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For this episode of Ecoffee with experts, Matt Fraser hosted Dave Meyer, Founder of Bizzy Web. Dave talks about some effective inbound marketing strategies that produce results. Dave also discusses how to align the sales and marketing teams for better business outcomes. Watch now for some deep insights.
CRM is a great solution. If you’re ignoring your sales team as a marketer, or if you’re ignoring your marketing team as a salesperson, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity to just crush it.
Thanks for having me, Matt. This is going to be really fun.
In the olden days in the nineties when training up and moving through. All of us Gen-Xers as a generation seemed like our biggest thing is we’re the translation generation. So, we bridge the gap between millennials, Gen Z, and boomers. And we’re kind of the ones that can help you reset your router and can still talk, all of the speaking and stuff like that. I kind of fit that role, I started in communications and marketing and really was internal communications, public relations, and print journalism at my local university. When I started, I looked around for places and worked for a couple of PR firms. I worked for an agency that did both Coca-Cola and Jim Beam. So, our back room was stocked well full of a good evening wherever we went and it was tremendous and it was super fun. But I learned quickly that the media relations side probably wasn’t for me and I was more focused on relationships, cold calling for press coverage, and getting a number of inches or column inches worth of publicity on a DIY showdown where you hammered in nails and things in order to get favorable coverage. It just wasn’t my thing and I got into internal and then that kind of led over to the Web in 97 because I was working for a state agency and they wanted me to build them a website because I was one of those young kids that could handle all this web stuff. And so, of course, I took the reins and the rest is kind of history because then I just fell in love with marketing and technology and tools that can help people scale as much as possible using as little input or technology as possible.
Yes and that’s really why I love working and doing what I do because as the owner of an agency, I help a couple of hundred clients to put food on the plates of not only them, but all of their employees, and the same thing with my busy web. My agency has 23 employees. And I’m responsible for those folks. Getting a chance to help companies scale and grow and then get paid to do it. What an amazing thing.
Yes, and it’s fun because we fill that role as agencies and companies that they probably couldn’t afford otherwise. They’d never be able to afford the 23 people that I have, that are experts in their particular fields. And for us, we work in manufacturing and B2B services. So, for those folks, we can actually drive for about the cost of a hire like one person. Instead of hiring that one person, they can bring on our agency and we do the content, we do the emails, we do the follow-ups, we do the inbound, we know their website, and it’s all just kind of hands-off. We need somebody to talk to and work with. But once we have that and once, we forge that connection, we are their best friends because we’re responsible for driving revenue.
For our clients, one of the first things that I do when we have our first conversation is sit down and we talk about, how is the revenue flow working in your business, what are your sales looking like, what you do, how many leads, how many visits are you receiving in order to work that and how many of those leads are serviced by sales teams that are just smiling and dialing or attending trade shows or whatever? And those obviously are going to stay the same. But how can we feed those leads or feed those sales teams better and give them more clickable staff to give them more intelligence about what they know about people that they’re talking to and or those leads and connections? It’s easy for B2C where you have a product that you sell, for B2B it’s more of a relationship. It’s more about how many high-quality leads you need to bring in, in order to hit the sales goals or the growth goals that you have. So, it’s simple as working the math and saying, well we need 5000 new visits to the website to get us 500 leads to get us 50 qualified leads that are sales viable. And so that’s some of the backhands are the back of the napkin math that we work on. But the other thing that a lot of company’s discount, especially when they’re talking about marketing or inbound, is if you just have a website and you don’t really look at it, you’re really throwing the money away because websites should be proactively encouraging people and getting them more excited to talk to someone. Typical B2B conversation includes more than 80 clicks before they’ll ever click the contact us form or call a company. If I don’t have enough inside of those 80 clicks to reassure someone that I’m the solution for them, know by the time they do want to call the sales team if in the high unlikelihood they do get a call, they’re like, well, I don’t even get you. But if I can have a conversation from the beginning and say, here’s everything that you need as a buyer to be successful inside of what we do for you, then it’s an easy conversation. That’s kind of what inbound is all about.
