Day two kicked off with an inspiring talk from Jennifer Garner and John Foraker, co-founders of Once Upon a Farm, a company focused on changing the accessibility to nutritious food for children and families across the country. The discussion, moderated by Katie Couric, dove into attaching meaning and purpose into your personal and professional lives. It was just the push the INBOUND crowd needed to shake off the fatigue from day one. It also continued a theme here at INBOUND 2019 which points out the fact that consumers, now more than ever, are leaning on corporations to create social change.
Standout Learning Sessions
How Automation Can Enable More Time for Highly Personal Outreach
Digital marketing SaaS companies have adopted some of the most agile and scalable sales strategies, and were the first to truly align sales and marketing teams. Peter von Buchard from Wistia shared key learnings from his implementation of a new sales approach and how they scaled growth quickly.
He started by explaining a movement away from the standard practice of filling your pipeline with “Leads”, and instead focusing on building your pipeline with an “Audience”. Broadcasting content that provides value and knowledge sharing builds an Audience, which allows you to stop predicting your move at every point of a linear buyer journey and be there at all points of what is really an unpredictable buyer journey. He emphasized that “being human” closes deals faster and to achieve this you should focus on hiring salespeople based on your values that include empathy, curiosity, and adaptability. A simple way they measured the effectiveness of the human element was using webcams in sales calls, which led to a 41% higher close rate.
Social selling works. At Wistia they make sure all their salespeople have daily blocks of time dedicated to social engagement and posting. Peter talked about how displaying transparency about your sales process, learning from prospects and talking about your prospects like they’re real people drives higher engagement.
Context, context, context. Email (especially cold email) will always be an inherent piece of a successful sales strategy, but you have to provide context to your prospects and be creative doing so. At Wistia they have a Slack channel called #email_gold where their sales team shares emails and templates that work or are against the stats quo. They use templates with multiple placeholders for things like: <<ask a question about a conditional thing>> or <<say something about their region or a local event>>. This adds structure for your team, ensures context and drives higher quality leads overall.
Lastly, build camaraderie around celebrating your prospects and customers success. We thought this was really cool... Wistia recorded a funny video of their sales team thanking a prospect for filling out their contact form and accepting the challenge of giving their prospects one of the best sales calls of their lives.
The Secret Sauce of ABM: Maximizing New Business and Lifetime Value
“Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a strategy that coordinates sales and marketing to personalize campaigns that target high-value accounts.” This is how Jon Miller, CEO and Founder of Engagio, defines ABM and how it encompasses its three main components: Coordination of sales and marketing, personalization and high-value accounts.
Regarding coordination, there is no longer a hand-off of accounts from marketing to sales. Marketing needs to remain a part of the entire sales cycle to supplement the various touchpoints done by the sales person. While sales is fostering the relationship with personal calls, email and in-person meetings, marketing should be augmenting that with automated touchpoints, thought-leadership content and brand awareness. Also, marketing and sales needs to be looking at the same data and continuously share info on what is happening with a given account. A great way to do this is to schedule regular standups to sync information.
This collaboration between marketing and sales must result in highly-personalized campaigns and content that demonstrate knowledge of the account’s industry, identify with their unique business issues and provide them with fresh ideas. In fact, 75% of executives say they will read unsolicited marketing materials that contain ideas that are relevant to their business. The best way to win top tier high-value accounts through ABM is to obsess with personalizing every touchpoint they engage with.
The term "high-value account" is used instead of "lead" because that is the purpose of ABM – to build relationships with multiple individuals within a targeted company that will yield high-value wins. These accounts are not a one-size-fits-all and have much longer sales cycles (including longer pipeline cycles), but have a much larger payoff than traditional inbound leads.
To learn more, download the free guide to ABM from Engagio.
Talk Like a Human: How to Design Great Conversations
Connor Cirillo, a HubSpot Conversational Marketing Manager, discussed the essentials to designing a conversational marketing strategy.
Conversations are fragile, intimate and sacred. When done right, you open the opportunity to have another discussion. When done poorly, your business will suffer in the short and long-term. No pressure, right? While there is complexity to building a robust conversational strategy, understanding the principle behind the norms of conversations is a good place to start. Keep these tips, based on Grice’s Maxims of Conversations, in mind when creating your chat strategy:
- Say enough – Make sure you're asking and responding to the right questions to keep the conversation moving
- Say the truth – Sales has shifted and needs to be more helpful and customer-focused than ever. Think about it as Prospect + Business (you) vs. The Problem
- Say what’s relevant – Context is your silver bullet. Use the data you have on your contacts to lead your conversations
- Say only what you need – Never say more than three things without asking for something in return. For help with prose, use the Hemingway App to make your messages stronger
Can You Succeed in SEO with Your B2B Company? What Will it Take?
Yes. The answer is yes, and this session provided a lot of affirmation for the way Bayshore Solutions strategizes B2B opportunities in Organic Search. Dominic Woodman, Senior Consultant for Distilled pointed out some key variables that do and do not affect organic traffic share. He also talked about the process for distilling the different signals from search to make sure we are creating the right content based on searcher intent. Standout tactical suggestions in this session included:
- At the baseline of B2B organic strategy development, create an all-in list of keywords, and get these terms from any and everywhere. Talk to sales teams, customers, etc. This will help make sure you are covering all possible search variations.
- Group similar ideas together. Dominic talked about a few ways to do this, but one in particular was SERP led grouping, which involves grouping terms by their results. This really comes in handy with the next point.
- Try to create content that matches the SERP results. Using actual searches with the keywords you wish to rank for can give a lot of insight into the types of information the search engine feels is the best answer to users conducting the search for a given term.
We always knew SEO had many factors, but these are good reminders for a few factors that help us get an idea of what your customer is looking for.
That does it for day two. We hope you find these takeaways insightful, and we can't wait to get back home to start implementing these strategies!