Ready for a Digital Sales Transformation?
What does that even mean? Sales has evolved in modern times, have you?
Enjoy a great podcast with guest Bernie Borges, co-founder and CMO of Vengreso, The Digital Sales Transformation company. Bernie also hosts the award winning Modern Marketing Engine podcast with over 240 episodes published.
Bernie is a frequent speaker at industry events and is the author of Marketing 2.0. He has been recognized by industry peers, including Top 50 Content Marketing Influencers 2018, Marketing Insider’s 60 Best Marketing Speakers, 50 Social Media Marketing Influencers and Onalytica’s Top 100 AI Influencers.
Why listen to the podcast?
- Understand the modern buyer needs and meet with qualified buyers.
- How to utilize social media platforms to help do both!
- Also, why these platforms don't actually close deals for you.
Sales today and forever is a process and it follows a funnel like marketing from awareness to conversion to loyalty.
Listen in for selling in today's digital world.
Transcripts are also below! If you would like to be a guest, learn more and schedule your podcast with Jeff Stanislow here.
Also, if you like this and want to up skill your in digital strategies, check out: https://chiefinternetmarketer.com/certified-courses/digital-strategy-specialist/
The Host: Jeff Stanislow, CEO of Chief Internet Marketer
The Guest: Bernie Borges
Transcript of the Digital Marketing Podcast
Jeff S.: 00:01 Hi, this is Jeff Stanislow the chief, at Chief Internet Marketer. Today we're talking with Bernie Borges from Vengreso. How are you doing today, Bernie?
Bernie B.: 00:12 Good. Jeff, how are you doing?
Jeff S.: 00:13 I'm doing wonderful. I appreciate you taking the time to be on the show here at Chief Internet Marketer. Why don't we get started a little bit about you and a little bit of background.
Bernie B.: 00:26 Sure. So I've been in both marketing and sales for over 30 years. Started my career in sales, spent about a dozen years carrying a bag Jeff, in software sales, and then I kind of fell into marketing by accident. I was in an area sales manager role and I was kind of vocal to the marketing team representing the entire sales team on some things that we were looking for for marketing. And they said, "you know, you've got some good ideas, Bernie, why don't you join us and help us roll out some new marketing programs for the sales team." That was kind of the start up my pivot from a sales career into a marketing career. I always had an interest in marketing fact and majored in marketing in college. Then I just kind of evolved from there and ended up heading up marketing for a software company in the Tampa Bay area where we're both located and started my own content marketing agency in 2002 and ran that for about 15 years before joining forces with my cofounders in a two year old venture now I've ingressed. I think it's the fastest I've ever gone through my background.
Jeff S.: 01:35 Well, when I looked through some of your stuff here, you have quite an extensive background and I'm glad to have you on the show. So tell me a little bit about the digital marketing side of things. You said you just got started in 2002 and now you're into a new endeavor. What's the new endeavor and what do you guys do?
Bernie B.: 01:53 So a little bit of back story first. So you know, I mentioned after my role of heading up marketing for a software company instead of my own agency in Tampa, focused on content marketing with B2B companies and really recognized that a lot of companies were struggling with what content to produce, how to produce it, how to publish it, how to share it, how to promote it, how to get SEO value from and how to generate leads. Like everything associated with getting value out of content marketing. Then over time, Jeff, through certain clients that I was working with, again, a hundred percent B2B, some of those clients started to really ask, "how do we get content into the hands of our sales people?" Our sales people need content. We began to help companies do exactly that, help their salespeople, recognize that content is something that they need in order to engage with people on social networks and then how to make it easily available to them, teach them how to use it, how to post it, share that kind of thing. So, we got very actively engaged in that. And then along the way through all of my social networking I met my cofounders online, before I ever met them in person and struck up a conversation, and in 2017 we launched Vengreso. Vengreso is really focused on helping B2B sales teams transform into what we call a modern seller, so they can meet the needs of the modern buyer and that modern buyer out there looking for content, doing research online, and really only willing to engage with sellers who demonstrate trust, credibility, knowledge, social proof, they're sharing relevant content. So that whole backstory of what I was doing at my agency for 15 years really kind of led to what we've been doing at Vengreso for the last few years, which is really helping B2B sales teams be better at engaging with the buyers that they need to engage with.
Jeff S.: 04:01 The subject matter we're going to talk about today is a right in your, I guess, sweet spot per se, and that's content for sales enablement. I'd imagine some of the challenges that you go through in content, and maybe you can talk a little bit about where some of the biggest challenges are, but tell us a little bit about what is content sales enablement and what are some of the challenges and how do you help them?
