B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 1674 · 3 months ago

How to Build a Four-Point Demand Gen Strategy with Brett Trainor

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this replay episode, Lesley Crews talks with Brett Trainor about how to shift your mindset and focus on growth.

Conversations from the front lines of marketing. This is be to be growth. Welcome back to be a be growth. This is Benjie, and I am thrilled that you're with us for Friday's episode. We're doing something that we've begun to do every Friday, which is share a replay episode from our archive, because so much of our content really is evergreen and helps us be better marketers and we don't want it to just get lost in the feed, especially now that we're back to this daily cadence. I don't know about you, but I've loved doing this and having an episode show up every morning that I can listen to and help to sharpen my skills as a marketer. Today we're going to share an episode on how to build a four point two managin strategy. That I think will be timely, but I wanted to highlight this week's episodes that we released and again, because it's this daily cadence. Maybe you've missed one of these, but alignment under construction with Lisa Smith, founder led selling with Jen able, and then stop avoiding brand in the board room with Drew Niser. Yesterday we talked to click up specialist right creative, Melissa Rosenthal, and we talked all about personality in the suit. That how that's a superpower within business. With these episodes coming out at this cadence, I'd love to hear from you what episode to stick out, what of this content is really resonating? You can always chat with me. I'd love a DM over on Linkedin with an insight that you're getting out of these episodes and want to connect with those that are our love and be to be growth. Today's episode is a conversation with Brett trainer on how to shift your mindset, how to focus on growth, how to create this four point demand Gen strategy. Leslie cruise chatted with them. This is a fantastic conversation. I know you're going to enjoy it, so let's dive in. What's up everybody? Welcome back to BEDB growth. I'm Leslie crus with Sweet Fish Media and today we are continuing our deep dive into to me on generation. I'm really, really excited to have joining me Brett trainer, host of be tob founder, a weekly podcast focused on helping be tob founders and owners go from a start up to a scale up. Brett, thanks so much for joining me on BB growth today, Leslie's my pleasure. You know, I'm a big fan of this show, so happy to be here and this is our first time talking. I think this is a repeat visit for me to to the program but, you know, excited to be here and to I have to give a little bit of a shout out that you were one of the folks that really help me get the podcast up and running back in the day, a hundred plus episodes ago, so thank you for that as well. Yeah, I'm so excited...

...to have seen how much your podcast has grown, which is why I really wanted to talk to you today, because it's cool to see, you know how you have helped so many founders go from start up to scale up, and so I'm really excited. And as you know, we're talking about demand generation today, so I'm curious, before we get a little too deep here, in your own words, how would you define demand generation? Yeah, it's funny think over the past, you know, five years, it's really change as to run a demand generation team, but I think you know part of it now. You have to look at to Manchin as an organizational approach right, and it can't just be paid you know, facebook ads, it's going to divide demand. It's really got to be an organizational approach to connecting with connecting with your prospects, and I think one of the biggest things that shifted, and rightfully so, is kind of, you know, turning the script a little bit and thinking less about selling right and more about how do we enable our buyers right? So are we targeting with problems that we're solving? Are we still leading with features and benefits and how good we are? So to me that's the biggest thing. It's just not a you know, to a customer experience. Is No longer just customer service, it's organizational. I think the same things applying to demand generation. Yeah, absolutely, and you kind of leaned into this little but one of my favorite things you've talked about lately on your Linkedin is actually grow both as a mindset, and I do want to talk about that because I think it's something that's so important in this industry. And you know, something I feel a lot of be tob marketers tend to get wrong is focusing on growth from more of a sales perspective rather than a buyers perspective. So what would you say is so important about shifting that focus. Yeah, I think that's it's a great point and so true, because you know stat I read that too long ago, which surprised me, I haven't seen it earlier, is that you know at any given moment only three percent of your ideal fire is actually and by now mode. Wow, it's so. It means if you're looking at to managin in the traditional sense, is more transactional, I would say. Right. So how do we connect with somebody and get them to buy our stuff? And I think if you change that to a growth mindset and say hey, look, not all of this is going to happen today. He would be great if we could connect with those three percent and get him to buy tomorrow. But the reality of the situation it's a longer game and so demandgin is got to be broken into kind of those different parts and I think if must the organization, especially in a startup, doesn't think about it from a growth perspective or a growth mindset versus a transactional mindset. Yeah, it's going to be a really long road to to achieve their goals and growth goals. Yeah, something you said another time was I think it's in your linked in profile is change is inevitable. Growth is optional, and I just I love that because it's so so accurate and this specific field. Yeah, no, I think it...

