Sales Lead Management Radio
SLMA - Susan Finch
Interviews executives about best practices in sales and marketing, sales lead management and sales lead generation. It has been broadcast since 2009.
Creating something beyond the pool of acceptable substitutes
Oct 4 2021
Creating something beyond the pool of acceptable substitutes
This is the second part of the interview with Sean Doyle. We brought a couple of points back for context. We hope you take his points to heart regarding hiring a CMO, and the terminology used by Sales and Marketing - do they match? 4 Questions a CEO should know before hiring a CMO: You wouldn't hire your nephew out of high school to run your sales team, why do you do it to run your marketing team and campaigns? "Here's another simple litmus test to sales and marketing have a common language, but what does sales call somebody who's at the point of action, they need a proposal. They want to know what it would look like to buy your product or service. What does marketing call that person? Just ask them those questions. If they don't even call a prospect the same thing, you don't have marketing alignment. If they don't understand what marketing alignment is at all, tell them, just Google it and start the journey. ----more---- Here's a point that gets Sean fired up, "When I come into these great businesses that are doing everything well, they've, they've hired a CFO, who's a CPA and has worked at two or three companies and they get it. And they're really talented. They can do tax work, they can do audit work. They go out and they get someone to run their plant with 20 years' experience. And they get somebody to run the supply chain. That's been negotiating and navigating all the supply chain issues, really talented people. They bring in somebody to run customer service that knows the technical support. And then it comes to marketing and they say, well, you know, my nephew just graduated from, stop it. Stop. Just stop that. You would never do that with your accountant or anybody else on your executive team. Why do you hire that person? And then get frustrated and say marketing doesn't work." Here is the link to Sean's book: Shift: 19 Practical, Business-Driven Ideas for an Executive in Charge of Marketing but Not Trained for the Task Catch the episode that kicked off this conversation: Guess what - your prospect doesn‘t care about you.
Oct 4 2021
Guess what - your prospect doesn‘t care about you.
So agencies keep creating awareness and awareness and awareness. It's not helping. Our guest, Sean Doyle's firm helps companies with what has become like breathing and very obvious to some, but not too many companies. The way FitzMartin is better is the application of science. Understanding that this prospect list didn't need more awareness. They needed a reason to consider taking that step to plan. He tells a story about a firm they were helping. They needed to understand why should I maybe contemplate yet one more banker at my door? Why should I do that? So we created the whole campaign around that. They changed the voice, the group that did the, testing. They had this brilliant IP, but they kept talking about themselves. Well, guess what? Your prospect doesn't care about you. So the ad that worked so much that got that $800,000 deal, all it said is, do you want to reduce your workman's comp costs? It actually had nothing to the product has nothing to do with workman's comp the outcome of using the product is lowered workman's comp. And that was the motivator for the buyer. And they got their single largest deal because they talked about what mattered to them. ----more---- Listen to the first half of this episode, "Guess What? Your Prospect Doesn't Care About You." About Susan's guest: Sean M. Doyle is principal at FitzMartin Inc, a leading consultancy focused on sales marketing and management, sales and marketing technology services, and revenue operations for B2B companies. Sean and his team at FitzMartin are focused on long-term value creation through a sales-first, scientific approach to driving revenue. Sean knows that the split personality of marketing is inhibiting growth aspirations. Budget and impact conversations often become contentious: revenue operation marketers tout their ability to drive sales while brand builders argue for longer-term brand investments. The executive team thinks both struggle to demonstrate the near-term value. It is for this reason that Sean’s team believes a thoughtful and data-driven full-funnel marketing strategy can drive significant value. Sean’s latest book, Shift, explores 19 practical ideas, grounded in the science of behavioral change, that can transform a business’s marketing efforts and, by natural extension, its profitability.
Sep 29 2021
Training for and Playing to Our Strengths to Plow by the Competition
Do you try new skills, and if you aren't great from the start lose interest? Or, do you take it as a challenge to succeed by finding an alternative path? There is no wrong answer here, but you need to know which you do and why. VisionEdge Marketing's President, Laura Patterson gives us a great illustration as she talks about training for triathlons, despite being a weak swimmer. Here how she applies this to our continuing conversation about changing patterns to break or prevent bad habits. If you missed the first part of this conversation, you can listen here: Changing patterns vs habits, and flipping the script because we can
Sep 1 2021
Changing patterns vs habits, and flipping the script because we can
In this episode Susan and Laura cover four actionable items to change patterns, versus changing habits. What can you control? Here are four ideas to take control and gain an edge in business and life. This was taken from a recent blog post by today's guest, Laura Patterson, President, VisionEdge Marketing. She and Susan drive through this hard truth list. You either embrace it and expand your effectiveness, or freeze in place with no desire to change your approach. If that's you, you can now choose to mix it up, or be left behind. ----more---- "The greatest teacher, failure is." - Yoda Be Proactive. Participants register for a race. In triathlons, the registration list and course are published in advance of race day. This allows competitors to research the race and the performance of other participants. We can also read about the course from previous race participants. Most competitors check out the course prior to the race. The pre-race research provides an opportunity to be proactive rather than reactive on race day. It’s vital for business leaders to make conducting research a habit. (Read the rest in the post.)Plan to Win. Two contemporaries from the 20th century offer good advice when it comes to planning. “Plans are nothing, planning is everything” attributed to Dwight Eisenhower, and “failing to plan is planning to fail” attributed to Winston Churchill. It’s easy for business leaders to get sucked into the vortex of the day-to-day. Lack of strategy and a plan is the equivalent of ‘winging it’. If you don’t currently have a cadence for business strategy and planning, now is the time to create one. Start by analyzing current performance and identifying why things play out the way they do. This provides insight into your current patterns and an opportunity to analyze which ones are working, which ones aren’t and what adjustments are needed. (Read the rest in the post.)Work the Scenarios. In triathlons unexpected things can happen – tires go flat, people crash, goggles can get kicked off during a swim. Scenarios help you consider possibilities and anticipate what might happen in your market and moves by your customers, competitors or partners. (Read the rest in the post.)Train and practice. Successful triathletes like most competitors train and practice off and during race season – daily – except for a few days before the race. They leverage coaches and refine processes, such as processes associated with transitions and changing flats. Serious competitors consistently look for opportunities to improve their physical performance as well as address equipment that might give them an edge. They practice and train with new equipment. Experienced racers know better than to run in new shoes or ride a new bike for the first time at a race. And they have training partners. (Read the rest in the post.)Here is the post that inspired this episode: https://visionedgemarketing.com/growing-your-business-takes-breaking-patterns/ Here is the episode Laura and Susan were talking about on Market Dominance Guys: Not Getting Trained? Train Yourself! Flip the Script by Oren Klaff goes along perfectly with this episode: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MPTXZ59/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1 Laura Patterson's book: Fast Track Your Business - Customer-Centric Accelerate https://www.amazon.com/Fast-Track-Your-Business-Customer-Centric-Accelerate-ebook/dp/B084CTKN6P ----more---- Here is the full transcript for this episode: Susan Finch (00:14): Hey everybody. Susan Finch here, your host today for Sales Lead Management Radio. And I am really excited because I'm welcoming back a friend of Funnel Radio, a friend of Funnel Media Group, Laura Patterson, from VisionEdge Marketing. Laura had her own show with us. She does her own show now, because we taught you so much, huh? And now you've got to do it on your own. But I want to first before, Laura, I get you going, what prompted this... I know this sounds super old-fashioned, folks, but she sent me an email, and it prompted me to pick up the phone and spontaneously not schedule anything and just talk to her. I know these are radical ideas, and we forget how easy it can be to get a conversation. Because now look at less than 24 hours later, we're doing this interview in this podcast. So Laura, welcome. I am so happy to have this time with you and thank you. Laura Patterson (01:12): Oh, thank you, Susan. I enjoy talking with you and I appreciate the opportunity to be back. And I hope that this conversation will be helpful to all the people who are listening. Susan Finch (01:24): Well, you've been busy, since we last have had a lot of time together. Tell me about your book first. Let's give a plug for the book. Laura Patterson (01:32): Okay. Thank you for that. In fact, the last time we talked was right after the book came out. So that's been quite a while. The book, Fast-Track Your Business: A Customer-Centric Approach to Accelerating Market Growth, has been doing great. And I'm going to say how much I appreciate the people who have taken the