I think for the high touch and high trust businesses, it’s especially important. And by high touch, high trust, if you have a considered sales process, if you need to do a lot of research in order to make the buying decision, then it’s absolutely essential that you have backup content to help you make your case and by the way, the biggest thing that inbound probably did aside from kind of changing the lexicon about how the lead flows were, the biggest thing that they probably did is they switched the focus from treating marketing like a megaphone where you’re just trying to shout it as many people as possible to treat it like a conversation where you’re trying to engage as many people as possible and really draw them into a useful and helpful conversation. The worst thing that any business can do is to put up a website and just say, we’ve been in business for 25 years and it’s family owned and all that, without talking anything about the problems that they solve for their customers.
We need to include what’s in it for our customers and how we can help them to be successful. That comes from listening, so that’s really where the best conversations are. As I mentioned before, in B2C marketing, you can have a fantastic sales campaign or an advertising campaign that goes to a really smart landing page that guides people and gives them all the information they need. You can do the research, you can click and you can buy and you are done. With B2B, it’s much more relationship driven. And that relationship and that conversation can be built much easier using a tool in my case HubSpot, but with any sales automation software to really turn a sales conversation or a click into like a choose your own adventure program. Like, remember those books, go to page 134 to see this…
I’m trying to say, does it hurt here or does it hurt there? It’s almost more like an ophthalmologist, you’re switching through, is this what you need, or is this what you need? And then you let people vote with their fingers, with their clicks, and simply give them more of what they need. You have to think about it a lot more at the outset, and that’s why having a professional to help you with inbound is important. But once you can drive and build a real relationship that feels conversational before they ever have a conversation with a salesperson is pretty dang powerful.
Well, the other thing that I do is I’m a speaker for Google, as you mentioned before, Matt. And without content, there’s no matchmaking in search. Google’s job is to be the grand matchmaker between what people want and how they’re going to get that information. So, search engine optimization or SEO is all about having enough content that you can prove to Google and to your eventual visitor that you are a resource that’s worthy of their attention and if you have content on your website that fills all of the stages of your buyer’s journey from consideration to awareness to purchase. There are different questions that you ask at each of those levels. If you can answer all of those questions and give Google and that person enough content that they know that you are the professional or that you are the solution for them. That’s where the magic happens.
For sure and one of the first insights, of course, is that really marketing funnels are a little outdated as Lexicon now because what does a funnel do? You dump as much crap on the top as many leads in the top as possible and then out plop something that disappears and is never to be seen again. So, inside of marketing, we want to keep re-engaging people and engaging them in conversation. So, I like to use the idea of the flywheel as an engagement process and then you go from attract, which marketers are mostly good at and they know about to engagement, which is having those conversations, doing the choose your own adventure stuff to give them more of what they’re looking for, to delight. How did we do? Can we give you more? What else do you need? Or would you mind recommending us? That can be incredibly powerful. That’s kind of my first answer. But the second thing is that as long as you think about the different ways that your customer is deciding to work with you, put that in buckets of some sort and then identify content that directly matches what they’re looking for. Not from me version, as a business like “here’s why we do this; we are the thing.” Rather it should be, here’s what we can do for you, version. That’s where it gets really important and really interesting. It’s like, what questions are they asking when they’re thinking about buying? But they don’t even know if what we do is the right solution. They need to know the kind of stats, or they need to know what other options they have, and they need to know why we’re better and how I engage them at every one of those levels. By putting that all into a CRM or an automation system, I can track it and then start measuring what’s working and doing more of that and then start cutting out the stuff that just doesn’t result in any response.