...absolutely is. And you know, one of the things that the drew me back into the startup world a number of years ago was, you know, growth in the startup and BTB, not even growth in the start of a growth in the be tob space is very nuanced, right. It's just not. You can't just do one thing like a direct consumer on a website. You your cell you connect with this customer, they buy your product, right. I mean you've got multiple buyers. Typically right when you're selling in the B tob space, you've got the timing issue. You know, they may not be aware of the product or solution that you have. So it becomes very nuanced and you know, that's why I you know change is going to happen. Your buyers preferences are going to change and if you don't have the ability to shift, you know you're going to have a hard time, you know, staying to poured and keep growing. I think we're seeing a lot of companies now, when the digital are the pandemic hit, having trouble connecting you right, in a digital first world. So they, like said, change is going to keep happening. I think it's going to keep happing more and more rapidly. So how do we embrace that to, you know, get to the growth absolutely? What is something that you think be tob marketers in this industry need to stop doing? Yeah, I think the biggest one, and I've been on the soapbox for a while, it is talking about the the sales and marketing alignment. Right. So if you're a younger, growing organization, you don't have those silos in place yet and it really has to be likes. We said I wouldn't ness or lead with marketer, but I've been thinking from a growth perspective. You know, think about it. How do I connect with my my prospects? Where are they right? We've seen the preference is changing. They like to do the research right, they want to be able to solve their own problems and guess what, they're going to vet you before they even in talk to you. So I think taking back to what we originally talked about, more of a buyer enablement approach is going to enable you to better not only connect, because I think one of the bigger, bigger issues between the sales and marketing is you can't look at at as a handoff. Right. So, if we think about it from back to buy, our enablement, which is becoming a theme, that Hey, the prospect, yeah, they found your content somewhere on linkedin or on the website or referral or a customer and they're checking it out and now they're raising their hand and say, Hey, I'd like to chat with somebody. Too many small businesses, and I would you even say legacy and enterprise companies, struggle with helping that process our prospect through the the buying process. Right. Too often we define it on our terms as the the company. Right, hey, this is our sales process, this is, you know, how we do demos this. If you flip that switch and think about it and map it back from how the buyer wants to buy, you're going to take a lot of friction out of a process. I know, a little tangent there to ask your question. Yeah, no, yeah, I think that sales and marketing alignment is really important. It's something I've been learning a lot about because it's something that people just don't think about, but it really...

...is so simple. Just to look internally and it's really an organizational fix. And you know that conflict kind of comes from. I mean it could be something so simple as having sales and marketing get together and really defining the leads. I mean just going back to, you know, step one, like what what is a lead to us? And I think that's why there's so much conflict there. And I would even take that even a step further and say there are no there is no such thing as a marketing qualified lead. Now, this since my humble opinion that you right. Either the buyer is ready to buy. So it's all intent right. So you know, I may come to your website, download a couple white papers, you know, fill out and sign up for your newsletter. That doesn't mean I'm ready to buy. I haven't raised my hand and said yeah, let's engage right. So don't force your prospects through the buying process. And I think even just going back, so you know, I came from the sales world initially, so you know it's kind of it's been a mindset shift for me, right, because sales used to be the driver for a lot of organizations and specifically around revenue growth. We can get into you know, expansion and retention and how do you keep your current customers? But from a new business perspective, I think if you're leading with sales and using that as a cold outreach, you know, I look at his sales as a hand to hand combat, right. So each sales rep can do really well and if you have good sales reck guess what, they're going to hit their quota. They're going to do well. But I wouldn't bet my growth of a company on that strategy right, because that what do you have a hundred people having to hit their quota and if you see the you know the data doesn't support that that many are hitting it. So I think that's why it's got a switch to more of a digital first and then having the the right resources available when that customer prospect raises their hand to engage with you. So one of the things I advise my clients is don't even think of it that way. Let's think about it. Hey, the prospects out there, if they message somebody from linkedin or drop us a note, you know, how do we respond to that? In the way again, encourage them to think about think of your first level human content is kind of the cancierge help them through that buying process right. You don't want to necessarily hit the sales switch immediately because you're going to turn them off and you usually only have a one chance. Now that's not to say that there's not a point for for sales ups right in enterprise selling. Absolutely you need those talented folks and I would also argue that, as you're getting close in, the customers definitely interested and asking for that customers business. You know, not everybody's cut out for it. So I think it just again comes back to that mindset and how do you map to align with the customer or the prospect and have the right human touch where it makes sense? I mean that is the only way you're going to scale a business. I mean, yet to see anybody do it otherwise. So hopefully it makes sense. So that's okay. I love it, and this actually segues really well kind of talking about going start up to scale up. You and I...