time to do reviews. We have had some amazing reviews. Not all of them are on Amazon. All of them are on our website, reviews on LinkedIn, reviews on the site. I just am so grateful for people who have taken the time to let us know how much they find the book to be useful. And that was its intention to give people really practical things they can do. That's one of my personal philosophies is give people something that is actionable for them. Right? Susan Finch (02:21): Right. Laura Patterson (02:22): Philosophy's great. Ideology is great. But we're all busy. We need to be able to make things better. And so we have to give people things to do that. Susan Finch (02:31): Right. And your email tactic that I've come to admire and appreciate... And I will say it and you can correct me if I'm wrong. It's a mass email that is totally personalized. And so it goes- Laura Patterson (02:46): It's a chain. Susan Finch (02:48): A lot of them go to your list. And the only reason why I know is because I have two emails that each get one. Laura Patterson (02:53): Yes. Susan Finch (02:54): Otherwise, I would've never known. Laura Patterson (02:55): It depends. Susan Finch (02:55): Right. Laura Patterson (02:56): Right. Susan Finch (02:56): Okay. It depends. Laura Patterson (02:57): So the email that I sent that prompted this conversation did not go through a list. Susan Finch (03:02): No. Laura Patterson (03:03): That was a personal email to you. Susan Finch (03:05): And those on the site too, I could tell by the top. I could tell by the greeting, but there are other ones that are not, yet they have the warm feeling that I matter, that I'm on your list feeling. And I appreciate that. Even knowing that I'm not the only one who got it, it's like, "I like being on this list. I like what you send." And it's usually, it's never asking for anything from me. It's always given me something. And you were one of the most sincere people I know- Laura Patterson (03:39): Thank you. Susan Finch (03:40): That does this, your thoughtful interaction with me and engagement on social, the way you talk about others. And it's why I've always enjoyed working with you. So I wanted to say that publicly. I endorse what you do, what VisionEdge Marketing does. I think you provide so much in the way of valuable insights and sincere championing of your clients, with no ego ever. Laura Patterson (04:09): Yeah. Well, you can't get through graduate school and have an ego. But I left that around a long, long time ago. I was talking to a colleague and he was so kind to say so. I write all of our stuff, and so if you don't like it or you do like it, it's me doing it. So you can take it up with me. I have wonderful folks who help me package it up, because that's not my area of expertise. But our content, our emails, our videos, I'm writing that. That is my heart. And I care about the people that are in our community. And I actually think of the people. I don't think of it as a list. I actually do think of it as our community. Laura Patterson (04:56): And we are selective about our community. Not just anybody. We don't just want anybody in our community. We want people that will benefit from what we have to say, and we'll share. We'll share. We want it to be an opportunity. I don't know. I've been at this a long time. You've been at this a long time, but that doesn't mean I know everything. Of course not. I'm still learning every day. And I think that's one of the things we're going to talk about. And I loved your episode that, if you're not getting what you need in the company that you're in, it's okay to take your own initiative and go learn. We should all be learning every day. Learn something. Go learn things. Susan Finch (05:37): Thank you. That was a really fun episode I did with Corey Frank from Market Dominance Guys. Corey Frank is from Uncommon Pro and from Branch 49.com. I love his energy. Since getting tangled up with Chris and Corey, I am constantly inspired and lifted up and introduced to some of the go-getters, which is what you and I were talking about surrounding ourselves with yesterday. As far as taking this initiative, I don't want this to turn into another, "Oh, the young adults today and the under-30s today do blah, blah, blah." And I didn't want to get into that. What I want to talk about though, is what we can do and make some great suggestions. Susan Finch (06:20): And your posts about the Four Patterns to Support Growth and Improve Performance, I wanted to start with that and then mix it up with some of what we know and some great ideas. I have to give a shout-out to that whole ConnectAndSell community and the offshoots, including the Oren Klaffs, Jeb Blounts, and all of those guys. Oh, my gosh. They wear me out in the best way. I am constantly being challenged to show up to things, give feedback on things and learn from my peers, from my competitors, from my associates, in different avenues and different arenas and industries. I really love how I end my day. I am lifted up every day and re-energized. Laura Patterson (07:11): That's a really important point about the people that we hang out with. The people that we hang out with, we can't choose everybody that we hang out with. We have jobs to do. But I have to say that in the 22 years plus that I've been in VisionEdge Marketing and in my entire career, which is decades, I have been really fortunate. Most of the people that I have interacted with have been inspiring, motivating, smart. I've enjoyed them and I stayed in touch with many of them, even if we're not still working together because they're cool people. And I think that's all of us need to remember that we choose the people. Maybe we don't get to choose who our parents are. We don't get to choose who our siblings are. Laura Patterson (07:57): We do have some impact on the children that we have, right? That is part of our job as parents. But the rest of it is all about choices. And that takes us to the post. But I do also want to comment on your episode. I agree. It was great energy, really good tips. And if people haven't had a chance to listen to that, when I hope they will. And if they did, I hope to go back because there were really... It was chock-full of really cool things. Laura Patterson (08:23): But that takes us to this conversation, right? We have a series of content, different types of content, and we have our regular blog like everybody else does. And we have a video series, which is really fun that Diana and I do called One Good Idea. And it's actually based on conversations we have with people where we give away one good idea. Then what we do, being the data people that we are, we look and see if there are some conversations that tend to be over and over and over again, sort of consistent themes. And we're like, "Oh. There's something we've been talking about a lot lately, probably is worthy of sharing with others. Let's see if we can take some of those suggestions and turn them into One Good Idea." Laura Patterson (09:09): So we had these One Good Idea videos, and those were fun. And then we have what I sent you yesterday. For the last few years, we've been doing this podcast series called What's Your Edge? And What's Your Edge actually came as a request from members of our community and customers. So I want to give you a little history of that so people, when they go, if they do go and listen to them, they'll understand like, "These are kind of weird." Laura Patterson (09:33): So I believe that stories and metaphors are very helpful in conveying ideas, just a personal philosophy. Not everybody maybe agrees with that. And so several people would say to me, "I really loved that story that you did on X. I really love that metaphor you used. Where is it? Where can I find that so I can share that with my team?" Well, they weren't anywhere. And so what came out of that was, "Why don't you take some of those stories and metaphors and make a podcast series?" So What's Your Edge podcasts really either leverage a story or an experience or metaphor to help get an idea across. And so yesterday's podcast, or the other most recent podcasts, because I don't know when this will come out. So it might not be yesterdays, which is on the patterns, in order to grow, you might have to break some patterns. Laura Patterson (10:28): I'm actually talking about swimming as the metaphor and that to get better at swimming, I had to break some important patterns that had become comfortable and that it was a struggle to do so. And that there are things that all of us, we all have patterns in our lives and in our businesses and the way that we do things. And recognizing that we have a pattern and then assessing whether or not it needs to change, and then what can we do to change it? It doesn't do any good to tell someone they have to change a pattern if we don't tell them some ways that we can do that. And so that was the inspiration for yesterday, the posts on patterns. Susan Finch (11:07): It's a word you're using. You're using patterns where many people would mix that up with habits. They're interchangeable to a degree, but I think the pattern usage makes it more actionable. Laura Patterson (11:23): Yes. Susan Finch (11:24): I think we see habits as a weakness, as a rut, as different things. But a pattern has to me a more positive, some way to improve, some way to change, and to embrace it, rather than looking for a way to discard something. We always talk... Because you rarely talk about good habits. Sometimes you do. Habits of highly effective people, we've heard all those. But patterns is different. To me, it's more that you're actually really digging into it and looking for what's happening. Not just, it's a blunt thing, because a pattern is more than one piece in the making. It's more than one step in the making. It's not just one thing like a habit. Laura Patterson (12:11): I agree. Susan Finch (12:11): People smoke. That's a habit. So that is the difference. And I really wanted to distinguish that word usage. Laura Patterson (12:19): Okay. You brought up smoking. I don't want to spend too much time on smoking. I don't think that's one where we want to go with this conversation, but I think you're bringing up a really good example. Smoking is a habit, but the things that trigger and where things go with smoking are patterns. Susan Finch (12:36): There we go. Laura Patterson (12:37): So if we think about it, when you start analyzing, so we're back to data. This is all really going back to data and analytics and getting insight. And you say, "Aha. When I go out and I'm in a bar and I'm