like yeah, it's kind of silly. Why would I want tokeep for right, which links should I go look at and and so,and a good example of where that can be helpful and virtual selling is Iwe were we've been working with citrics for a while, but they wanted toupsize this one project of ours and they knew that one of these VP's wasgoing to have to sign off on it, and they literally told me this.They said, Hey, we took your proposal into the VP, youknow, this upsize version of the project that we wanted to move to,and the VP'd never met you, but we had them look at your websiteand after about five minutes that these are the guys I want to hire now. I don't normally get that kind of clarity because, as if anybody's readstuff like the CEEB reports and stuff on be toob sales process, you knowthere's somewhere between five to six people involved in every deal. Virtually. Youwon't maybe meet all of them. You might not have ever met all ofthem, even if it was in person for that matter. But that websiteand really good marketing becomes this amazing afterburner on your virtual selling effort, right, right, because all those other people then they kind of sell themselves andgrow towards you. You still need to sell, but I I think it'sjust massive. And then you also talk about the buyers journey changes, whicha lot of people know about. You know the depending on your industry,fifty to ninety percent of the sales cycle is is done before that you evenheard from them. You just have to get really savvy with marketing and Ithink it's also something as a final thought on it. It can scale upor down is needed. Right. So I'm not saying you start off withall of it like if you're more of a solopreneur. I was talking toa guy who's one person business and he looked that we were doing. He'slike, I can't do all that and like you don't start with all ofthat. You don't have to start with a podcast called be to be revealed. You don't have to start with a big website, you don't have tostart with three or four articles a month and studies. You just start witha clean site that is the best example of the same pitch you would havegiven person and you nail it right and and from that foundation you build therest of it. Yeah, the marketing portion of it is becoming ever,ever more critical these days. I cree one hundred percent. But when youguys are starting to plan for two thousand and eighteen, right, you're leadingthe team into a two thousand and eighteen. What's the strategic business objective as youguys head into head into the New Year? I want to keep growingthe list of clients we have. You know, we're in a space wherethis little funny side marketing story related to that is my web team, whoI loves right. Just love this group that we've worked with four years thatit's called the cursner group. It's led...

...by woman named Aaron Curser and shedoes a great job. But one of the things your team does is onour what we do page, we have all our client logos and every timeshe sends me a version of the page for a new edit while we workon it, she drops it down to four logos because she hates the factthat that client logo block is so big. And I I say every time Italk to a client though and I walk on through the site there theydo a full stop on the client logo block because we're focused on one industry. So from my standpoint I want to keep growing there in the number ofclients. If we're talking about sales objectives, on a marketing objective standpoint, there'salways things to learn. They're one of the biggest things I think we'refocused on on marketing is the transition from organic to paid, because, evenif you're doing awesome stuff, and you may know this from running a show, right, the difference between three to four years ago and your ability toget organic traction with content versus now, it's night and day. I meanthey're you know, for anybody doing it at scale, there's got to besome kind of paid component to it, and that's kind of on my mindthis year in terms of things I'd like to get a lot smarter about.I mean, we're doing some of it now, but it's a it's somethingI like to do a lot more of and we've had some really, reallygood success there, because there's some really cool things you can do with paidretargeting campaigns and all kinds of stuff if you do it right. So that'stwo thousand and eighteen and is there. I asked us again. I'm kindof a little off track now, but you've picked my interests because you're right, I run this podcast. So are there things that you have seen fromthe paid that are more effective than others or places, especially, you know, I mean you guys are specifically targeting be to be tech companies, buthave you seen things that are more effective? You mentioned retargeting. We talked toTim Matthews, who's the VP of marketing for coming called IMPERVA, andhe was talking about pre targeting the text, almost getting the point where you canalmost get ahead of of people. I'm just kind of curious. Whathave you seen in the paid side that's that's really impressed you or worked ormade you believe that that shift has been beneficial? Yeah, well, it'sbeen beneficial just because I've noticed the impact on our content numbers just when Ido it. You know we did it. Here's a good example. We geta what I thought was a really good interview with the Guy Ryan singleon net neutrality and it's the latest episode on the show be to be revealedand I you know, we have our normal ways of promoting. It's justlike everybody does. I spend a hundred dollars on a twitter at that onepost I put out got three hundred likes for a hundred bucks. You know, I like to say all of our post get three hundred likes. Theydon't. So at the end of the day, right, some of thattargeting works really well and the retargeting stuff. A good example, therefore, apodcast one, for example. I got this tip from somebody else ifwe did the podcast mastermind group and facebook. I wish I could remember the guy'sname, but I'd attribute to him, but I just don't. But hehad a walk through video of putting facebook retargeting on your site, andso you just target visitors to your site with podcast adds on facebook and it'sbeen really successful for a be Tob podcast because you know, if you thinkabout it, people in business, when they're on facebook, that's probably alittle more of their free time. They're much more likely perhaps the kind ofgrab a podcast that if there are two o'clock in the middle of a conferenceroom beating with somebody else, right, because one of most people do apodcast, they listen to the first episode or two right or check it out, and so you hit him at a time where they're more likely to dothat. They're on the couch scrolling through pictures of friends and all of thesudden this ad comes up and like yeah, it's a business podcast, but Iyeah, I might like that right. So the retargeting STU's really big linkedinAD. I interviewed a guy on Linkedin ads will go live in acouple months and you know, he gave credence to what I noticed. It'sa very expensive way to fly on Linkedin ads and I think that I'll change. But right now, while we dabble in Linkedin, we've been a lotmore effective on facebook content that's more culture brand focused or podcast focus, becauseit's a little lighter in a way. You know, it's not like,you know, related directly to the research we do a hundred percent right.And then for Google ad words, we've been spending a lot on more likereally targeted stuff to the research we do, and so that's that's where we've gottena lot of uplift. And I use twitter occasionally. But but here'sthe thing. Everybody that I've interviewed on my show, at least about marketing, I've kind of for my own edification a bit, like you've mentioned afew times here in this this interview, I asked him like so, whatabout organic and Paine? And everybody I talked to this year, every marketingleader, PR leader, whatever, is like, yeah, you got togo spend. It's just the way the games played. Now that's how theseguys are optimizing the platform. So I I think the idea of awesome contentbrings blocks of byball all is less true than before and you just got toget real about it. Right, right, excellent, all right. So let'schange direction a little bit here. We ask all of our guests kindof two standard questions towards the end of...