Yeah. HubSpot is a great tool, don’t get me wrong. But the idea of just being as useful and as helpful to your audience as possible becomes a foregone conclusion that you want to work with them. That’s where the real magic happens. It’s like the other thing on a flywheel when people are having trouble with it, and imagine it as a carousel where you’re hopping on and off and you want to ride the horses and check it out a Merry-go-round, is a good is not, you pop in and off whenever you want. So, if I can do that and think of the ways that people need it, that’s what gets exciting for our customers because it starts feeling like a consultative conversation instead of a gross sales pitch. For instance, if we’re at a cocktail party and I corner you and I talk about my pet project like, “I went to Mazatlan last week and they have coconuts and they do the stuff” or whatever. If I’m doing that and I’m just boring you to tears by talking about me, me, and me, that’s an entirely different conversation than someone that asks smart questions and works at getting you working, chatting, and giving you what they’re looking for.
I’ll be delighted. So, the big thing and if you remember the Glengarry Glen Ross movie, coffees for closers, all that stuff and you know, people complaining, “oh, the leads suck and I hate the leads blah, blah, blah”. Your sales team is telling you that all the time and what’s marketing’s response to that? Well, “salespeople are just lazy, they don’t pick up the leads, I give them brilliant leads. I got 95,000 people that visited my website last month”. Half of them were crap and the sales team is right but we don’t hear each other as much as we should. So, this marketing idea is that sales and marketing really need to be one department. We’re all on the same team, we’re on team revenue.
If you’re not working towards revenue, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Your sales team is in front of the people that you’re trying to reach every day. If they’re listening and if they can tell you, you know, half of the people that I talk to, their biggest concern or their biggest pain point is X. If a marketer can write something that answers that pain point and gives that to the sales team, it’s just super, super easy to get that in front of the right people and to have that person feel heard.
Now we’re talking about the fun stuff. This is half of the conversations I have with business owners, by the way. They’re like, “I don’t get the whole CRM thing”. Or, I ask a sales team, how do you guys get leads right now or how are you keeping track of it? They are like, “well, I have post-it notes in an Excel spreadsheet”. So, the cool thing as you alluded to, Matt, about CRM is that it’s become ubiquitous and very easy, so there are very good tools that are available for not a ton of money anymore, like HubSpot stance free. It’s hard to be free when you’re talking real stuff, right? I can send emails, I can track every email that I send, and I can keep all of my leads in a bucket and make sure that I’m following up with them across my entire sales team for free. So, if you’re not doing that, your price is not an issue anymore by the way salesforce and keep an in all the other big ones all have freemium versions as well. So, if you don’t like HubSpot, that’s completely cool. But you don’t have an excuse to say it’s too expensive. The next thing that comes in with CRM is when people think it’s too complicated or that it’s cruddy or it’s just hard to use. Well, that was true ten years ago, but right now I can scan every business card that I get at a show as soon as we’re back into in-person full-time. I can go and the HubSpot app lets me scan all of my business cards. It does OCR recognition and it puts all of those contacts in and it lets me do a one-click connection with people on LinkedIn so that I can stay up to date and I can give them more interesting information. Every single email that I send automatically hooves up every conversation that I have. So, if I go away on vacation, my co-seller or the other person in my sales team can pick up that conversation or if they talk to someone else at the front desk of my business, I know exactly what those conversations were. I don’t have to call Bob or Bill or Mary. I can just see from the record that you were talking about X, Y, and Z products. We can absolutely help you with that and here are the three things that you need to know. All of those tools are super easy to use now and even the paid versions of HubSpot, which in an order bump up in different sizes, you have the free versions all branded, powered by HubSpot at the bottom of every email. The $25 a month version is completely branded for you, but it’s just limited to some automation and then once you get to the point where you need a paid version, it’s literally your decision would be either I’m going to hire a sales assistant or I’m going to pay for the pro version and pay a third of what I would have for the person.
It’s the easiest conversation.
It works smarter, not harder, right?
Oh, gosh. Yeah.
