538: Creating a Demand Generation Strategy for a Skeptical Buyer w/ Bethany Walsh

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Bethany Walsh, VP Marketing at Abacus.

Wouldn't it be nice to have severalthought leaders in your industry know and Love Your brand? Start a podcast,invite your industries thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reaping thebenefits of having a network full of industry influencers? Learn more at sweet fishMediacom. You're listening to the be tob growth show, a podcast dedicated tohelping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniques and strategiesor tools and resources? You've come to the right place. I'm JonathanGreen and I'm James Carberry. Let's get into the show. Welcome back tothe BB growth show. We are here today with Bethany Walsh. She's theVP of marketing at Avacus. Bethany, how you doing today? Great,great, thanks, Janks, for having me. I'm excited to chat withyou today, Bethany. We're going to be talking about creating a demand generationstrategy for a skeptical buyer. This is...

...definitely a topic that we have notcovered before, so I really appreciate the granularity as you were, you know, thinking through the the topic that we should cover. I think this isgoing to be super valuable. But before we get into that, you've gotkind of a three part approach for creating this demandgin strategy. Before we getto that, tell us a little bit about Avacus and what you and yourteam are up to over there. Yeah, so avacast is really the first realtime expense reporting platform. So basically what that means is we remove thetraditional expense report from the process of submitting expenses and instead the platform relies ondata points and integrations to help employes submit expenses as they occur and then asort of automatically sorts and organizes them into what we call live reports, whichmakes it really easy for finance teams to review and approve them. So we'rereally you know, my team is focused on selling into the finance department at, you know, midsize companies, and so this is really a topic thatis something we've had to think long and...

...hard about and really sort of tryto find different ways to, you know, build relationships with this buyer. Knowthat that makes perfect sense. I think finance and it I would imagine, are probably some of the most skeptical buyers just by the nature of,you know, the type of products are needing to buy. In the impactthat they know this great significance that those products have on the organization as awhole from a security standpoint. Obviously, finance is huge. So to diveright in, Bethany understanding? Now a little bit of context as to whythis this is something that you're particularly skilled in. You guys have done alot of thinking around this idea. Let's start by talking about what do youthink makes the buyer skeptical? Yeah, I mean it's so the first thingI would say is skeptical isn't necessarily bad, right. You know, like yousaid, it finance, legal departments, you know these teams. They carrya lot of responsibility and sort of...

...the you know, the way ofthe business on their shoulders, and so their job is to be really diligent. You know, if they're going to buy a piece of software or,you know, some sort of service that goes into their process and it's goingto, you know, touch these really important pieces of data, they wantto make sure that it's stable, that it's going to be around for awhile, and so they're going to you know, they're really going to dotheir homework and by that nature, in order to be really biased and doyour diligence. You have to you have to be a little skeptical and youhave to ask a lot of questions, you know. So I think thatthey can't afford to sort of miss step or fail because they have these bigconsequences that would come out of that. So I think the first thing youknow, as a marketer, to realize is, you know, just becausethey're skeptical, it doesn't it doesn't mean that it's it's bad or, youknow, hurtful to the buying process.

I think it it just means thatyou're really going to want to help them do their homework and sort of takea different approach with them, and I like that idea of kind of reframingthe way that we look at someone who's skeptical. You know, your buyersreally diligent and so looking at it from the perspective of okay, if youhave a very diligent buyer, than you have lots of opportunities to you,you know, provide content context to them that can allow them to do thatdue diligence. So I love the way you've thought about it. There thisthis next point that we're going to talk about. Bethany, you said theywon't buy from you if they don't trust you. This is something that obviouslywe've talked about a lot on the show, the importance of trust, but talkto us, talk to us a little bit about this. Yeah,so, I mean I think that just in general buyers today, there's somany options that trust is becoming more important in the buying process as a whole. But I think, especially for a...

...skeptical buyer, you know, thattrust is sort of the foundation of the buying process to an extent that isa little bit deeper, you know, and I think that for them it'sreally they want that proof and they need that proof and so, as youknow, as a marketer, it's something that you have to instill across thewhole organization because you have to be genuine and you have to do what you'rewhat you say you're going to do. And so if you say that yourproduct can do something, you know they'll see through the exaggerations and when theydo their homework and they do their digging, you know they'll find out whether ornot you know you're going to be able to follow through. But thegreat thing is is that once they trust you, they're going to stick withyou. Because, you know, it's this isn't a buyer that wants togo and shop around a lot. You know, their risk adverse. Theydon't want to, you know, keep...

...trying things out. They want tofind something that works and they want to stick with it. So if theytrust you enough to buy from you, they're really going to stick with youand they want to build that relationship. So I think about it, asyou know, really as an opportunity. I think that, you know,building that sort of relationship can lead to even, you know, more sortof benefits down the road in terms of them being there for you when youneed to help build trust with another prospect, you know, in terms of referralsor reference calls or anything like that. But it is it is really important. You know, they're not going to they're not going to step lightlyinto into this kind of you know, buying software or, you know,buying your service or whatever it is. So that and they want to makesure that they're not going to have to do sort of a rip and replace. They don't want to, you know, install something and then have it notworked out. So so trust is...