drinking, I tend to smoke." There is a pattern there, right? And so now we're looking at that pattern and we're thinking, "Okay. If I really want to change the habit of smoking, what are some patterns that I need to change potentially or break that will enable me to address the habit?" Does that make sense? Susan Finch (13:15): It does. And it also... We're going to get into this. It is about a plan because maybe I still want to go to bars and I still want to go out, but maybe I'm going to be more aware. Laura Patterson (13:27): Yes. Susan Finch (13:28): And for the ultimate goal, just that last thing, I'm going to shift it and not do that. And instead, do this. Laura Patterson (13:36): Yes. Susan Finch (13:36): And part of it's still great. And part of it's still fun. Laura Patterson (13:39): Exactly. Susan Finch (13:40): But it's that last fork in the road to do good, to not do good, to do positive, to do negative. Where am I going to choose to branch off and make that next choice? Laura Patterson (13:54): So back to data again, the answer of my fallback position, because that's where I'm comfortable. Susan Finch (14:00): That's what you do. Laura Patterson (14:01): And that's what I do and that's where I'm comfortable. And the analysis of data, the purpose of data, and the analysis of data is to get an insight, an actionable insight, that will allow you to make a decision, right? So that's really what we want to empower people to do with patterns is to be able to make a decision and you may choose A over B. We're not evaluating your decision. It's just that you now have the insight that "Oh. This is when this happens, this happens," right? You're beginning to see that. And now you can make better or different decisions. And to your point, choices, but still a decision, right? Laura Patterson (14:42): So understanding what are the patterns and how they affect what you're doing, whether that's a pattern that you're doing in marketing, a pattern that you're doing in sales and the way that you interact with customers or prospects, or a pattern on the way that you lead your company and interact with your employees, or whatever those patterns might be. Then if you don't have the data and analyze those patterns, then you won't be able to really understand how to make the changes. Even though you might recognize something like, "Smoking's not good for me." You don't know how to necessarily do anything about it. Just being told, 'Stop smoking," probably isn't going to be very helpful. Susan Finch (15:31): Right. So you in your recent posts, and I like the snack size of your podcast. We have eight to 10 minutes and it's a nice size. It's like, "Oh. I'm between meetings, I can do this. I can take that one. I can listen to that." Laura Patterson (15:46): Yes. Susan Finch (15:47): And so I want to get back through to these four patterns of support steps, and tackle each one to give everybody an actionable takeaway from here that let's start looking at these things, guys, what can you do? What can you control? Rather than waiting for somebody to do it for you, to hand you the playbook, to say, "I need you to do these five things right now." And so many times people don't even question. It's like, "Okay. I got to do that," or, "Forget it. I don't want to do it." Let's talk about some of the reasoning behind it. And we're going to start with each of these four items. I'm going to toss the ball to you. The first one you list is Being Proactive. Laura Patterson (16:25): Yes. So this plays off your previous episode or the episode we were talking about. We have to take ownership. We have to own our patterns, so we have to own our choices. And to do that, we have to be proactive. I mentioned to you, and I've told you this before, and we're from a similar era. So what I'm about to say probably will resonate with you. It may not resonate with many of your younger listeners, right? Susan Finch (16:55): Yep. Okay. Laura Patterson (16:56): Right. But that's okay. If it doesn't, that's okay. So I grew up in the old saying... You will know what this means. They may not. From the other side of the tracks, right? And my parents were blue-collar workers. They both worked. My mother was a nurse. She worked nights and weekends. My father went to a job. We had a single car. So just to give people some context of what life was like, and they came from hard times. My parents did not have easy lives, but they were very, very grateful for what they did have. They were very, very proud of the fact that they could put food on the table every single day, because that wasn't always true from where they came from. So just giving listeners context. Laura Patterson (17:41): So my parents had five mantras, and this is going to tie into these patterns, that they would use with their children, me and my siblings. One is, life is hard. And, of course, that came from their context. Life is hard. And their lives were hard. Two, life is not fair. Three, nothing is free. Four, you're not entitled to anything. And five, you're not special. This was their way of managing, their way. Laura Patterson (18:15): Now some younger listeners might be thinking, "Oh, my God. How horrible, how harsh, how terrible, how mean." Maybe, I'm not going to judge that. That's where they... But what I think they were really trying to do is remind us that no one's going to give you anything. You're going to have to take initiative. You are responsible. You must be in charge. You must be in control of what happens. Nothing is going to be brought to you on a silver platter and handed to you, was their message in these five things. And it's not going to be fair. Some people are going to get things that you don't get. This is just the way life. Get on with it. Go do what you need to do. It was really about that. Laura Patterson (19:01): And so back to the post, that was what drove that be proactive. We have to take ownership and the initiative if we want something to change if we want to change a pattern. It's not going to change if we don't put the work in. That's where the swimming metaphor comes in. If I didn't put the work in, and it was really, really hard, I was going to continue to revert to the pattern that I was most comfortable with, but that would not get me the result that I wanted. So if you want a different result, more than likely, you're going to have to do something different. And only we, only we can make that happen. Do something different. And we need to be proactive about it. Did I answer that question? Susan Finch (19:43): Oh, you did. That was perfect to cover that. Yes, we are from a similar background. I was not on the wrong side of the tracks. I was on the suburbia. My dad worked. He put food on the table for six of us. My mom stayed home and it was tight. And we had hand-me-downs. We had thrift stores. We did what we could. We had really weird food sometimes. And it was very... I mean pancakes and eggs were dinner as well, because that's what we could afford. Things mixed in Campbell's soup and jello, that's where most of our recipes came from. Laura Patterson (20:23): Yes, exactly. Susan Finch (20:25): And- Laura Patterson (20:26): Totally get that. But at the same time that we grew up with that... It sounds like we had a similar experience. We were being encouraged- Susan Finch (20:37): Oh, gosh. Yes. Laura Patterson (20:37): To do better. Do better, right? You not only to do better and to excel, but what can you do to do better? Which was really the second pattern, Plan to win. Susan Finch (20:50): Yes. Laura Patterson (20:50): Right? It's okay to fail. Was it Yoda in one of the Star Wars movies that said something about failure being for learning or something like. Go look that up. You got to get that quote right. I think it was a Yoda quote. Any way that we... Failure is where we learn. So it's perfectly okay. And we need to encourage people to fail and not always have a safety net, because if we always have a safety net and we never experienced failure, that's a lost opportunity. Susan Finch (21:22): I grew up with five older siblings, by quite a few years. So we range in age. There's a 15-year difference between me and my eldest brother, and eight years with my youngest brother. And so I had many- Laura Patterson (21:36): They wanted a girl. Susan Finch (21:37): They really did. I have one sister, but she's older. The interesting thing though is not only plan to win, yes, but I was also raised by them because my parents did their best and it was always tight and we did not... And they were older by the time I came along, it was never burdening our parents with the mess you create. Laura Patterson (22:04): Exactly. Susan Finch (22:04): And when I did mess up, my parents never knew about it, because I had to clean up my own messes without help from anybody. Get myself out of jams. Figure it out and protect the parents from the pain that some of my bad decisions resulted in. So I always was taught to take personal responsibility for every action or inaction that I made the decision to do or not do. Laura Patterson (22:36): Yes. And I think that is an important message about being back to owning it. Have personal responsibility. Solve the problem. Don't create a problem. But the second pattern really is about planning to win. And this is a business message. Yes, we all need to plan to win personally, whatever that looks like. But since this post is really for people in business and our market is B2B. This is his need to plan to win. That doesn't mean you won't fail along the way. It's okay. But plan to win. And what does that look like? And think about all the various scenarios that might happen, that might thwart your opportunity to win. Susan Finch (23:17): This has been Susan Finch with Sales Lead Management Radio. And we took this in so many directions, we're going to be splitting this into two episodes. So don't miss the second half of my interview with Laura Patterson, where we're going to continue our conversation about the four ways to break and shake up your patterns. You're going to want to hear the conclusion. Susan Finch (23:44): Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Sales Lead Management Radio. You can find us on all your favorite podcast apps. Just look for Sales Lead Management Radio, and you will see us. Subscribe at our site, salesleadmgmt.com. So you never miss an episode, subscribe via email. Review us, rate us, share this episode. Maybe there was something in here that can help you or someone you know. We look forward to having you join us for our next episode. Thank you so much.