...were talking previously about a four point framework and I was wondering if you would dive into that a little bit with for our listeners. Yeah, absolutely, we already cover, you know, pieces of it, but you know this is something that I've been using for quite a while but finally wrote it down and documented and kind of formalized it. But but this goes back to be tob growth is very nuanced and what this framework allows for is to plan for each of those areas. And you know, an easy way to remember it is aces, right, aces. I know I didn't fit the words to fit the the acronymic just happened to work out that way. But you know, a is the is the initial. It's the alignment and the way I like to kind of outline this, it's really round your messaging and positioning and making sure one your message right, what your offer is aligned with, you know who you're serving right, if your offer and solution isn't aligned with what your ideal customers are buying or if your customers change, you know to making sure those two things are aligned. But a lot of companies probably get that right. But the third piece of the alignment is you know your company's why. You can almost do a whole segment on you know why are we in business. I know sweet fish does really good job of articulating that, but important internally is to make sure those three so your company, why you're offering in your customers need to align, because if there's, you know, misalignment or a mismatch, then you're creating friction and it's going to be really hard to connect with those prospects. So, you know, I said we could do almost an episode on this piece of it, but if you can't get that part right, you know, then when you get into the execution aspect of it, you are already at a disadvantage. So I really encourage folks to take the time to go through this. So let's assume we've got that, we've got our message, everything's aligned organization, we were to go as like how do we execute, and instead of the seven step buyer journey and all these other things, which I'm a fan of, you know, I broke it into really three pieces. The first is being connect right. How are we going to connect with those prospects? We talked about a little bit. You know, at any given point only three percent are actively buying, which means you need to be out there with you know, content first, right. We again switch fish does a really good job, between Linkedin the podcast content, providing a ton of value to potential future customers. So it's really you know, using that hackey analogy. That how we're going to be there for a customers when they're ready for us. Right, you can't be always chasing or pushing. It's just not a good long term strategy. I think again, the new world order is organic and Seo or still critical, because customers are searching for solutions. And you know, I'll come back to tie to the new business after that. So that's really the connect all right. So how are we going to connect with our our new prospects? The second is enablement. Right. I've talked about that, I think, a couple times already. Is All right. So somebody's is their hand. How...

...do we get them through that process right, with the minimal time and friction and possible and get them to that buying decision? So changing the mindset from sales enablement to buy our enablement. But don't stop there. So if we talk about enablement, we bring somebody on board and then, you know, are we enabling our customers to unlock the value of our offering? Right, without being too cliche, but many companies make the mistake. All right, we sold them, let's throw them over the fence. You know, we've got an onboarding team and maybe a customer successor account management. Very few companies still have a plan. So if you're in the startup phase and you can build this into the DNA of your organization, you're going to be light years ahead. So that's really enabling, and not just the prospect. Then once they become customers. And then, last but not least, is support. Right. Are you there to help your customers when they need it? Because not everything's always going to go perfect and a lot of the Times this support and service, which you know, you could argue could be part of enablement, but I still look at enablement as more as process and automation and support is right. Really how do we service our customers? And what I kind of refer to a second ago is back to the sales cycle man. If you could develop some really passionate customers about your service and your business, they're going to help you sell right, they're going to make the referrals, they're going to talk about it on social and other areas, which just makes your life so much easier when you're trying to get back in and grow new business. So usually I can lestly, I can talk about this for about hours. So I think that was my five minute overview. So if you've you got any questions, please fire away. Oh No, I think this is so great. I think I think my favorite part of this is really the connect factor, because it's kind of making yourself almost go to for that specific area. You know it's you're not really targeting, but you're just making yourself you know, you're providing value, you're making yourself available, and I think that's so important. Yeah, no, a hundred percent. Yeah, because if you can't connect with folks, you really don't need to enable and we're support them because you're not getting them through the the through the pipeline. And you know, even that's why these are all interconnected. And, like I said, I start from the alignment because if you can't get the messaging right, it's going to get your to have trouble connecting and you can't connect, then it's even harder to enable. But on the flip side, I would say if you miss mishandle the enablement aspect of it, your churn rates going to go up much higher. You may not even get as you know, the close rate is high as you want because the process wasn't easy for the buyer. So that's why I go back to it's just not about to managin and this is kind of how I think about growth, with demand jend kind of being the engine. But unless you get all four parts working, you're not going to you're gonna have to work twice as hard to get to the same revenue goals. Absolutely, and to anyone WHO's working in a start up or scaleup organization and is listening to this and thinking, man, I really want to implement a demand Gen strategy into my business, but maybe they don't...