Bernie B.: 04:27 Sure. Well, first let's talk about what sales enablement is because it's something that has in recent years and not too many years by the way, has really kind of taken off. It's been around in different flavors and versions and different vernacular. I think it's only been a handful of years, two, three years give or take, that sales enablement has really become a thing. And really you know, if I really look at our friends at Miller Heiman Group who we've done some collaborative work with and they've really put a strong definition around that and they call it discipline. Jeff, it's not a department, it's a discipline, and it's a collaborative discipline. The whole idea behind the sales enablement discipline is to help organizations increase predictable sales results by really putting in place enablement services, scalable enablement services, that really allow anybody in the company that's customer facing, to add value in those customer interactions by being able to, for example, find content and engage with them properly. So, again, starting with the definition of sales enablement. The other thing that is really important to talk about Jeff, is that the whole reason that we're even having this conversation, the whole reason that this is a thing, it's important, and companies are investing in it is because the buying process has changed in B2B. We have two companies primarily to thank for that. They are Amazon and Google. And what I mean by that is that they've trained all of us on how to buy. So whether you're buying a pair of shoes or you're buying $1 million technology system, the buying process starts pretty similarly. You go online, do some research, and you ask people that you know, what experience they've had with products, services, vendors, et cetera, that they work with. Again, you know, whether we're buying a pair of shoes or $1 million system, it's a similar buying process. So, the B2B buyer and the way they approach it has changed in recent years. Consequently, it's really put a lot more pressure on sellers to be able to initiate conversations with buyers that are a whole lot less engaged with them because they've already done a lot of research before they even are willing to engage with a seller, right? So that buyer is very, very informed. They come to that first conversation with a lot of information already in hand that they read about. In B2B, oftentimes Jeff, I'm sure you know, there can be multiple people involved in that decision process. I've heard numbers that range from 6.4 to 6.8 buying influences in one decision, and the buyer has really kind of set the bar higher and they have higher expectations from the seller. They expect the seller to really be well-informed, know something about their industry and to be someone that they can trust from conversation from minute one. That puts a lot of pressure on sellers more than ever before. So it's really created this need for sales enablement to really equip the sellers with not just the skills that they need, but the content to be able to add value in those conversations, in those engagements.
Jeff S.: 08:02 Yeah, certainly I'd imagine, like you mentioned earlier, the modern sale, the modern seller, you know, versus the old way, and as you mentioned, when you did software sales a while back, you were that person, right? You are the subject matter expert person that held the keys to the sales material but over time here as you mentioned the buyers are becoming so much more educated than the awareness and research side of the buyer's funnel that it's making it a different sales person that they're chuck full of information and ready to go. So tell me a little bit about the process that you guys go through for somebody who's considering a sales enablement and, where do they start? How do they get started? How do they think? What are they going to think about?
Bernie B.: 08:53 Sure. well, the first thing is sales enablement again is a discipline, not one department in fact in the best of the best companies that are doing sales enablement well, it's a cross functional. It isn't one department. Now, oftentimes there is someone who's in charge of sales enablement and he or she can absolutely be in that role full time, but he or she is also really chassed with collaborating with people across the company to deliver really solid enablement services. So what really has to be in place is first of all, just acknowledging everything that we just talked about, right? That buyers have changed the way they buy. Sellers need to change the way they sell. They need to become, sellers need to become a modern seller and sellers need to be able to earn trust right away.