Aug 25 2021
Find someone who has a love affair with numbers and data to set you straight
Digging into your company's data may seem like a task you can shove to the bottom of the priority list. Perhaps you delegate it to several people once a month to make sense of the numbers and put it into a story recap format with a bullet-point action list. They all use the same numbers, but are they all telling the full, accurate story? If not, you may not take the action that will either fix or continue the path to growth. Today, Susan welcomes Nick Amabile. His love of numbers, puzzle-solving, and detective work culminated at a young age and set him on the path to building DAS42. Founded in 2015, DAS42 is comprised of data analysts, scientists, business professionals, and engineers who provide end-to-end data services—including data strategy, tech stack integrations, application implementation, and enterprise analytics training. From this episode, you'll have a checklist of what you need to do and consider before you hire a temporary or permanent data concierge firm. ----more---- If you like this episode, you may also enjoy the two episodes from Market Dominance Guys with Tom Zheng. Giving Your Data the Sniff Test and Get Thee to a Data Concierge! About Susan's guest: Nick Amabile is the Owner, CEO, and Principal Consultant of DAS42, a US data analytics consulting firm that helps companies make better decisions, faster. Nick’s FullStack Philosophy is centered around the two components critical to achieving data-driven success: building an effective data analytics environment and building a data-centric company culture. He brings world-class analytics and big data technologies like those he used and built at leading internet companies, including Omaze, Etsy, and Jet.com, to his clients. Nick is passionate about and skilled at building internal teams and transforming companies at various stages of growth into data-centric organizations. ----more---- The full transcript for this episode is here: Susan Finch (00:12): Hey everybody, Susan Finch here, your host today for Sales Lead Management Radio. And I am excited because recently one of our hosts, Chris Beall on ConnectAndSell's Market Dominance Guys, had on his data concierge, Tom Zheng. And Tom talked about the reality of how data gets skewed. Well, I recently became aware of Nick Amabile and he is the owner and CEO, principal consultant of DAS42. And it's a US data analytics consulting firm that helps companies make better decisions faster. And that sounds like a tagline and a pitch. We're going to dive into really what that means. And it ties so closely into what Chris and Tom Jane did. I wanted to continue that conversation from a different perspective. Tom's a single practitioner, Nick has a full company that can help solve these issues. And so I want to talk about is the fact that your topics, I know some of your specialties are why data is a leading indicator for strategic decisions, right? And growth. Nick Amabile (01:15): Yep. Yeah, absolutely. Susan Finch (01:17): And I also want to talk about data chaos, so welcome Nick. I'm so glad that you're here to talk about all the parts and some of us just glaze over and we shouldn't because it's so important. And what I want to talk about is data starts out for most companies. It is with rare exception, even at enterprise level, I've seen it too many times and where people can't even answer the questions about their data and data chaos. So, in the beginning, you like to tell people, it's true. your data is fractured, it's barely usable, it's unstable, it's just a mess or it's all there and nobody knows how to interpret it. And what else happens? Oh, we can get it from so many sources. And it can't be merged or related or how do we put it into something that actually can give us an action plan? Susan Finch (02:12): And so time gets wasted. It's like, oh, let's compare this to this. And here's a report and answer that well, what did you really telling me? And what are you telling me versus what you're over there telling me. Even though you guys have the same numbers, you both have different agendas, even in the same company. And the reports, usually by the time you get to them all after they've waded through all this stuff, sorted it to make sense for them, put them at the advantage, looking like the hero, the data's old. And by then you're already behind the game, right? To react to it. Nick Amabile (02:44): Yep. A hundred percent and so first off, thanks Susan for having me, really excited to be here. But yeah, what you're describing is all too prevalent. Small companies, large companies, old companies, new companies, we've really seen it across the board. It doesn't matter the industry or anything else. I mean, I kind of joke a lot of times that what we do is get folks off of spreadsheets. There's nothing wrong with spreadsheets but to your point, data chaos is having many different sources of data, many different types of data that can't be related into a holistic picture of the business. And I've worked as a practitioner in the analytics industry for a long time, not just as a consultant, but also internally at companies and face a lot of the same challenges that we help customers solve a DAS42. And really what it is is if you ask 10 different people within a company, just some basic questions about the business, whether it's how many orders we got yesterday, how many customers do we have? Those types of basic questions you ask 10 different people, you get 10 different answers, right? Nick Amabile (03:34): And that there could be any number of reasons. A lot of it is, as you said, and perhaps an agenda with somebody sort of reshaping the data. But typically it's really just a lack of consistent definitions and agreed-upon definitions. I mean, there are lots of different ways to spin the yarn if you will, and kind of slice and dice data, but there's really typically no transparency around how people actually define revenue or customers or whatever it is. But that's a lot of the work that we do. There's a great technology out there for data analytics, a lot of modern cloud-based technology that we work with. But 99% of the problems that we see, the challenges that we see customers facing are more organizational and process-driven than technology. So that's what we do at the consulting firm at DAS42. Susan Finch (04:10): Okay. So let's take this back to a little more personal level. Nick Amabile (04:13): Sure. Susan Finch (04:13): You are the president, the founder, the CEO, you are the head honcho that made all this up and invited people to do this with you. Nick Amabile (04:20): That's right. Yes. Susan Finch (04:20): That's what it comes down to. At what point some of your earlier experiences earlier jobs, we're all pups and we get our first jobs that lead us to where we are, as we know we're the sum of our experiences. When did you know that you wanted to get into the data, the numbers, and you knew there was a problem to solve. Tell me about when that happened. Nick Amabile (04:42): Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, I started my career in economic consulting doing quantitative and econometric analysis for litigation and antitrust. And that was really interesting. I mean, I learned a whole ton about different things- Susan Finch (04:54): Playschool it for the audience. Nick Amabile (04:55): Yeah. Right, right. So basically what that is is somebody gets sued for price-fixing or collusion and things like that. If they're a mergers and acquisitions, that's illegal things, right. So there are lawyers involved, but there are also economists who are experts at sort of defining what markets are and how people can be competitive in markets and got to calculate damages for example, or all this kind of stuff, right? It was very interesting. And I realized in that job that there's... For example, if you work with a really big company, they'll just dump all their manufacturing data, their pricing data, their sales data, and they just dump it out to us and then we'd have to sort of make sense of it. We'd have to put it all together, we'd have to relate it to each other. We'd have to run a bunch of analysis on it. Nick Amabile (05:37): So there was both a technical component of dealing with this data at a technical level. And then there's also a business component about understanding this data means. How does it relate to what we're trying to achieve and what the business is trying to achieve? So that was a very early experience that got me really excited about just dealing with numbers, dealing with data, and helping businesses use data. I since, from the consulting firm that I started, I started moving on to different startups and technology companies. And so I was a little bit ahead of the curve in terms of using some of these more cloud-based tools, big data technologies, and things like that. And I faced these problems in my own career. I was the head of business intelligence at Jet.com, which is an e-commerce company that sold to Walmart. And we had the same exact problem. Nick Amabile (06:17): We couldn't figure out how many customers we had, how many orders we had. This guy had a different spreadsheet than this other person over here. And so it was very disparate and disjointed. And really that was the challenge. And I think we solved it successfully. We built a modern cloud-based analytics platform, but more than that, we got the data to folks who needed it. So like marketing people, customer service people, salespeople, merchandisers at Jet and things like that. So that's really what it's about is helping folks who maybe don't even have the technical skills or capabilities to use data, they still need to use data. So how do we get it to them? How do we make it make sense to them? And so that's really what we do now with the consulting firm at DAS42, is take a lot of those lessons learned, that I've learned the hard way in my career and try to short circuit some of that pain for our customers. Susan Finch (06:56): When did you first fall in love with numbers? Nick Amabile (06:59): Oh man. I don't know. I always liked math, but I also liked the logic aspect. That's really the key for me. It's piecing it all together. It's like a puzzle. So, I mean, I kind of also joke that analytics is basically just counting stuff and adding things up, right? That's a lot of what we do, but there is some interesting kind of puzzle aspect to it that I really enjoy. So I don't know that must have been an early thing that just popped out of nowhere for me. Susan Finch (07:22): You do. You seem like a puzzle solver and somewhat of a detective. Nick Amabile (07:25): Yeah, that's right. That's right. I mean, and that's really what we kind of call ourselves data detectives and cartographers, we sort of map out the universe of data for our customers and it's not easy, right? Then to your point earlier about folks who are within a company and sometimes they do need that external help, whether it's folks who have done it before or folks have a different sort of outside opinion who can take lessons learned from broadly within an industry and things like that, best practices. We really learned and sort of baked a lot of that into our engagements that we do at DAS42. Susan Finch (07:56): I'm wondering if, everybody has highlight stories and good wins for your clients. Do you have one that stands out that you could share? Kind of a, what it used to be like for them, what happened, and then they met you, and then- Nick Amabile (08:11): There are so many