Yep. It’s easy to keep track of every interaction, it’s easy to score and to give different weights to different things like visiting websites may be worth one point, filling out forms worth five points, responding to an email worth one point, actually clicking on and going to the landing page is probably worth three points and setting an appointment, going to the appointment link and booking a time to chat is probably worth ten points. For whatever over seven points, the sales team needs to call that person within the hour. And you also mentioned MQLs and SQLs, the job of marketing is to generate MQLs or marketing qualified leads. What is that? It’s a visit or a click. It’s people that have responded and interacted with your website somehow. What happens from there is either more back and forth via the Choose Your Own Adventure kind of stuff that I was talking about before via sales and marketing automation or a lead gets picked up because it gets to a certain lead score and then the sales team looks at it and says, “Is this person actually real”? and that’s a sales-qualified lead. At that point, the sales team needs to give them a call and then the cool part is where this marketing thing comes back into play, marketing is working on building the best MQLs as possible. Sales are working on getting the SQL verified and telling marketing, these are great leads or these aren’t great leads and here’s why and then we’re working together and brainstorming to say, Okay, well, what else do they need? What are those pain points that your prospects are asking about? Or What are the biggest concerns that they have about working with us? Let’s figure out a way to talk about it and maybe let’s get that into a sales sequence so we’ll tell them right away, you might be concerned that our product is too expensive. Here’s where we save you money and we can be more helpful in inserting products or inserting things that we can do for you here. You know, we’re faster to market, we’re higher quality. You never get fired for hiring IBM, right? Whatever that is. All of that is super helpful and that only comes through concerted and considered conversation where you’re actually working with each other and using a system to tell you, if you don’t have a CRM, there’s no way you can do marketing because everybody’s just kind of shooting from the hip and winging it and that’s just gone. The best example I have, which is actually the reason why I started getting into inbound marketing through the busy web, is we were doing a bang-up job for a client, we were doing marketing, we built them a fantastic website and we were doing some advertising and they were getting like 80 leads a week out of all of our website. Now we are doing fantastic because we agreed that we only need to do 50 so we were way overshooting our lead score. Three months into the program, the owner calls me and said, I’m furious. This is awful, I hate it and I’m not getting a single sale out of it. I’m waiting for money on fire. You guys are awful. I was like, wait a minute. Let’s talk about this a little bit and help me figure out what’s going on. Then I thought about it and I was like if I’m giving you 80 leads a week, what are you doing with those leads? They are like, what do you mean? I’m mailing them a brochure and nothing’s happening. That’s all they were doing, mailing them a brochure. So, you know, just keeping on with what you’ve always been doing isn’t going to work and certainly just kind of spraying and praying and or doing things that probably shouldn’t be done at all. And thinking that’s your entire sales process is a surefire way to fail.
Right. But that’s what they missed. They didn’t apply any of those strategies. That was the end of their sales process. So, like, was there some miracle that you thought was going to happen after you mailed this thing? But, yeah, so that’s the other half of the conversation and if you don’t have marketing conversations where you’re working back and forth and saying, you know, we’re sending out all these brochures and to have the marketing team say, well, wait a minute, what’s happening with those brochures? And the sales team needs to call after we send out that brochure. Or here are some things. Here’s a coupon, here’s a discount, and here’s some other thing to follow up on. You need to keep thinking about how else you can engage that person in conversation in order to get them to make the decision to buy.
Yes. Have your marketing team do ride-along with sales or it’s easier in today’s world to just listen to the calls with HubSpot. I actually record every call that I make and our marketing team listens in on those sales conversations. All they have to do is go back to the recordings and the other cool thing is the HubSpot version that I have and again, you spend more for the Pro-Level versions, whatever, but my version actually transcribes every call I make. So, if I have a specific product that I’m looking for that I’m having a conversation about, my marketing team just needs to search for the product name and they’ll get every conversation that I’ve had about that product and they can see how I’m handling the objections of people and come up with some bit of smart content to either help solve that pain point, get in front of that person earlier, or give the salesperson something to hand them when they’re concerned.