Bernie B.: 09:43 You know, I'll give you a couple of data points here. In the Linkedin state of sales report, it says it's 77% of buyers are really looking for trust right out of the gate. They, insist on having a salesperson who has earned trust with them from the very first contact. And that said Jeff, buyers won't even, this is another data point out of the Linkedin state of sales report, buyers won't even, 62% of buyers, not all, but 62% of buyers won't even talk to a salesperson before first looking at their Linkedin profile and getting valuable information from that Linkedin profile, which comes back to the first point, meaning that that profile needs to communicate that that salesperson has insight, understanding, expertise, access to resources, et cetera, so that they earn that trust before there's even been a human to human conversation. So all that is kind of the prerequisite. You asked, you know how they do that. It's hard to convey it all in just a few minutes of a podcast. But you know, it's really about understanding the fact that, you know, we're not talking about enabling content in the same way that marketing does. Content marketing, which I did in my agency for many years is wonderful. It remains wonderful, but it's different. It's just a different thing. It's apples and oranges. Content marketing is really the brand going out to the marketplace. So we call it really brand to many, right? One brand going out to the entire marketplace. Content for sales enablement is putting content into the hands of salespeople for one on one engagement between a prospect or a customer. Now that's at the highest level. You need to be able to provide content that spans the entire customer journey from awareness to buying through implementation and adoption. And you need to be able to really drill down on the different types of content that are needed across that buyer's path of awareness, buying and implementation, and then deliver things like case studies and success stories maybe at the awareness phase and you know, things like value in ROI templates, and maybe product demonstrations or even contract templates at the buying phase. Then in implementation you can have different kinds of case studies that really address implementation that can also include best practice implementations and ROI reports and that sort of thing. So, it's really an understanding of content is not one size fits all when it comes to sales enablement. It needs to be segmented across those three phases of awareness, buying and implementation, and then it needs to be made available to salespeople very, very easily. The sales people need to be able to access it easily. They need to be able to grab it and distribute it easily. Oftentimes even given the tools to find content when they're looking for that content. So let me pause there, Jeff, and give you a chance to chime in with comments or questions.
Jeff S.: 12:54 Well, you mentioned trust and how important it is and you gave some data points from the Linkedin study. What do you look for? Or if you were a person and you're looking at your own Linkedin profile what are the things that you recommend one to do to build that trust?
Bernie B.: 13:16 Well, the question you're asking is something that is a core value and service offering from Vengreso. We actually do Linkedin profile, make-overs. So I'll share with you some of the elements of that. Basically it starts with even the image on the front, the top of the profile, a good headshot that's recent, not something taken 20 years ago, and it should be a professional headshot. It doesn't have to be in a studio by the way, but it should be just a good professional headshot that represents you in your professional environment. You know, not in a bathing suit unless you happen to work for maybe a bathing suit manufacturer, I'm using a very extreme example to get the point across. Then the banner Linkedin provides a banner up on top. It's totally free. It's like a billboard, having an image in the banner that is on brand. Ideally, maybe has the name of your company, has your logo, maybe it has some messaging, that sort of thing. Then down to your headline. Too often people Jeff, will put their title in the headline, which is really kind of a wasted use of the headline. You should really describe who you serve, how you serve them, and maybe where, that kind of thing to give the reader an understanding of exactly who you serve and how you serve them. So some basic information about your value proposition in your headline. Then there's the about section in your Linkedin profile. Too many people either skip it entirely, which is really a big mistake, or they write all about themselves, about their career, they write it like a resume. That's the biggest mistake, especially salespeople, can ever make in the about section. It shouldn't be about a crush quota and I'm a great contract negotiator because that's not what your buyer cares about, right? You need to communicate in more detail who you help and how you help them. Maybe some examples of ways that you've helped, you know, companies, you don't have to divulge names of course, and then format it real nicely. Use bullet points, that sort of thing. You can even throw a little Emoji images in there to just kind of spruce it up a little bit. But you get 2000 characters in your about section, so make the most of it and explain who you are to really communicate that value and build that trust. Then when you get down to what I call the resume section, and actually before I get there, I don't want to skip over the fact that you can also include media images in your Linkedin profile and it's not limited to images, it can be video, it can be PDFs, it can be still images. So things like case studies and white papers and videos and podcasts like this and that sort of thing. All those can be put onto your Linkedin profile as media assets and the buyer can click on those and read case studies and read up on things that you and your company deliver to the marketplace to help communicate how you and your company solve the prospect's problems. Then when you get down to the resume section, which is your current experience and in previous experience, again writing from the lens of the buyer, think about what's important to the buyer and explain how you've helped other companies similar to any company that might be visiting your website and an just explain again the problems that you solve and how you solved them and not, I make quota and I crush quota and I'm a great contract negotiator because again that's not what your buyer is looking for. So these are the key elements that really go into it. There's more to it than that, but those are kind of the big rocks and I'll leave it there for now Jeff.
Jeff S.: 16:57 That's some really good information I think. I agree. A lot of people use their Linkedin profile and I'm probably guilty of a little bit myself and I have to revisit that and think about it. They talk about me, me, me, and really you have to kind of explain what it is that you do, the value proposition that you provide and how you can help them solve their problems. That makes complete sense.
