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Finding Strategic Clarity with Greg Head – Episode 182 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Clarity

Greg Head helps founders and CEOs develop stronger growth strategies for their businesses. He has helped three software companies grow from startup to global scale in more than 25 years in the software industry. Most recently, he worked with Infusionsoft growing it from $15 million to $100 million in revenues in five years as Chief Marketing Officer, leading the company’s marketing strategy, demand generation, communications, partner marketing and product marketing functions. Greg also held leadership positions at the startup through acquisition stages of two other highly-successful CRM software businesses, ACT! and SalesLogix, which have generated more than $1 billion in total revenue.

  • You have to figure out what your message is for the world. @GregHead
  • Things that scale up do so by narrowing down. @GregHead
  • Successful companies start with one customer, doing one thing massively well, usually with one tactic. @GregHead
  • Going from ADD to OCD is a requirement for scaling up. @GregHead
  • If you don’t narrow down exactly who you serve, you are just another mediocre player. @GregHead
  • Know what game you’re playing. @GregHead
  • 8 action steps to help you get more strategic marketing clarity for your business.
  • It’s easier than ever to start a business but harder than ever to capture people’s attention. @GregHead
  • “Mindshare precedes market share” – @ScottMcCain
  • First, clarify who you are going after. @rory_vaden
  • When clarifying your customer, think in psychographic in addition to demographic. @rory_vaden
  • Your current customers tell you who your future customers should be. @rory_vaden
  • Cultivate the habit of action by demanding progress and completely freeing yourself of the demand for perfection. @rory_vaden
  • The more you try, opportunities you take, and tests you make the better you will become. @rory_vaden

Visit Greghead.com to learn more about Greg and his insights.

Are you a speaker, author, or consultant? Visit ARM.RoryVaden.com for a free video course where Rory highlights the principles and strategies we use to reach more people. gather leads, and make more money.

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

Building Your Personal Brand with Chris Dessi – Episode 167 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

personal brand

Chris Dessi, MS., Founder & CEO of Silverback Social, is a TEDx speaker, personal branding expert, author and keynote speaker. His latest book is titled Remarkable You: Build a Personal Brand, and Take Charge of Your Career. In 2012, Chris ‘s debut book titled Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change with It shot to #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases. He regularly appears on CNBC, CNN, Fox News, Good Day New York, & FOX BUSINESS’s Varney & Co.  He has been quoted in Mashable, & has delivered a keynote to the United States Marines aboard the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum.  His event the Westchester Digital Summit has been featured in Forbes Magazine.  His creative personal branding has been featured in Fortune Magazine. He’s an editorial contributor on Inc.com.

Show Highlights:

  • Personal branding is the idea of stepping out into the proverbial world and saying I’m an expert at what I do. @chrisdessi
  • A limiting factor for me was that the only people who knew I was good at my job were my clients and my boss. @chrisdessi
  • For me, the first step in personal branding was to create a blog. @chrisdessi
  • When executives of an organization are building their personal brand properly, it can only amplify the organization. @chrisdessi
  • Personal brand building is about appropriate content with a strategy and definite focus on achieving something. @chrisdessi
  • Companies are afraid of personal branding because they don’t want to be out-shown by their executives. @chrisdessi
  • It is our jobs as the head of an organization to make sure we are giving our employees the tools, infrastructure and systems so they don’t leave. @chrisdessi
  • We all have something important to share with the world. @chrisdessi
  • A lot of times people do business with people, not companies. @rory_vaden
  • There is a real opportunity for businesses to benefit from personal branding and the person to benefit from the company brand. @rory_vaden
  • Whatever you are doing, be excellent at what is right in front of you. @rory_vaden
  • Build meaningful relationships with the people who are making things happen. @rory_vaden
  • What are you doing to be active in your industry? @rory_vaden
  • Know all the rules of the game before you change them. @rory_vaden
  • Becoming an expert starts with first being a student. @rory_vaden

To find out more about Chris Dessi and building your personal brand or to grab your own copy of his latest book visit: christopherdessi.com

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

10 Predictions About the Future of Selling in 2016 and Beyond

 

In the future, salespeople are going to look much different than they do today.

Why?

Because customers and the marketplace demand it.