stories like that, but a recent one that I was just thinking about earlier today was talking to a Software as a Service company that they also sell hardware, but they sell software as a part of the hardware. We talked to some of their salespeople. Initially, when we work with our customers, we'll start a walk through all their business sort of processes. What do they do? How do the different teams work? So we did this kind of interview-based discovery process. And we talked to their sales team and the sales team was like the other day I called on a customer account, they're about to hit a renewal and I wanted to sort of try to upsell them on a new contract. Called the customer and I said, Hey, how's it going? How are you doing with the product? Nick Amabile (08:47): And the customer is like, I have 10, 15 different support tickets that are open with your company that I haven't been able to get an answer back on, right? And so the sales was blindsided by this, right? They didn't know, right? They think that everything's fine, the customer's happy with the product. And so what we did was put together a customer health dashboard that puts together not just sales data for the salesperson, but also customer service, data, product usage data, sort of adoption data, like when was the last time that people logged into the software, what's the contract value worth, all this different data that is coming from all these different sources, right? Nick Amabile (09:19): There are marketing data sets, there are customer service data sets, of course, sales. So this customer health dashboard really puts together a single view of the customer for the salesperson. So now they're no longer surprised when they call some customer up. They can say, hey, I see you have 10 support tickets open. How do we get these resolved? Let's get them resolved for you. And that's going to increase customer satisfaction for them and really just make the lives of those salespeople a lot easier. Susan Finch (09:43): And hopefully though, too, I'm sure your salespeople don't do this. Go through it's like, oh, they have 10 tickets, I'll forget that. I'll call the next one. Nick Amabile (09:48): Yeah. Right. Exactly. Yes. That sort of holistic view of the customer, the holistic view of the business, a lot of times folks just don't have that. Another good example is a company, we work with a lot of media and entertainment companies. They have to log into 15 different systems, extract the data, put it into an Excel sheet, manually, play with it, and then come up with an insight. And to your point earlier, we had customers that would take a week to update just one dashboard for an executive. And there's a lot of just manual preparation, information retrieval. And now the customer that we worked with comes in with their cup of coffee in the morning at 9:00 AM, gets everything updated. They save a whole ton of time in terms of just manual information retrieval. And it's just also less error-prone, right? It's more accurate. And that person now can focus on much higher-value analysis and insight generation rather than just putting together a spreadsheet for a dashboard. Susan Finch (10:35): Was it good wins? Nick Amabile (10:37): Yeah, I think so. It's one of those things where I really get a lot of excitement by helping our customers. And like I said before, it's not really about the IT teams. It's really about enabling the frontline business folks to ask and answer their own questions without having to call up the analytics team or the IT team or whatever it is. The marketing person knows the most about marketing in a company, right? So great. Let's allow them to ask and answer their own questions and you know how it is. Whenever you get a report back, let's say you asked for some sort of analysis, a report, you get it back. What does it do? It generates a whole ton of other questions that you want to answer. It's like, okay, well I see this number. Let's dive in. Let's drill down into that, right? Nick Amabile (11:13): And so that's really what we do with some of these self-service business intelligence tools is allow folks to kind of slice and dice, create their own reports, create their own dashboards in a governed way that's trusted. And so that the definitions are all standardized. Unlike that Excel sheet, where I can sort of type in whatever formula I want. In this case, I still have the power to create my own reports, but it's all standardized and governed. And so, therefore, when we have a conversation about the numbers, we're not talking about whose numbers are right anymore, we all trust the numbers. Susan Finch (11:41): Now, getting back to the episode I was telling you about with Tom Zheng. As a data concierge, I'm sure that you are not the only one that is able to talk about data and things. How many of these data concierges do you have? Nick Amabile (11:53): So our company is about 55 people. We have maybe 40, 45 consultants. And like I said, we've worked anywhere from very large enterprise companies to smaller startups. And I just think that these problems are pervasive and it doesn't really... A lot of our customers are really at square one of their data journey. And the first step is really getting a consistent, trusted source of data, a set of data that everyone believes in and trusts. But there's so much more that we can do with our customers. Nick Amabile (12:17): So, for example, once we get data into a data warehouse and put it together like an officer of business intelligence tool, and now it's about, okay, how can I email my customers and make it a personalized message? Or how can I identify opportunities to upsell and cross-sell? So that's a lot of what we do as well is we sort of help customers understand the art of the possible. In other words, how can data actually impact my business? So that's really what we do first and foremost, to start from a business process, a business imperative, and then work backward to a technical solution. I think a lot of data analytics projects, fail because they start from the technology side of the coin as opposed to the business side of the coin. And that's really what we aim to do is flip that on its head. Susan Finch (12:56): I know with producing podcasts and helping people with websites and branding strategies and all that, I don't think it's any different for you. People don't realize, I've helped to write software too, so the scope process is the most critical. The wishlist and then what? And then what do you want to know? And then what do you want to know? Because if you don't have somebody with you that can guide you to set that up in the first place... I know so many businesses that don't ever look at any other data. The simple thing of Google Analytics, let's just look at that. Everybody knows they need it, everybody has it, and nobody, if they get analytics, they don't set up the dashboard. So they don't know where people are coming in. They don't know why they're leaving. They don't know who's referring them. They don't know where the broken links are. And I know that's very pedestrian compared to what you are doing, but it's the same thing. It's data. Nick Amabile (13:48): Oh, It's absolutely the same thing. And you're right. Susan Finch (13:53): I'm helping somebody redo their corporate website. They finally got me to the analytics and I was cracking up home page, a blog post that had a rant on it, two top pages. And I mean, by a huge margin. And they had no idea. They said who wrote that like five years ago. I said, and why is there no call to action on this page then? [crosstalk 00:14:17] everybody's going there, yes. So yeah, I'm revamping that whole page for them because they're like five pages, oh you what? That's the most popular page? Nick Amabile (14:28): But you understood that business, whatever they were trying to do with that website right? And say, okay guys, we want more leads or whatever it is. And so now you're able to say, well, where are your current set of leads coming from, or where's your current traffic, and then look at the funnel, right? I mean, it's not at all different from what we do. That's exactly what we do with customers. And sometimes the scale is larger, but sometimes it's just as simple as that, right? And so understanding folks’ businesses, and then understanding how we can insert data into the process is supercritical. And as you said even before, a lot of folks come to us and they think they know they want, they then say, Hey, I need whatever it is, a car or whatever. It's like, well actually you think you need the car, but you need a truck or whatever it is, right? Nick Amabile (15:04): So kind of have to reframe a little bit of their thinking, especially when folks are moving to the cloud as well. That's something that I will say that is a little bit different. Obviously, data has been around for a long time. Data, databases, for example, have been around for a long time. And there are some patterns that have worked well in the past that kind of no longer work well in the cloud paradigm. And so that's really what a lot of our customers are doing. If they're transitioning from on-premises or legacy-type systems into the cloud to more of this “big data” technology. And it really does require a complete change in how you think about things to actually get the benefits that you're looking for in the cloud. Susan Finch (15:37): It's interesting that you bring that up. I run into enough people that, well, it's like a stupid PowerPoint. Okay. Has that changed? No, it is the same thing, people are still using it, like, oh my gosh, have we not evolved any more than that? And yeah, there's Prezi and there are those other things, but they're not intuitive. They're not easy. We all know how to use this. Put it up on Google slides. It's a little different, it's limited, it's this, it's that. And sometimes I watch companies when they're trying to shift from desktop to cloud, it's like, make it do the same thing up there rather than taking the opportunity, don't be locked into that we don't need that anymore. I think it's a really difficult transition for people to let go of some stuff that just because you've always had it, doesn't mean you really need it anymore. This is your opportunity. Shake it up. Let's redo it. Let's cut the fat away. Add some new functions that are more collaborative and can give you quicker answers. I bet you run into that all the time. Nick Amabile (16:43): Absolutely. And you hit the nail on the head there. It's like, if something wasn't working for you today, there's some reason why you want to move to the cloud. You want to get some sort of benefits, right? Maybe scalability and more flexibility, different cost structures, whatever it is that's motivating folks to move to the cloud, it's different than what you're doing before. So certainly, you're not going to be able to get those benefits if you just say, let's do what we were doing yesterday, and now we just going to do it over here. Then you're not going to get the benefits that you're looking for. And so to your point, where we really start with a lot of customers who are kind of in the middle of that transition, that journey, and we almost have to start from scratch. Nick Amabile (17:14): I know it's kind of a bad word sometimes because folks don't want to feel like they're throwing out all this legacy, but that's almost what it is. It's like now we have new capabilities. There's a whole bunch of stuff that we can do today that we couldn't do 10, 20 years ago with data, right? Data is bigger, there are