Bernie B.: 17:23 Yup. Yup. Exactly. Think of it as your Linkedin profiles, like a mini website. So, for any salesperson who is employed by a company and they're one of 10, 50, 100, 1000, whatever the number is, right? Let's just pick a number of a hundred. Let's say a company has a hundred salespeople, right? That's like a hundred mini websites for that company. You know, the company's one website, but if they have a hundred sales people, that's a hundred mini websites, each of which should be optimized for keywords that are relevant to that company and should be completely on-brand. Meaning all the messaging should be aligned with the company's branding. The the banner should be supplied by the company's marketing departments so that everybody has a similar looking, by the way, it doesn't have to be exactly the same. There can be, we do this all the time with companies where we collaborate with the marketing team and they'll design say a dozen different banners and they can pick and choose the one they want.
Bernie B.: 18:29 They're all blessed by marketing because they all have the brand, they all have the right colors, they all have the right messaging and the rep can just pick whichever one they want and put that banner up there. So it's just a very strong collaborative process between sales and marketing. And again, I want to put an exclamation point Jeff, on the fact that if a company has, I'm using the number a hundred just as a number, right? 100 salespeople, that's like a hundred mini websites. Sometimes Jeff, when a marketer gets that light bulb, like I never looked at it like that before. It can be a pretty significant event like thought process for them because the opposite is true as well. If they have a hundred salespeople and they're not on brand and they're saying whatever they're saying about how they crush quote and negotiate contracts, we had a prospect who turned client where one of the reasons I became a client was we said, "have you realized this rep who's been with your company two years has a skull and crossbones as the banner on their Linkedin profile, and by the way, you're not even listed as their current employer and they've been with you for two years?" That marketer went, holy cow. Then when they dug into it, they found other people who were likewise just a liability and not an asset from a branding and marketing standpoint on Linkedin.
Jeff S.: 19:57 I would imagine you kind of have to do some convincing or some battling with the individual sales person who says, this is my Linkedin page, it's not the company's. So how do you cross that that challenge in regards to it, because oftentimes Linkedin is a place where recruiters find people and things of that nature, but yet they're still employed by the company and who's page is it and how do they not nicely ask them or dictate to them what they would like to with their profile, and that's a challenge.
Bernie B.: 20:36 We hear that all the time. I'll explain to you how we address that, and we've never had anybody, any company, ever not accept this rationale. You know, as the times evolve, there's a lot of things that have to evolve. So when email first came on the scene some 30 years ago, we got a company email address, right? So for me, it's firstname.lastname@example.org. If I'm going to email anybody from my company email address, I'm representing the company. Likewise, if I'm on a company phone system and I record my voicemail message, I have to record that voicemail message in a way that represents the company because it's the company's phone system, right? So if I'm going to display my current employer on my Linkedin profile, then I need to be aligned with the company's branding. Now there are some companies that give their sales people the option, like if you don't want to display us as your current employer on your Linkedin profile and don't display us, and then you do whatever you want on your Linkedin profile, but if you're going to display us and oh by the way, if you're in sales with our company we assume you want to make money, you want to want to max out your commission plan and we want to help you do that. So we want to give you a really awesome rockstar Linkedin profile that's on-brand with rich media assets that you're never going to have to work at because we're going to deliver them to you. We're going to write the profile for you with still giving you some opportunity to personalize it so we don't write it a hundred percent for you. There are places where you can personalize it to make it your personality and you know unique to you, but we're going to give you all the branding elements. We're going to give you all the right words that really explain what we do. We're going to help you write the resume section as well so that you really represent yourself just in a really powerful way that's going to help you attract the buyer that you want to attract. So if you are on our sales team, obviously I'm role playing in this whole scenario. Jeff, I'm the employer. I'm a sales manager. I'm the head of sales. If you want to be on our sales team and max out the commission plan, then why wouldn't you accept this whole process that we're going to roll out to you? Because the alternative is you completely brand yourself on your own. You're not even associated with our company or our Linkedin page because if you're going to use us as your current employer, you have to be in alignment with our brand. Just like when you use our email and use our voicemail system you've got to be in alignment with the way we communicate and represent ourselves in the marketplace. Make sense?
Jeff S.: 23:28 That makes complete sense. I mean, I can see exactly where you're coming from with it and why it's so important. You know, if you're representing your brand and you want to do a good sales job, we're going to give you the resources, the tools, and the training and to give you the ability to put your best foot forward.
