531: Sales vs Marketing: The Role of Original Content w/ Kurt Shaver

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Kurt Shaver, Chief Sales Officer at Vengreso.

There's a ton of noise out there. So how do you get decision makers to pay attention to your brand? Start a podcast and invite your ideal clients to be guests on your show. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the be to be growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BE TOB growth show. Today we are joined by Kurt Shaver. Kurt is the chief sales officer at Van Gresso current welcome to the show. Hey, Jonathan, excited to be here. It's great to have you on the show. We've actually we've gotten to talk to you some really amazing members of your executive team, Mario Martinez Junior, Brent Tillman, and now we're getting the opportunity to bring you on. And today we're going to be talking about the role of original content, and that's kind of as it relates to both sales and marketings, not just not just marketing, but also talking about the sales aspect, and in some ways it's a bit of a continuation of what we got to talk to Mario about when during his episode. So I encourage all of our listeners to to listen to that episode as well. But before we get into today's topic, maybe you can tell us a little about your background and and maybe any updates with that with than Gresso. Sure, thanks, Jonathan. Yeah, so my background is really in corporate sales. I was a in the Tech Business for about twenty years, everything from starting in sales to work in my way up to the VP of sales of a global software company, and then in o eight I went out and started my own sales consulting business and part of that I ended up teaching people how to use linkedin.

But then when Linkedin went public in May of two thousand and eleven, I just looked at that event and I thought, wow, this is going to be the biggest thing in B tob sales for the next decade. That was my guests and I just stopped doing everything else and I went all in on teaching settle seems how to use linkedin. And you know what they say, it's better to be lucky than good, right. That was that was a good call. And then so three months ago, as Mario told you guys a few week or so ago, we had seven of the country's digital sales and marketing experts all merge together into this one, the super team called Ben Gresso, and our focus is really to help B tob companies leverage digital sales and marketing skills and tools in order to drive revenant. Yeah, that's fantastic and certainly the people on your team that I've gotten a chance to talk to you and or interview on the show definitely know their stuff. So congratulations on the on the current success of Ben Gresso. And you know, like I said, this is a bit of a continuation, but we're going to be talking about some new stuff as well today on this episode. When we were before we started recording and we were we were talking about what might make for some strong content for our listeners and who our audiences. You know, we had started to touch on this idea of inbound content marketing and you know, I think most people are familiar with it, but you know, Kurk, tell me a little about what this idea of inbound content marketing means, at least for you. Well, for me it's just a way to attract people to you. It's a way to increase your visibility and your credibility, and that could be either viewed from the Lens of a marketing person when they think of the company's brand, or could be viewed from the lens of a salesperson when they think about their individual brand. But you know, it basically all comes down to the fact that the Internet shifted the power in terms of the...

...buyer accessing information. So they did. You know, Jonathan, when I started selling the the salespeople are the customers, would eagerly await my arrival and their office because I was the keeper of the information. Right. That was thirty years ago. That is no longer that. They can access anything they want up the Internet, and so marketers realize that the whole I did inbound content marketing was a way to build visibility, increase credibility and attract people to you. So the and again. That's probably be going on in marketing bird ten years ish. But it's the advent of social networks and really the emergence and popular of social networks that now gives that same kind of content distribution power to the hands of the individual and well, can apply to any employee in the company. Certainly sales people are the best equipped, for a number of reasons, to be the company's greatest content distribution resource. Yeah, and and you know, I think, as we talked to so many guests and so many professionals and executives and this idea of aligning sales and marketing, it's exactly what you're talking about. I mean you have sales people, the role that's evolved over the last thirty years and changing into this idea that they can be your greatest content distribution channel. So including them in this discussion is is not just valuable but but necessary. So, curt, let's let's talk a little about sort of this idea of okay, so how much of this is a sales role and how much of this is a marketing role? Kind of where is where is the overlap, and are there any hard lines that need to be drawn between the two? Well, the hard lines are quickly disappearing. I mean again, with the perspective of thirty years then, Biz, I say that never before has the possibility and really the need for sales and marketing alignment been greater. And that's because really, marketers are becoming more like salespeople...

...and sales people becoming more like marketers. And what I mean by that is when I say marketers becomeing more like salespeople, what I mean by that statement is, you know, marketers used to be don draper and madmen and thinking up creative coke commercials in this suite over a Martini launch. Right, it was totally created. Marketing used to be creatives. Now marketings are marketing is more data scientists than they are created. Right. So they're all about the numbers, they're all about the analytics, they're all about AB testing and splits and everything else. So I was in an IBM conference three years ago and they had just released a research paper and they said by two thousand and seventeen, the CMO will spend more money on technology than this ce ioh. Well, that sounded like a boat. That sounded like a bold statement in two thousand and fourteen, but we are now here. Yeah, and so that's what I mean by markers being more sales people, that they're sort of numbers driven. When I say sales people becoming more Mike, Marketers is like, oh, now they have the keys to the content castle, right, because the platforms give them the distribution and the content in many cases is easily accessible. They can build their each individual can build their own audience and they can build their own content distribution source and they can build their own brand. And so a veteran sales person just a longtimes, just and how that they don't have the mindset of the of an individual professional brand. And so that's where we got to start. Hm. You know in your mind there are three main areas of contents. Let's let's kind of dive into that. Yeah, so again, if we look at a be to be cooperation green, sales and marketing, so that the baseline, the foundation of a type of content would be mark company created content, things that you're marketing department right, that has the skills, they have the staff, they have the resources, they have the photo shop, they have it whatever, you know, whatever they need. They are creating that content. That's going on blogs and brochures and white papers and Info graphics and and everything else. So that's table stakes.