Right. So, the biggest thing that marketing wants to know is what I’m spending all this time on working. So, sales need to give people feedback or needs to get the marketing team feedback to say, it seemed like when this person called me or when I answered this thing, they know that they had downloaded this white paper, but they had no idea what we were talking about or they had a completely different idea about what we do than what we expected. Right. So you need to give your marketing team feedback to say this is how that message was actually received. Or when you sent out that last email, I got half as many calls as I normally do after we send out a big push. So, the message that you sent didn’t land with the people that we were trying to hit, or more likely it landed, but with the wrong people. I was trying to get in front of the owners and you got me in front of tacticians. You got me in front of the line people and they can’t make decisions. So, I need you to executive this up a little bit. Talk a little bit more about ROI. Talk a little bit more about whatever those key things are. Also, Personas get beat up a lot in marketing because people think that it’s kind of window dressing on what you do but you actually need to come up with a good idea of who your ideal customer is and make that as clear as possible and keep thinking about what their objections are, what what’s going to make them open their eyes a little bit wider and start nodding and smiling? And especially where do they spend their time? Are they on Facebook? Are they tweeting or are they doing the latest craze on TikTok? Where are they hanging out? And that’s where you need to as marketing, start filling out and adding content into those spaces.
I love it.
Right. And with great power comes great responsibility. So, we have to not be creepy and we have to add to the conversation as much as possible as marketers and as sellers. A lot of times people will come to me and just ask, “Hey, can I just buy a list?” Like, well, you can but as you mentioned before, a list is just a great way to piss off the most people as possible in the shortest possible time. That’s called spam. I’m in Minneapolis and the hometown of spam is Austin, Minnesota.
So digital spam is not good and all it is something that you don’t want, right? So, if I send you an email that has nothing to do with you that missed your mark, and you are not interested in this thing or this product or this service, that’s spam. The way that you solve for that is you make sure that your communication is as targeted as possible on reaching the people that you want and what they are asking for. What are their needs? What are their wants? What’s the content that they’re looking for? They just keep giving them more of what they want.
I’d say there’s a rule of thumb, but it’s different for everybody and you need to be testing and measuring to make sure that you hit it right. The one easy answer is it shouldn’t be 100% about you and it shouldn’t be 100% promotional. What I find engaging and what seems to work for most of our clients is about half of what you do should be engaging content, interesting, informative, the fun stuff, the things that when you have a conversation with someone, if it’s your mother-in-law or friends that you haven’t seen in a long time, they ask you, “hey, what do you do?” And you tell them that one thing that makes them say, “Oh, cool, I didn’t know that”. That’s engaging content. So, half of what you do should be engaging. The next 30% should be educational. And educational means presenting information that engages people or that they need to know as a part of their purchase process. Now, how much time does it take to get my solution involved? What are the actual steps to on to installing? If you’re doing B2C, what does the unboxing of that product look like or whatever? And in the final 20% can be asking people what to do or telling people what to do. The calls to action and or the self-promotional stuff. What to do next. So, again, it’s a kind of a rule of thumb, but if half of what you do is designed to collect their attention or attract them, 30% of what you do is designed to reassure them that you’re the solution that they’re looking for by educating them. And then the last 20% is just telling them, here’s how to buy. That’s a pretty solid conversation. Now, again, if we go back to our buddy at the cocktail party, if I’m spending the entire time talking about me and me, that’s bad. Likewise, if I flip it and I just sit there staring at you while you’re talking to me, and I don’t ask any questions. I don’t have any conversation. That gets creepy, too, right? So, what’s a good conversation? Well, it’s a mix.
Some talking, some listening, and some asking good questions.
I think the biggest takeaway that I want for people that are either in sales or in marketing is that you need to work together and you need to use a system. Let technology do some of that lifting for you. CRM is a great solution. If you don’t use it and if you’re ignoring your sales team as a marketer, or if you’re ignoring your marketing team as a salesperson, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity to just crush it and to really help your customers.
The easiest way to check us out is at bizzyweb.com or you can find me at Dave1Meyer on all of the major socials.
Thanks, Matt. Have a great day.
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