Bernie B.: 23:46 Exactly. You hit on a key point that I didn't even hit on Jeff, so thank you for mentioning that. Back to my role playing, I'm the sales leader. You know, you're, let's say you're one of our salespeople. We're having this conversation like, "hey Jeff, you know, we're investing in you. We're going to train you on how to complete this Linkedin profile makeover that we're investing in. We're going to train you on how to use Linkedin to find prospects and how to engage with those prospects and how to turn those connections into conversations so that the more conversations you have, then the more pipeline you can build. So there's a lot of, a lot of things that we're doing to invest in your success. Oh, by the way, we realized that at some point in your career, you may no longer be with us, but everything you learn that's yours. You've learned skills that you can take with you no matter where you are."
Jeff S.: 24:43 You know, that's a really good point you brought up, like kind of using Linkedin as a sales tool and maybe we can do a follow up podcast on a little bit more specifics, but just quick, what are some of the better recommendations that you make for just opening up the door to starting a dialogue with a potential prospect and you and probably everybody else have gotten these messages from Linkedin and it's just like, "bam." It's like using Linkedin for spam and it's like hey, look at these websites we've done, look at [inaudible] we did, and no value proposition. Anything that you'd recommend for someone that's thinking about their strategy and how they get the process rolling.
Bernie B.: 25:32 So, something that we teach in our selling with Linkedin on demand program, which is available both on demand for individuals and also for sales teams, is basically the KLT factor, the Know, Like, and Trust factor. So you've got to build that Know, Like, and Trust. And we teach that through a methodology that we call PVC and the "P" stands for personalization. The "V" stands for value, and the "C" stands for call to action. So instead of that example that you explained Jeff, of people spamming and being very aggressive on Linkedin. What they're doing is very spammie, very ineffective, and just negative. It's received negatively. We teach the complete opposite of that and that is to always reach out to someone with a personal note and you've got to do a little homework on that. By the way, there's no silver bullet, there's no magic wand. You've got to do a little homework and read up on their profile, read up on their company. They may not give you a lot of information on their profile that you can glean, but if you can then find a way to personalize it either about their company, their industry, or about them. Always personalize the invitation and then when they accept add value and adding value is typically providing a piece of content and what that is is always going to be unique to that individual. Maybe your content, it could be something useful. It could be an industry report, it could be just something that it just adds value based on what you've gleaned about them and then a few days later, then look for some kind of a call to action. That call to action may be a request for a meeting or it may be something else. It may be an introduction. It may be just a response, "hey Jeff I'd like to know what you thought about that article that I sent you three days ago. Have you had a chance to read it? I'd really like to know your thoughts on the point on page 10, which I think was really relevant to your industry." So it shows in that outreach that I'm thoughtful in my outreach and I'm not just copying and pasting the same message to you as I am to 50 other people. Like when you receive that, it's unique to you. And Jeff that takes work, and that's what makes it harder, but it also makes it effective because you're personalizing it, you're adding value. Then when you put in that call to action, it's relevant to that individual and you stand out.
Jeff S.: 28:07 Well, Bernie, I really appreciate your time, and your expertise, and I know you've said you've done oh, you know, almost 250 podcasts with your program and your couple of hundred more than I've got underneath my belt. So, I appreciate you taking the time. One of the things that you mentioned in kind of our preview was that when you grew up, you wanted to be a teacher. I think you're well on your way with today's conversation of being that teacher. I'm sure that our listeners will get a lot of value in what you had to say and your process and the way you approached the modern sales and this sales enablement in today's era. So as we conclude Bernie, why don't you tell me how someone can get ahold of you, your website, what are your social handles, or if there's a specific URL for your courses. I'd like to share that with the audience.
Bernie B.: 29:06 Sure. Thank you Jeff. I think the simplest way is just to visit our website, vengreso.com. That's V as in Victoria. and greso is with one S. People tend to want to throw two s's in there. So vengreso.com. My podcast is there Modern Marketing Engine podcast is there. We have another podcast there also about sales. Basically everything that I've been discussing here today, including a ton of free and valuable content we give away, we literally give away our entire training methodology, but you'd have to read a blog post and watch a video and piece it all together. You could do that because it's all there. So there's a lot of valuable content there. So again, vengreso.com. Me, I'm on Linkedin, Bernie Borges, just B o r g e s. So as long as you personalize the invitation, I'd be happy to connect with any listener, Jeff, and thank you for having me. I really do appreciate it.
Jeff S.: 30:03 No, I appreciate your time as well. When I do the page for this, I'll make sure all the links that we talked about are there for our listeners. Again, Bernie, have a wonderful afternoon and I appreciate your time.
Bernie B.: 30:17 Thanks, Jeff. You too.