...pretty much the key in the foundationto the whole process being a success. So, with that being said,kind of laying the groundwork of understanding that that trust is absolutely essential, anessential part of this equation. Well, I'd love to close on talking aboutsome practical tactics that, you know, the folks listening to this can startto employ to to build that trust. Yeah, I mean, you know, tactics are really hard and they're really you know, it's it varies forindustry and you know exactly what you're selling and things like that. But youknow, there's some things that you're going to know about your skeptical buyer rightlike they're going to want to do their homework, and so the first placethat that always starts today is, you know, you go to your searchengine and you type in, you know, what is it that you're looking for? Well, these buyers oftentimes have...

...really specific questions. So focusing onthose long tail keywords, the more specific you can get in the closer toanswering that exact question you can get, the more sort of points you're goingto earn with them, because they're really going to think that you understand theirsituation and that you understand the problems that they're trying to to solve. Andso they're not going to go into this with with someone that they think doesn'tunderstand or speak their language. So, you know, focusing it, reallyknowing what those long tail keywords are, you know what exactly people are aresearching for, is super important and it's definitely an investment to make. Yeah, and would that sort of comes that trust aspect again and being genuine.You know, you can't just put up url with the exact phrase in itand then put something else on the page, like you really need to dive intothat specific problem on the page and, you know, show them that youcan offer a solution to that.

I think the other thing that,you know, we've started to focus on is third party validation, so reviewsand APP listings and, you know, getting your current customers to, youknow, publicly participate in that validation is really important. You know, don'tbe afraid of asking for reviews and if you're if you're following through and you're, you know, doing what you said you were going to do, itshouldn't be hard to ask for reviews and you know, it shouldn't be somethingthat you worry about. And then the other thing that you know is reallygreat for validation is you know, finding other companies or, you know,solutions that you can partner with that are brands that they already trust. Whatare these partnerships look like? Bethany that ones? That one's super interesting tome. Yeah, so, you know, our software is sort of a pieceof the accounting stack, and so when we came into the market,when we integrated with different accounting platforms,...

...you know, net suite intact,we took advantage of those partnerships and really, you know, aligned ourselves with theircustomer base and, you know, go going to those events and andbeing a good partner with them. Sort of shows their audience that, youknow, we have longevity, that we are a legitimate company and that,you know, we take this seriously, and so that was really what helpedus build, start to build a relationship with that with their customer base.So taking advantage of those sort of CO branding, you know, marketing opportunitiesis super, super important. You know, another way to do that is throughcontent, you know, doing webinars or ebooks with existing, you know, vendors that they already trust is a great way to start to get them, to get them exposure to your point...

...of view. Yeah, I didthat I've done that a couple times so far this year with two different virtualsummits that we've planned where we've had companies that were much larger than US partnerwith us to put on the event. And obviously we're we're seeing as apartner with these large brands, putting putting out this piece of content and inthe form of a virtual summit, and so I think your spot on thatwe got to absorb the trust that our buyers have in these other companies becausewe're putting on an event with them. So that that makes total sense.Another another thing that you had mentioned as we were talking through this offline,you mentioned the importance of segmentation. Can you talk to us a little bitabout that and why that's really important to hone in on here? Yeah,absolutely. You know, finance teams in particular, we found very so muchand they're sort of processes very so much,...

...and so you know, there's somecommonalities and some trends that you can find, whether it's by segmenting byvertical, by company size, you know, by sort of dollars that they've raised. There's a lot of different ways to sort of look at your audience, but figuring out what makes their situation different from someone else's really helps youhave a better conversation with them. You know, it kind of goes backto those long tail key words. You know, somebody from, you know, Twenty Person Tech Company in the finance team is probably trying to solve adifferent problem than somebody from a five hundred person consultant agency, you know.So understanding those different use cases is is really also going to help you buildthat trust because you know you know what you're talking about and you've been throughthat with other customers. That makes a big difference. I really appreciate yousharing that piece, Bethany this, this...

...entire strategy, the the method thatyou've used to create this to mandarin strategy, particularly for someone with the skeptical buyer, I think is super, super helpful as definitely, like I saidearlier, not something we've talked about on the show before. So I reallyappreciate you sharing this. If there's somebody listening that wants to stay connected withyou, maybe they want to dig deeper on this idea. Maybe there theyhave very skeptical buyers and want to jam with you on some ideas. What'sthe best way for them to stay in contact with you and also how canthey learn more about abacus? Yeah, definitely. So you can check usout at abacuscom or on twitter at Abacus. Pretty simple there. You can alwaysget in touch with me through email. It's just Bethany at abacustcom and mytwitter handle is be a barker. So definitely reach out. Let meknow if you have questions, and I'd also love to hear you know otherpeople's methods as well. So awesome, Bethany. Will thank you so muchfor your time today. This has been fantastic, so I really appreciate it. Thank you. To ensure that you...

...never miss an episode of the BTob Growth Show, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. This guarantees that every episode will get delivered directly to your device. Ifyou or someone you know would be an incredible guest for the B tob growthshow, email me at Jonathan at sweet fish Mediacom. Let us know.We love connecting with be to be executives and we love sharing their wisdom andperspective with our audience. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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