And and absolutely the sales team should be sharing relevant content for their market that comes out of their content, that comes out of their company. HMM Level One. Okay, level too, and now I'm mostly stepping into sales, although marketing can still do this a little bit. But Level two would be general industry information. So it's not your company propaganda, but it's what is happening in your market, right of marketing, automation, supply chain management, hospital it, you know, the staffing, whatever your industry happens to be, it's what's happening there and that's in your industry magazines, your trade associations, just you know what, whoever the influencerer that are talking about your industry. But the area that fascinates me because probably because I'm a sales guy and because it's the like cutting edge, frontier, barely scratched area, is number three. So number three is original field generated content. That usually means sales people generated content. Now, when I say original sales generated content, usually both marketing and sales people, although right there, let they puck her up, because because marketing is worried that some rogue sales person is going to just completely chatter the brand and sales thinks to themselves like I don't have time to write a blog. Right. So that's that's a vary, it's it's a fun, controversial subject out of it. But here's the thing. So writing, when I talk to salespeople about great original content, that doesn't have to mean writing a blog. There are a lot of other things and some cases more effective things that take very little time. Let me give you like a really hard example that is like as far away from tech as you could believe. A lot of times people think like, oh, only Silicon Valley SASS tech companies are doing this, you know, content, social sharing. Okay, how far away is this? So one of my clients, hundred year old roofing supply company based in Cleveland, Ohio. Okay, is that that far enough? You pretty good? Yeah, that's a pretty polar opposite away...

...from the Silicon Valley, says yeah, okay. So they, you know, they went through some social selling training. One of the one of the sales guys, not me, he thought it that one of the sales guys thought, Hey, wait a minute, I'm up on the roofs every single day and I'm looking at him and I see the problems, like this train is improperly stalled, this flashing is coming up, this is the Ryan kind of sealant used here. Right. So what did he do. He started taking pictures of it with his iphone and he posted up and he say this is the improper flashing to have on a you know, on a flat slate roof of Blah, Blah Blah. who take a picture of it and he say what they should do is blah, blah, Blah Blah. So he is an absolute expert and he is literally out in the field. They call it boots on roof. Right. So he takes this and he just starts. He's just knocking up four, five a week of these. Well, who is his audience? His audience is maintenance engineers, facility managers, building owners, and they see, all they see is this guy identifying problems and how to fix them all the time and his business just goes. Say It, literally say it through the roof through. So this is just an example. Again, it's not some super fancy, polished, graphic, vetted what it's just authentic. It's in the field. It's like what's happening. And you know, I mean when we all when everybody started their own business a hundred years ago. That's the way it worked before everybody came to giant COMP company. So that's just, you know, one example I see people at trade shows doing things. I see people, you know, when they're a user conferences or maybe they're interviewing a customer. It's just it's not only the authenticity of it, but it's but you don't get any closer to the customer then being at the customer right. So that's why I'm just I love this final the final frontier of original, created field content and leveraging it through social networks. Yeah, well, so, you know, it's a it's a fantastic concept. I think two things spring to mind. I guess number one the the example of the Roofer who is also the salesman. I guess it...

...doesn't always seem to be that clean. It doesn't all. It doesn't always seem to be that the the salesman is or or the person in sales is also the one strictly implementing trouble shooting it. That overlap isn't always as almost a hundred percent as it is in this example. So you know, are there ways if you're if you're in sales but you're maybe not quite as involved as this as this Roofer in the example? Is there an ability to create original, feel generated sales content without it also coming across as very sales e. yeah, so here's a perfect example from it. Again, completely different industry and I like a unique was to this this example. Okay, so one of my clients was insurance brokerage, okay, and these guys happened to be in North Carolina right now. If you recall, about four or five years ago, we had to like really brutal winters in a row on the East Coast and in North Carolina does not get single digit temperatures very often. It's like every twenty year kind of a thing. So there was an article in the paper that said single you know, obviously you see weather coming three four days ahead, and there's an article in the paper that said single digit temperatures coming to the Carolina's. Okay. Well, this guy was a property and casualty insurance ages. So his job, his business, was protecting his clients businesses. So he saw this article the newspaper single digit temperatures coming, and what he realized was, hey, people in North Carolina don't really know how to prevent frozen pipes because it doesn't happen to them. They're often right. So he went on to like how to or aboutcom or something. So He's found an article that said how to prevent frozen water pipes right now, and it's all the things that we know in the upper midwest like, you know, wrap them mentalels, open the cupboard of outward wall facing pipes,...