different types of data. There are all these different SaaS applications that businesses are using to run. And so it creates different challenges, but it also creates lots of opportunities. And so that's really what we help our customers at DAS42 achieve those sorts of possibilities. Susan Finch (17:41): Having been involved with some software development for a couple of companies, you and I were just talking about the scope and how important that planning out the next steps, not just what you're thinking about today, where's growth going? Because if you don't plan for that, when you go back and try and patch it all together, it costs more than starting from scratch and just making data tables, talk to each other. And part of that also was where somebody like you comes in handy is because you can say, okay, this isn't that tough guys. All I need to do is make this talk to this and it's okay. The fields are the same, but we're going to start it fresh. And from the very beginning, we're going to have this path and it's going to be beautiful and you'll be able to push these four buttons and get that report and they can push five buttons and get that report. Nick Amabile (18:27): Absolutely. And I mean, I think that's something that's really critical is that I've in my career, but then also in the consulting firm, we've worked with so many different companies. And the only thing that I can say is the constant is change, right? Nick Amabile (18:38): Especially these days with a lot of companies are moving brick and mortar retailers to direct to consumer and online streaming from movie theaters and stuff like that. The dynamics are changing. And so having worked with a lot of really sort of mature and forward-thinking tech companies in my career, and then also in the consulting firm, we understand and can anticipate some of those dynamics that are going to change. And we know how to set up a foundation that's going to work with you for the long-term and not just going to be work today. We know that, Hey, really change is important, but building for flexibility is like, that's the key, right? We need to make it flexible. It can't just be working today. It has to be able to easy to add on things, easy to change things, new data sets, new metrics, new use cases, all that kind of stuff. We're able to anticipate a little bit further ahead than I think our clients would be without us. Susan Finch (19:25): So I want to know if you saw this coming that a lot of retailers are finally online retailers, especially finally coming to realize that Amazon can be evil. And because when Amazon started, it was, Hey, let us help you, we have all the... Put your stuff up here, we'll help you sell it. Come on, we'll make it easy. And then as they saw what was popular and things, all of a sudden your host is the competitor. And so biased and so strong and heavy-handed. And so now I just saw an article today in USA Today saying, retailers time to not do DoorDash, don't do Uber Eats, don't do Amazon. Source it locally, do it yourself and you'll make more money because as we know, Amazon makes you charge the least price out of all your venues, has to be the lowest price for about the same thing, and they still take their cut. Susan Finch (20:17): And so it's very hard to make money with theirs. I know because I sold books through them one time and it was so difficult. So I'm wondering, did you see that coming? Are you trying to help people make that shift? Again, it's that flexibility thing because all the data comes in and it's telling you, Hey guys, your profit is down. Do you actually help them analyze their data? Or are you simply setting it up for them and teaching them how to analyze their data? Nick Amabile (20:40): We definitely analyze their data for them as sort of my background in e-commerce like at Etsy and then at Jet, a lot of e-commerce experience, so I've worked in the field for a long time. We can bring to our customers, Hey, you should be looking at these metrics, this is how you usually find them, here are the best practices, all these types of things. And so we basically set it up, not just that they can get the data that they want, but now they can start to add on top of it and build their own metrics and things like that on top of it. I can't necessarily say that I saw the entire shift of Amazon. If I did, I would be doing okay, right? I would have invested in stock, in Amazon stock in '94. Nick Amabile (21:12): You know, but you see this right now with Shopify and other places like that, other platforms that are really kind of enabling independent merchants to really be independent, but they also need a data program to be able to understand all the things that are going on with their website, doing funnel analysis or marketing kind of customer acquisition analysis and things like that, that I think is a little bit new. Perhaps if someone's just only posted up on Amazon their products, now there's a little bit more to do there that they're going to have to take on themselves that we certainly could help with. Susan Finch (21:40): Right. Well, it sounds like you are a wonderful place to start at least to get that conversation started for companies making a major shift or realizing the first step is for everybody to realize, guys, ask about your data. If you are responsible for the income, the profit, the hiring, whatever piece, whatever you're responsible for in the company, you need to have your piece of the data understood clearly so that you can explain it to others. And if you don't have that, you might need somebody like Nick's company. You might need some help. You might need a data concierge, one-off, or have a whole company like what Nick's been talking about that they can pull your whole system together, help you analyze it. And maybe it's short-term, maybe it's not forever. Maybe he gets you kickstarted and you go, I got this and we're on our way. And we'll do a check-in in six months or a year. Susan Finch (22:28): And you'll come back and say, okay, we shouldn't have left, we should have just stayed Nick and have you do it all. But you guys got to know this. Every company needs to know it. I need to know it my own. And I will admit, I do not look enough at my data even though there are only 10 of us. We're small, but I still have to look at it and know what's paying off and what isn't. Are we charging enough? Am I charging enough per episode for a podcast? Am I paying my editors too much? Should I be editing it myself? Where's the profit and where do we need to grow? And where do we need to maybe increase prices a bit to stay functional and competitive, to be able to give the best services? You won't know that, guys, without looking at the report, let's start with QuickBooks or whatever you're using. Start with Google analytics. Those two, just those two will give you a big picture. Susan Finch (23:13): From there, you can get into the deeper stuff. But I think if you start with two things alone. Look at these things really have your bookkeeping, accounting CPA person set it up, break the things down. What are the pieces? I break things down so much, it makes her crazy, because I want to know what's marketing, what goes to building an episode? What goes to promoting an episode? What goes into all these things for the clients and then for the house accounts. Our own internal marketing, do you track that, guys? Are you doing enough of it? Do you see that something pays off or doesn't pay off? You won't know it until you look at the data and you won't be able to take it further and grow until you get somebody like Nick. So Nick, it has been a pleasure. And I'm wondering how can everybody find you? Nick Amabile (23:52): This is easy. DAS42.com or firstname.lastname@example.org is my email address. They can just reach out to me directly. And as you said, happy to have a conversation and just sort of bounce some ideas around. Susan Finch (24:02): That's great. That's very generous of you too. Thank you so much. This has been Susan Finch for Sales Lead Management Radio on the Funnel Radio Network. You can find all of our shows at funnelradio.com. You can find this particular show in all your favorite podcast venues. You can subscribe via email if that's how you like it. We don't care, we'll get you the shows. You just show up, give us your information and we'll make sure you know every time we drop an episode. Thank you so much. We will be out here again. Speaker 3 (24:34): Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Sales Lead Management Radio. You can find us on all your favorite podcast apps. Just look for Sales Lead Management Radio, and you will see us. Subscribe on our site, salesleadmgmt.com, so you never miss an episode. Subscribe via email, review us, rate us, share this episode. Maybe there was something in here that can help you or someone you know. We look forward to having you join us for our next episode. Thank you so much.
Aug 17 2021
Storytelling and Social Media a Powerful, and Possibly Dangerous Combination
In Susan and Paul Furiga's penultimate episode in this series, Paul reminds us that for many organizations, the overwhelming volume and variety of social media seems to create one of the biggest storytelling roadblocks imaginable. And, it also creates some of the best opportunities even though social media is a double-edged sword. In this episode, guest Paul Furiga answers the question of what comes first, a story or social media. ----more---- About Susan's Guest: Paul Furiga is the president and chief storyteller at WordWrite, having founded the Pittsburgh-based PR and digital marketing agency nearly 20 years ago in a candy-striped bedroom before growing it into a perennially top-ranked firm. Paul, who was formerly a vice president at Ketchum Public Relations, was honored in 2013 with the Public Relations Society of America Pittsburgh chapter's Hall of Fame Award for his impact in the region. Before that, Paul spent two decades as a journalist, covering it all, from Cincinnati City Hall to Congress and the White House, as well as serving as editor of the Pittsburgh Business Times. As you can imagine, he has some stories to tell.
Jun 1 2021
B2B's Story Needs to Be Different from B2C's Story
Paul Furiga tells us to walk the toothpaste aisle of any large grocery store and you'll be confronted by a confusing reality asking yourself the question, "Aren't most of these toothpastes pretty much the same?" In this episode we learn how developing the story behind your story is the true secret sauce to power your business to new heights. But a consumer purchasing something is a completely different experience than an employee purchasing on behalf of the company they work for. The story we tell needs to take that into account and adjust accordingly or there will be a complete miss on addressing the needs of the B2B buyer. ----more---- About Susan's Guest: Paul Furiga is the president and chief storyteller at WordWrite, having founded the Pittsburgh-based PR and digital marketing agency nearly 20 years ago in a candy-striped bedroom before growing it into a perennially top-ranked firm. Paul, who was formerly a vice president at Ketchum Public Relations, was honored in 2013 with the Public Relations Society of America Pittsburgh chapter's Hall of Fame Award for his impact in the region. Before that, Paul spent two decades as a journalist, covering it all, from Cincinnati City Hall to Congress and the White House, as well as serving as editor of the Pittsburgh Business Times. As you can imagine, he has some stories to tell.