...each interview. The first is simply, as a CEO, as a revenue executive in sales parlance, that makesyou a target or a prospect. I would love for you to help ouraudience understand when someone you don't know is trying to get in front of you, believes they have a solution or something that that will help solve a problemfor you, what's the best way to capture your attention and build credibility?Well, I wouldn't do what this guy did the other day. It wasso bad that I actually like started actually laying it out word for word andflak, which is what we use for internal communications, so my teleguers couldsee how bad it was. And and it's short by the way, butit was like he got on and said something doesn't really matter. It washis basic introductory statement about the company and I always say, what's this regarding, because this first statement sometimes you're so vague, like you don't really know. So I say what's this regarding, and he literally said that's great,and then he said something. I said what's this regarding, and he saidagain, that's great. Admit I lost it. I finally kind of brokeout and I said, I said, you know what I just said?Any any? Almost started to say that's great again. You can just picturehim looking at this script going I'm supposed to say, but that just seemswrong, unlike every level to say that back to this man. And soI finally got him to recognize we weren't even remotely a target for his slit. I mean it didn't matter what value prop you had, we weren't evenremotely in his universe. Right, which it was fine and he got it. And so what I would say works for me is B direct, openthe call, ask me if it's a good time and mean it. There'sa woman, Sharon drew Morgan, who's wrote up some really good stuff overthe year. She's not as active in writing as she was once was andshe used to mention that in her book sales on the line. It wasa book for telemarketers back in the s. But it's still actually an interesting reasonfrom historical standpoint. But in the beginning she said just ask if it'sa good time. Like be direct, you know, don't do this likefuzzy weirdness at the start. There I have to kind of guess what you'retalking about. I mean, that's not going to help you. And thendon't badge or educate. Educate me right. And, like I said, it'sjust asked a good question. Even that'll full stop me and I'll belike so, what was asking a supposed to just badgering me right, tokind of stay on the line. Right. It's like they run it like it'sa game of how long they stay on matters, and we both knowthat's not the case. Right, you can. You can close deals ina formnute phone call. I mean, not really that. You can moveit to the next stage. And and so that's probably the biggest thing,right. That is those two things, I mean, don't bad a goodyeah, asking questions right, don't badge er, educate me and and bedirect. If you do those two things, you probably get my attentions better thanthey all yeah, we call it when we teach it to student.We teach it to clients. We call it a pattern interrupt just ask them. They direct and ask the caut it a bad time because most people don'ttake the time to do that. So it literally catch makes them kind ofstutter step. Well, well, and and on that. Yeah, andon that point really quick. Just sorry about the eruption, but Sharon drewMorgan ties it back to NLP, which I don't really believe a lot ofthe NLP stuff, but but there's a point of it. Exactly the samething. It's this kind of targeted interruption, right, that kind of unlocks theirbrain and they don't go to the road kind of process they have fordealing with you. And to your point, you can use that in a lotof places. You don't have to just use it at the start ofthe call it really good technique. Right, excellent. All right. So lastquestion. We call it our acceleration inside. If there's one thing youcould tell sales or marketing professionals, one piece of advice that if you gavethem today and they actually paid attention to an internalize that that you believe wouldhelp them hit their targets to be better tomorrow. What would it be,and why be brave enough to say no. Seriously, just just say no alittle more no. It isn't a good time to talk because I'm notgoing to be like really spun up on you by that point in time.You Know No. I don't want to stuff that in this proposal because it'snot in your best interests. You Know No. We don't have to scaleto that budget number because a smaller project would actually suffice to meet your needs. If they trust you to say no, you you're going to be way betteroff for the long run, especially if you're selling large accounts. We'regoing to have a relationship for many years. That's a much better place to start. So just say no more often. Yeah, there's no more powerful wordthere. It is the most powerful word in sales and I've told thatto my teams for years. It creates authenticity, helps build trust. Butyou don't see a lot of sales are up to it, because I allget so flustered about all I got hit the quota and they're not thinking aboutthe customer. They're thinking about their number rather than what's best. act likea run for the business. Excellent will, Sean. I can't thank you enoughfor being on the show today. If a listener wants to talk toyou more about the things that we've talked about today, what's the best wayto get in contact? They can just...

...email me. My email sewn seaand at cascade insightscom and that's on the site to if you go, takea look at the contact of stage and obviously, if they want to checkout be to be revealed as another podcast, they could. They could listen tothat for a while to excellent. All right, everyone that does itfor this episode, please check us out at be Tob Rev exactcom. Showthe episode of Friends, family, Co workers and if you like what youhear, does favorite writers review on Itunes? Would do pay attention to that.Until next time, we value prime solutions. With you all nothing butthe greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. Toensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes oryour favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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