...have the resources, they don't have a specific person to sit in that role, would you point them back to this framework and say, Hey, this is where you need to start. You know you have to start with a line, or would you point them in a different direction? On where exactly would you start building that demand Gen strategy? Yeah, no, it's a great question, but it did. You know, this framework really works for businesses of all sizes. Right. So, if you think about those four pieces at it, enterprise or legacy company that's been in business for thirty years, they'd have a lot of work to do, probably mostly around the connect in the enable piece of it to do it efficiently. And you know the one of the things that I look at from a growth stage. So the early stage of a startup it's the founder and it's founder led selling. The founder probably or the CO founders, are doing everything. But this framework still makes sense right as you're starting to test your own messaging. Now you're not going to have super documented processes or automation at this point in time, but if you think about it the same way, you still want to start building this into the DNA. So yeah, I highly encourage folks, even if it's not super deep, initially start with this framework because one of the the challenges that I found with the the companies that do start to move from start up to scale up is there scrambling to get processes in place or who are the folks that are going to do certain things? And, like I said, if you start with kind of the the general high level process, you can worry about who's going to do what later. I wouldn't spend days weeks documenting processes when it's, you know, a founder and it maybe a couple folks. But my I guess my advice is don't wait until you're really moving through the growth phase to try to get this these pieces into place. HMM. That's really really good advice, because I feel like so many times people are like, well, we're growing and we're getting there and we're not quite ready to roll this out yet and we're not quite ready for this framework. But kind of just starting where you're at, as you are. Like you said, this works for for all sizes, so that's g great. Yeah, you can only pave the road as you're driving for so long before you run off the road. Right, that's not mine. I forget who I got. I should be able to back to somebody, but I use that all the time because we all we're all guilty of it. It do a certain extent. You have to, but you know, think about what the crew is you need, you know, as you start to drive faster. Absolutely, and another question I had for you, kind of going off on a different path here, is how can startups get demandagin wrong? We talked about this a little bit, but I wanted you to dive into that a little bit more. Yeah, I think the number one thing is when your outreach and connecting is is trying to sell hm. Right, those days of the used car salesman saying by now, by now, it just doesn't it's not going to work. And I think if you take that the value first mindset, right, how do we provide good content? You know, the customers are going to tell you when, when they're ready, and I still think that is the number one that. You know, trying to sell too...

...quickly and only, and then to leading with with features and benefits. Right, you've got precious marketing dollars that you're using and hours that you're using, and if you're going out to folks say hey, look at my newest technology or look at these features and benefits, and the customer does not care, right, they don't care about their features and benefits. So you kind of flip that switch and think about what are the problems you're solving for these customers? Right, super simple. What are the problems you're solving? How do you solve them and how do you solve them differently? And I think if you take that approach into the market with demand Jents, which is kind of counter to demand, because I think everybody thinks that demand Jen is no new business now and until you're established it's going to be really hard because if people don't know you or they don't know they have a problem, you're going to have really hard time selling them. So yeah, I'd not say any can happen, but I think those are the two biggest pieces that startups and even enterprise spend too much time on. That's great bread. This has been so insightful. Thank you so much for joining me today and talking about this framework. I think this is going to be huge for so many companies who are looking to implement a new demand gin strategy and I'm really excited about it. So where can people listening to this find you online if they're interested in hearing more from you? Yeah, I mean the easiest place. I'll give you too is, you know, Brett trainercom. My website connects to everything. It's just Brett T ai Andr so right, triple t trainer, and then on Linkedin. I'm more than happy to connect with folks and you know, like I said, we got a lot of good free content and I'm happy to have a conversation with anybody that just wants to talk about to Managin and growth, especially in the they really stage BB companies. B Tob growth is brought to you by the team at sweet fish media. Here at sweet fish we produce podcasts for some of the most innovative brands in the world and we help them turn those podcasts into Microvideos linkedin content, blog posts and more. We're on a mission to produce every leader's favorite show. Want more information, visit Sweet Fish Mediacom.

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