May 26 2021
Will One Bad Thing Bury All The Good You Do?
Here we are tackling chapter six of Paul Furiga's book, Finding Your Capital S Story." You need to know the answers to these questions before you can create your story. What is your organization's purpose?What is the market demand for what your company does?What competitive position distinguishes you from your competitors? What really sets you apart?Who is your client? It's not everyone. AND where are they? What communication channels do you use to sell your purpose or unique position? What is your call to action? Don't leave us flat. ----more---- Listen to this episode and catch the previous ones in this series: Storytelling isn’t crap, it’s biology.Carl, Joe, the Monomyth, and Déjà vuLearn How to Tell Stories From Wanamaker and The Three TenorsRegularly Adjust Your Company’s Story to Stay Relevant and InterestingWhen you stray from your archetype your story falls apart
Apr 28 2021
When you stray from your archetype your story falls apart
In this fifth chapter, Paul explores experiences that led him to focus on storytelling for companies as a career and a passion. We're going to dig into the story of his own company, explore the application of the principles that drive your Capital S Story, and meet some common heroes that we're going to refer to as archetypes. Paul Furiga is our guest as we continue the series with him. He says, "In most organizations, you're a Capital S Story and your brand are lonely souls living separate lives inside your organization, and they've probably never been introduced to each other. And your story should drive your brand. They should be connected." Tune in for the episode of Sales Lead Management Radio, "When you stray from your archetype your story falls apart." ----more---- About Susan's Guest: Paul Furiga is the president and chief storyteller at WordWrite, having founded the Pittsburgh-based PR and digital marketing agency nearly 20 years ago in a candy-striped bedroom before growing it into a perennially top-ranked firm. Paul, who was formerly a vice president at Ketchum Public Relations, was honored in 2013 with the Public Relations Society of America Pittsburgh chapter's Hall of Fame Award for his impact in the region. Before that, Paul spent two decades as a journalist, covering it all, from Cincinnati City Hall to Congress and the White House, as well as serving as editor of the Pittsburgh Business Times. As you can imagine, he has some stories to tell.
Apr 20 2021
Regularly Adjust Your Company's Story to Stay Relevant and Interesting
Susan's guest, Paul Furiga, author of Finding Your Capital S Story, opens this episode telling us, "In the old days before smartphones and Twitter, I would say that a small S story is something you read in the newspaper, and it's in the bottom of the birdcage tomorrow. Now we don't read newspapers that much anymore. What we do is we look at our Twitter feed and then we swipe that story away. So it's the same thing. The point is that the stories that we consume most of the time, don't rise to the level of answering the most important questions about your organization. That's why we created this term called the capital S Story. And the capital S Story is a story above all other stories that answer these questions. Why somebody would buy from you, work for you, invest in you, or partner with you. These questions get to the very nature and character of your organization. And that's why your capital S Story is a story above all others. Join them for a continuing discussion of why your story drives your brand.
Apr 13 2021
Learn How to Tell Stories From Wanamaker and The Three Tenors
This is our third episode in the series of Paul Furiga going through his book, Finding Your Capital S Story. We get to go down the history of advertising and where it lost its way and how the founders of advertising from over a hundred years ago as a whole have almost been forgotten (Have you heard of John Wanamaker?) at least their original methods and thinking behind the use of stories to relate to their target audience. What we are facing today is not how it started, and we have lost our way as we go in for the easier, messier quick kill and the splatter shot effect. ----more---- About Susan's Guest: Paul Furiga is the president and chief storyteller at WordWrite, having founded the Pittsburgh-based PR and digital marketing agency nearly 20 years ago in a candy-striped bedroom before growing it into a perennially top-ranked firm. Paul, who was formerly a vice president at Ketchum Public Relations, was honored in 2013 with the Public Relations Society of America Pittsburgh chapter's Hall of Fame Award for his impact in the region. Before that, Paul spent two decades as a journalist, covering it all, from Cincinnati City Hall to Congress and the White House, as well as serving as editor of the Pittsburgh Business Times. As you can imagine, he has some stories to tell.
Apr 6 2021
Carl, Joe, the Monomyth, and Déjà vu
The brain has been proven to be hardwired for storytelling - both telling and listening. Learn how across cultures, countries, languages the stories we tell are the same at their core. Paul Furiga is back to help guide us to identifying our Monomyth, or Heroe's Journey. We talk about Bridgette Jones, Yoda, and how our brains align when we hear those core stories told by others. Join us as we learn about Carl, Joe, the Monomyth, and Déjà vu from his new book, "Finding Your Capital S Story." ----more---- About Susan's Guest: Paul Furiga is the president and chief storyteller at WordWrite, having founded the Pittsburgh-based PR and digital marketing agency nearly 20 years ago in a candy-striped bedroom before growing it into a perennially top-ranked firm. Paul, who was formerly a vice president at Ketchum Public Relations, was honored in 2013 with the Public Relations Society of America Pittsburgh chapter's Hall of Fame Award for his impact in the region. Before that, Paul spent two decades as a journalist, covering it all, from Cincinnati City Hall to Congress and the White House, as well as serving as editor of the Pittsburgh Business Times. As you can imagine, he has some stories to tell.
Mar 30 2021
Storytelling isn't crap, it's biology.
This is a series about Finding Your Capital S Story - the new book by Paul Furiga. In this episode, we tackle the first chapter that I found fascinating - the science behind storytelling and how our brains are hardwired for storytelling. Paul will explain how well-known brands effectively employ storytelling for their success and what we can learn from them, without copying them. ----more---- About Susan's Guest: Paul Furiga is the president and chief storyteller at WordWrite, having founded the Pittsburgh-based PR and digital marketing agency nearly 20 years ago in a candy-striped bedroom before growing it into a perennially top-ranked firm. Paul, who was formerly a vice president at Ketchum Public Relations, was honored in 2013 with the Public Relations Society of America Pittsburgh chapter's Hall of Fame Award for his impact in the region. Before that, Paul spent two decades as a journalist, covering it all, from Cincinnati City Hall to Congress and the White House, as well as serving as editor of the Pittsburgh Business Times. As you can imagine, he has some stories to tell.
Mar 24 2021
Why business owners tend to hit plateaus and struggle to grow.
Kevin McCann of the Executive Strategy Group, gives actionable logical, simple, but wildly important tips in this episodes. Here's one to start, if we take something just as fundamental your website. Take the first, top five pages of your website. Look at your navigation. Print out those pages. Go grab a yellow and green highlighter. You'll have to listen to this episode for the insights and assessment you can do right now. Then, he praises one of his partners, HubSpot, but admits there is something missing. On the buyer persona, typically, it's, "Who is your ideal customer?" What vertical industry are they in? The standard demographic, size of company, title, revenue, growth, trajectory, vertical industry, et cetera. You'll have to listen to get the rest of what's missing and how he solves it with Revenue Growth Mastery He also goes through what is the REAL pain you are solving. It's not what you think 90% of the time. "The value of your offer needs to be relevant to the impact that the customer is experiencing with their challenge. Most sales reps totally miss that." ----more---- About Susan's guest: Kevin McCann, President and CEO, Executive Strategy Group Kevin has 27 years of sales and management experience in the high-tech industry specializing in: * Sales negotiation and objection management training * Business development and partner program assessments * Business model growth assessment The Executive Strategy Group is a management consulting firm that works with growth-directed companies seeking to increase top-line revenue. They align your company’s strategy with marketing and sales efforts to increase reach, maximize marketing ROI, shorten sales cycles and generate consistently growing revenue. In addition to one-on-one and team advisory, planning and coaching/mentoring services, the Executive Strategy Group offers on-site seminars and workshops proven to effectively teach participants the skills, understanding and methodology required to succeed in an increasingly complex business environment.