Based on our team at Southwestern Consulting physically visiting 8,220 different sales teams in 42 counties over the past 10 years, and supported by having coached 5,110 salespeople and/or sales managers in that same timeframe, here are some predictions I personally see coming ahead in 2016 and beyond in the world of selling:

  1. Trust has to be built before the sales conversation ever begins. Sales is about trust and that will never change. But in the future more and more trust has to be built with prospects before they even get to have a conversation with a salesperson. This is a concept similar to what Google calls the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). It is the result of the behavior pattern of consumers going online as the first step in making a purchase. Salespeople and companies alike are going to have to have better branding, more useful content for customers, and be more competitively findable to have a chance to build that trust in order to create the opportunity for a sales conversation to even taking place.
  1. The emergence of the personal brand. In pretty much all industries other than retail, people don’t buy from companies; they buy from people. This means that salespeople and not just the companies they work for are going to have to develop stronger brands that establish themselves as experts in their space. Social media has only catalyzed this process and the next step in the evolution is to see an explosion of personal branding develop as subsets of companies larger overarching brands. While we used to have celebrity-CEOs, in the future we may start to see celebrity-salespeople – the most trusted in their field. This will create a host of interesting, creative, and challenging ramifications related to ideation, intellectual property, and brand ownership.
  1. There will be a coalescence of sales and marketing. Because of ZMOT, salespeople are going to need to think more like marketers, where they work to build a personal and findable online presence that builds trust and credibility with prospects. Similarly, marketers are having to think more like salespeople where they have a stricter focus on metrics and measuring each step of the funnel, and working the numbers game to prove ROI of the work they are doing. Classic marketing is going to start looking more and more like information marketing – which is really better referred to as “online selling.”
  1. Big Companies have to wake up to the power of lead capture and conversion. More and more we are impressed at the power, strategy, and dynamic marketing functionality that smaller companies are able to do using tools like Infusionsoft meanwhile many of the large corporate sales forces act like dinosaurs with old, slow, complicated CRM systems that have archaic email functionality and limited capacity for nurturing virtual prospect relationships. Information marketers have figured out some big time lessons that corporate America needs to catch up on.
  1. Companies and individuals need to wake up to the power of content marketing. Many companies still have useless information about themselves and who they are as the core part of their web presence – and nobody cares. The blog is perhaps the most useful part of any website where customers can get answers to their basic questions for free. Meanwhile, most individual salespeople aren’t even aware of the concept of content marketing and they don’t even realize why they need to think more like a media company and less like a traditional salesperson in the future.
  1. A Company’s brand will be defined not by the marketing department but by the aggregate total of the brands of the individuals in that company. A brand is “what people think of when they think of you.” And for at least SMBs the answer to that for most people is determined less by what is on the company’s corporate website and is much more dramatically influenced by what people think of when they think of the people in your company. In the future, where social media is our primary mode of communication, the employees ARE the brand! How scary is that?!
  1. Companies’ marketing resources will shift to include more than just trying to reach customers to instead also including teaching their salespeople how to market. In the past, the “brand” of a company was controlled by a small department that approved every piece of collateral and professionally edited every piece of outbound corporate communication. Now, a big function of the marketing team is going to have to teach their salespeople to think like marketers and to think of intelligent ways to support and assist (and leverage) the online and offline networks of the individual people in the organization to productively help grow the business.
  1. The intersection of the offline and online sales pipeline will need to be more strategic, synergistic, and seamless. You have old-school hard-nosed salespeople who cut their teeth knocking on doors, pounding the pavements, and doing whatever it took to get the job done. And now there are new-school online marketers who know how to create content, drive traffic, and generate leads and sales. The problem is that you need both! But these two types of people couldn’t possibly think more different from one another. So you need a strategy where your company can have technology and online sales processes built that support your offline salespeople and make it easy for them to interface with. And you need to have a strategy that thinks through your offline sales process, your online sales process, and how they work together to grow your business.
  1. Salespeople are steadily being forced to be more honest. The availability of information has tipped the negotiation power into the hands of the consumers. And the power of online reviews where everyone is a critic, forces salespeople to be more honest. Not only that but it forces companies to pay attention and clean up the mistakes of their dishonest salespeople. Where you once could turn a blind eye and pretend it didn’t happen, it can now go viral and sink your company. We think this is one of the most beautiful parts of all the changes that are happening.
  2. A mindset of Servant Selling will be essential for salespeople to survive. It’s possible that salespeople are slowly heading towards extinction. More and more salespeople are being replaced with technology. In order for salespeople to literally survive in the future, they have to find ways to provide more useful value to their prospects and customers. They need to be educated thought leaders who are truly helpful to customers. This is more than just an education though, it is a radical heart change in the entire profession of selling to veer away from the hard charging commission-breathed salesperson of old, into becoming the supportive and useful servant seller of the future.

 

These are just a few of the trends that we are seeing. At Southwestern Consulting we are investing time, resources, and manpower aggressively in the direction of understanding and modeling things like: online selling, personal branding, content marketing, lead capture and conversion strategies, and teaching and supporting our salespeople to think like marketers and more importantly like servants.

These are big but necessary investments we are making so that we can support ourselves and our customers in doing what our parent company has done for over 150 years: help salespeople to sell more with less pressure by being more service-minded.

 

To listen to a podcast featuring me discussing this topic, click here!