...leave the water dripping at night right. All these things we know. But it was listed there in this article and then he posted it up on Linkedin so all of his network could see this, like three days before it started. Now he said he'd never got more engagement, comments likes for anything he's ever posted on Linkedin. And if you, if you analyze that, think about what happened. He he's in the business of protecting businesses. Now, do you think he wanted his clients to come back that next day to frozen water pipes and their office was flooded? No, that would probably that would probably not be good protection. So simply by sharing, and again, this is not this was not from his company. Let's think of the stacks, right. This was not from stack one. This wasn't from his company, this was not even from stack to. This wasn't about Oh, legislation in North Carolina is changing property and cast. No, this wasn't even an insurance thing. This was like just pure, like common sense. It was very insightful common sense, but it had nothing to do with his company or his industry. It was just that, oh, it's going to be cold, here's how you protect your business from frozen pipes flooding your office and I'm going to share this information with you. Right. So that and not sales. He totally helpful. Yeah, I I was just going to say that the certainly the two examples you've provided. I mean they have a very authentic, genuine feel to it and I think, I think a lot of times there is that immediate push back when it comes to sales. You know, people haven't maybe an image in their mind. They don't want to feel like a high pressure sale situation. So both of those examples are fantastic of hey, this is this is authentic, this is genuine information. It's really it's designed to help, because I'm out in the field, this is what I'm seeing. Certainly not a sales element to it. The they the sort of follow up question that I had thinking about this idea of original field generated sales content. is also that, you know, is there is there a place for overview, review supervision? I mean, like we've touched on the fact that marketing, you know, when they put out a new piece of content,...

...it's it's certainly it's gone through the proper channels that there has been oversight, there has been you know, it has been signed off because it's gone through graphic design and copy and editors, you know. So you know you want to put out content quickly, effectively authentically. So you know how much, how much overviewer supervision? Would you say is is pertinent or relevant or important, especially when you're dealing with a group that maybe is just now getting used to this idea of putting out their own original content? That's a great question. First lets first I want to use this question to acknowledge we absolutely recognize certain industries are regulated, like financial services and medical industries, and you can't say anything basically that hadn't been vetted my marketing. Forget it legal right. So that's one issue. But even in and outside of that, in a general context, yeah, absolutely. I have clients that have set up process of and a blog is probably a better example of this than some of the quick like things I just mentioned. So let's say something. What's the blog? So I actually have some clients that have set up a review process and they say, Hey, look, we realize we'll sales people, you're out. You know you're not necessarily writers and you know, will prove it for you and let's just make sure it's kind of an in line and things like that. So they'll they've actually set up. Then they're marketing like hey, submit it into here. Will you know, tighten it up and clean up, make sure your grammared little proofing and we'll tweak a little bit. Give it back. You can still publish it under under your name. And they're actually rewarding the salespeople. So now, so in this case, sales is not only the greatest content distribution source, they become potentially the greatest content creation source, because this company is actually now rewarding sales people who's content gets accepted, vetted, proofed and sent back out. And it's and now it's not just for that one salesperson's network, but they'll pump it back out to any to the entire sales team that may want to use it and that, you know, makes that Creator. That gives them a nice Kudo. They're rewarded for it and their content is shared on a much larger basis. So that's...

...absolutely a viable process to have in the loop. Yeah, that's fantastic one, and certainly in it, you know, an atmosphere of competing for attention and eyeballs and ear drums and there's just a lot of noise out there. You know, being able to come up with relevant content and then distribute it is it's such an important part of the process and you know, no matter what in stor you're in, if you're trying to grow your business, that's that's relevant. So, Kurt, I think this has been some really tremendous content. We really appreciate you taking some time out of your schedule to join us on the show today. I'm sure you could talk more about this, and so if any of our listeners are interested in finding out more, connecting with you or again finding out more about van Gresso and the amazing things you and your team are up to, what is the best way for them to go about doing that? Well, for myself, I'll just point you to linkedin. Go ahead and send me a linkedin invitation. Make sure and mention you heard me here on the Bob Growth Show with Jonathan Green, or you can go visit my company website, which is Ben Gresso Dot Com, and I'm sure of that. Will just all be in the show notes that they're looking for. Spelling. Yep, absolutely, Kurt again, thank you so much for your time today. As a pleasure having you on the show. Great thanks, Jonathan. To ensure that you never miss an episode of the B Tob Growth Show, subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. This guarantees that every episode will get delivered directly to your device. If you'd like to connect with B tob executives from all over the world, make sure to join our private facebook community. There are some incredible conversations happening inside this group. To Join, Visit Bob Growth Showcom FB. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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