Feb 3 2021
Our Special Sauce is What Makes Us Valuable
In this episode with Ledge, we talk about taking our secret sauce for granted. To many of us, what we do is a no-brainer, but to most others, it is not. It's awesome, inspiring, valuable. He explains the four values that everything Add1Zero.co does checks back to these four focus items Revenue, Integrity, Calm Confidence, Shared Abundance. When our success fades, or explodes, we can usually attribute it to how far we have or haven't strayed from the core values and concepts. Listen to this conversation. You'll have homework. That's good. It means you have valuable takeaways. If you missed the first episode with Ledge, you can listen here. ----more---- It’s Not a Hobby, It’s a Revenue Source - Stop Playing House. A bit about Add1Zero.co Lead-to-close sales execution for B2B tech companies ready to leap from 6 to 7 digits of revenue. Their team joins your team - under your brand - to pick up your leads as soon as they hit your CRM, engage and close them, and hand a signed client over to your onboarding and CS teams. Using a proven process for 6- to 7-digit annual growth, they provide sales strategy, execution, and ops -- the real work that needs to get done to close deals.
Jan 19 2021
It's Not a Hobby, It's a Revenue Source - Stop Playing House.
Passion is not enough. As a revenue generator - deal closer service provider, Ledge tells us he doesn't need to be passionate about what you do. He needs to be passionate about closing deals for you and generating revenue for you. Then you will be able to channel more of the passion you have for your business. (20:31) "...sometimes folks will try to negotiate and say, well, if you're really passionate about it and you want to be involved in this, maybe you can cut your rates. And no, I'm not at all ... I'm passionate at the price I just quoted you because I'm going to make you millions of dollars. And that's what I'm passionate about. We build revenue machines. The end." Join us for part 1 of a 3 part series. Take notes! ----more---- Read Ledge's recent article about packages > A bit about Add1Zero.co Lead-to-close sales execution for B2B tech companies ready to leap from 6 to 7 digits of revenue. Their team joins your team - under your brand - to pick up your leads as soon as they hit your CRM, engage and close them, and hand a signed client over to your onboarding and CS teams. Using a proven process for 6- to 7-digit annual growth, they provide sales strategy, execution, and ops -- the real work that needs to get done to close deals.
Jan 7 2021
It isn’t a Matter of if AI will Replace Marketing People
This is part of a series of interviews with industry leaders about artificial intelligence’s impact on the marketing and sales departments' current and future headcount. We interview Paul Teshima, a former Eloqua executive and CEO of Nudge.ai (acquired by Affinity in March 2020). The executives interviewed so far seem to believe that AI will create jobs while also changing the job description of those in both sales and marketing. Paul may have a different opinion. The host is Jim Obermayer. ----more---- About Paul Teshima Paul is the CEO and Co-founder of Nudge.ai, a modern sales platform that uses artificial intelligence to provide sales teams with actionable insights on their target customers. He is a successful technology executive who has run Services, Customer Success, Account Management, Support and Product Management teams. As part of Eloqua’s executive team, Paul helped lead the company from $0 to over $100 million in revenue, then through IPO and a successful acquisition for $957 million by Oracle. He’s a firm believer that company culture trumps strategy every time, and that storytelling is an essential part of creating a business. He has a successful track record as a leader with a strong focus on sales and customer engagement. About Nudge (acquired by Affinity in March 2020) Nudge was co-founded in 2014 by former Eloqua executives, Paul Teshima and Steve Woods. After having successfully guided Eloqua to a market leading position in marketing automation from $0 to over $100 million in revenue, then through IPO and acquisition by Oracle for $957 million, Teshima and Woods recognized another massive challenge to solve – this time, however, it was on the sales side. The best sales professionals understand that people buy from people they know, like and trust. In a world that’s becoming overloaded with information, it’s becoming harder to build trusted, authentic relationships with buyers and existing customers. This is where Teshima and Woods saw the biggest challenge, and the biggest opportunity yet to be solved. Paul recently appeared on our sister program Sales Pipeline Radio with Matt Heinz: The Power of Relationship Marketing in a Distracted World. SLMA Radio Sponsorship Whether you're producing a seminar series, user's conference, lunch and learn, or exhibiting at a tradeshow, Validar has a solution. Call 888 784 2929 or visit us at www.validar.com
Oct 28 2020
Is Sales Engagement the Most Important Platform in your Marketing Stack?
Lack of sales lead follow-up is a plague on B2B Companies. Maybe, just maybe, a Sales Engagement Platform will solve the sales lead follow-up nightmare. Marketing managers should listen to this podcast. ----more---- About the Josh Baez The Engagement Manager at Heinz Marketing Having worked with dozens of companies across multiple industries, Josh brings his creativity, expertise, and fresh perspectives to every situation. From go-to-market plans to ABM programs, Josh thrives on rolling up his sleeves to help each of his unique clients uncover their buyers’ needs, develop competitive content and messaging, and orchestrate campaigns across channels and audiences to generate revenue with precision. Josh believes marketing isn’t solely about generating leads, but more so about crafting meaningful engagement experiences that – in turn – create long-term, loyal customers. Heinz Marketing's Online Sales Pipeline Velocity Calculator Our Sales Pipeline Velocity Calculator helps you identify how fast qualified opportunities are moving through the sales funnel. Our calculator will calculate the pipeline velocity for you using the data points you provide. Heinz Marketing Demand Generation Heinz’ proven, buyer-centric demand generation programs take into account the unique nature of your business, customers, and industry – applying proven best practices to create a repeatable, scalable engine of qualified opportunities and long-term pipeline. Our approach covers strategy, design, and execution – including online and offline efforts that align buyer intent with your sales process to increase both immediate and long-term conversion yield. SLMA Radio is hosted by James Obermayer of the Sales Lead Management Association which is a program on the Funnel Radio Channel.
Oct 12 2020
Increase Sales 30% in 90 Days
Increasing sales this much is a bold statement and we asked Mike Hollison, CMO of InsideSales.com how it can be done. Of course, following up all leads increases sales, but InsideSales.com claims its self-learning engine drives predictive sales communications and engagement which combined with rep motivation results in dramatic sales increases. ----more---- Prime questions: How does the Neuralytics® program work? How soon can results REALLY be seen? What is the basis for the claim in increased sales? What does it cost? The host is Jim Obermayer About Mick Hollison Mick Hollison has over 26 years of experience in technology marketing, product management and sales. Currently, Mick oversees all marketing efforts including public relations, content marketing, paid advertising and website conversion at Cloudera. Mick spent 7 years at Citrix, a $2.6B company, recently serving as global vice president of marketing and strategy, leading integrated product marketing and strategy. He was responsible for integrated product messaging, solutions marketing, and marketing strategy and led the development of pricing, licensing and packaging across all Citrix product lines. Prior to Citrix, Mick spent two years at Microsoft where he was responsible for the development and delivery of marketing messages targeting C-level executives. During his tenure, he led a worldwide network of nine executive briefing centers delivering over $4 billion in influence revenue per year, and produced customer events such as the Microsoft CEO Summit. Before joining Microsoft, he spent 13 years with IBM in a variety of executive product line roles.
Oct 7 2020
Establishing Thought Leadership Through a Holistic Content Marketing Strategy
The importance of content marketing in the high-stakes world of wealth management is non-negotiable. How can you expect customers to let you handle their hard-earned cash when you haven’t proven your industry know-how? ----more---- Marketing automation can help you empower every client to feel like a smart, financially savvy investor. In this interview, David and Eric will dig into the different automation strategies you can employ to get the right content in front of the right person at the right time. About Our Guest Host: David Greenberg is the senior vice president of marketing at Act-On. Greenberg is a self-proclaimed brand loyalty enthusiast and brings more than 20 years of marketing leadership experience in high-growth technology organizations to the table. An early adopter of MarTech, he uniquely understands the challenges modern marketers face and strives to be an advocate and resource for growth marketers everywhere. With a firm belief that customers are more than just sales leads, Greenberg ensures all aspects of Act-On’s marketing and growth strategies are rooted in a memorable brand experience. About David's Guest: In his role at American Endowment Foundation (AEF), Eric provides thought leadership guidance on best practices in the field of donor-advised funds. As the Editor of AEF Insights, a weekly e-newsletter, Eric educates an audience of over 15,000 financial advisors with guidance and tips on how donor-advised funds can serve the interests of their clients. He also produces a semi-monthly e-newsletter called Guidance for Good, a publication geared toward donors and potential donors on how to make a stronger charitable impact with their favorite causes. Prior to his role at AEF, Eric worked in various marketing capacities in the cable TV, logistics, franchising, and e-commerce fields. He has depth in traditional and digital marketing efforts in the B2B & B2C realm. He has served as an advisor with SCORE, a business advisory group, and is a past board member Torchbearers, a group of young professionals geared toward civic growth.
Oct 5 2020