B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 3 years ago

20: The Power of Business Communities w/ Sangram Vajre

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Does building a community actually generate business? Sangram Vajre, co-founder and Chief Evangelist for Terminus and host of the daily #FlipMyFunnel podcast,  came on the B2B Revenue Acceleration show to discuss building and evaluating business communities.

You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executive stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to be a revenue acceleration. My Name is Joan M with Tier and I'm here today with some grum Vasher from terminus. Are you doing today and Grum, I am fantastic. How are you? I am very good. Thank you, very very good. So today we will be discussing the power of business communities, but first I'd like you to show a little bit more about yourself, but also the company that you represent, terminus. Yeah, sure, so I'm the cofounder and chief evangelist of Terminus. Most recently I ran marketing at par lot and went to the acquisition of exact orget and then sales force. It's all of a sudden event from this hundred people company based here in Atlanta to this ten billion iconic brand sales hold. That was one uriens for me. And then along the wall alium has become kind of my passion things. So I end up writing a book on Accountas marketing that, while he is published in two thousand and sixteen and it's been really good. Terminus started in around two thousand and fifteen. We started as three colos founders, where about two hundred people based here in Atlanta. Wow, that's been a fun journey and along the way also started I wrote a crazy blood flop, myth full of the jump. Sure we'll talk about that. Turn into a pretty awesome community of ten thousand people in plus people in the community with the nine conferences called flip my funnel, and we also do a daily podcast called flip my funnel talking about all things marketing, sales and life's wonderful for the thanks for that, sand grome. So on yarding team profile. You're the title and you mentioned that actually in your introduction of the accidental evangelist, and I believe that that may come from the Ug success of building up the flip my phone or community that you also mentioned. Can you please share with us what motivated you to create this community and and what you had chiefts of our yeah, I mean, I...

...honestly didn't think of building a community. That wasn't the goal in the beginning. It was more of like I just wanted more people to come together and talk about the problem and what I realized in the early days was we were three first time founders based in Atlanta, haven't raised a lot of money, trying to build something that nobody's really talked about, accountass marketing until two thousand and fifteen. So it really was like, how do we make noise? How do we get people talking about it? And none of the analysts or all these turbo and all these analyst from none of them were talking about it. So it wasn't really uphill do or and I realized at that time that until we make the math to believe in it and talk about it, nobody's going to pay attend. And that really started this this idea of flip my funnel, which was, quite honestly, was a was a flight from San Francis is good. Atlanta was in the middle seat and I was drawing this this funnel on a piece of paper and I just flipped it and came up with these new stages and that became the philosophy and by the time I landed, produced a blog and I just launched it and many people said Hey, this is a great idea. That just put an event together and that led to another event, that led to another events really putting one step ahead of another. We kind of somehow stumbled on this building a community, which honestly, is is really the people in the community are building and making it happen. That's wonderful. Is Always love such an organic story, you know when things happen because you start with something and something else upon you don't make. It's an element of look, an element of doing things, but that's wonderful. What you managed to achieve means it's very, very, very impressive. I believe that flip my funnel is a multiplatform community, from from what I've been able to see, so people can interact through your website, through the podcast that you run, through events that you promote and so on. Which of those, from your perspective, is the most powerful channel to bring the...

...community together? And if you had to pick one, which one read? It's a tough question, because there is a there is this thing they said the event is. I feel like it's absolutely the most powerful because it brings people together and there's nothing better when you have two people connecting an event and you build relationship and you now meet people that you're just seeing online and all of a sudden you feel like you're best friends event right. So to event is definitely one of the last conference we did in Boston. We had over thousand people attended and it was just the energy was incredible. So it's fun, but but you can't do an event every single day or month or week, so having making sure that you do once a year event. That's one of the reasons why we started this slip off dot org, which is an online community where people are able to communicate back and forth. But then also there's are all people who are doing some incredible things. So we said, well, why don't just start a podcast, which obviously is one of the most amazing passive way of listening to content, and literally the content that we create on a podcast, I put it on the linkedin platform and then there's a lot more engagement on that on a regular basis, almost daily. So I feel like all of these kind of feed each other. But if I have to say that what I love the most, more than anything, is really meeting people facetoface and seeing their face light up when they meet somebody they really wanted to connect when loan from. Yeah, so the event would be your favorite, then, I believe. But they all connected in a way so you recommend a frequency because I guess the community. I'm being part of a few communities and you've got communities that sometimes US collidered to be too much. I believe, from the members. I've got some community as out set of walk and I'm on the slug group as the moment. Is a few people who we've got the same whole bit and there is people absolutely commencing the whole days, which mean that we can of miss the most important place. So I think I just want question to you is that. Do you have recommendation in not overloading, on not on the loading your member bells, you...

...come a frequency or in theme of Inc of the try to you use that? Is it? Again, a really good question, because I think about it quite a time, especially because we started daily podcast. Yeah, and I think what what really what I found out is that people are going to engage on the things that they like. So, for example, emails, we do not send more than once every two weeks because we know everybody gets terms of emails. So we don't need to send daily weekly emails. We're sending you once every other week. Now podcast, nobody has to do anything. There is no Bush of content. If people can subscribe and they can listen on their community so that has been great. The flip map on Thet Org, we try to post a question or something, maybe every week, but literally let it be organically. Some weeks there's a lot of conversations, some week there's a little conversation and we are okay with that, because people in and out. They have real jobs. We can expect people to be a hanging out all day all along in the community. So I think we have just made sure we are not doing overly doing something or pushing it too much. But if somebody wants to consume conversation and happy post conversations, they have options through our podcasts as being a daily come oversation. Okay. And do you use your members as as with the RTO, I guess, or as people who participate? Sure content through a different channel that you use, or is it just your contents really, and they're more I'm not seeing as a as a listener, if you will. Yeah, now, I think a lot. I mean if you listen to the Philopathal podcast, like ninety nine percent of the conversations are interviews with conditioners out there in the play in the market place who are doing something learning something, finding some issues or challenges. Those are pretty much the topics we will I really think communities are built when they are run by the community as opposed to a figurehead. And so as much as I would like to say, yeah, I'm the found of...

Sun, but my involvement is pretty much making sure there are tools, there are events, that are activities of happening, but the conversations have to be literally led by the people in the community. That's really when it becomes super vibrant. Great that. That's really what's pull off for because you also will touch to things that we people will care about, the guests in the community, which which is much more meaningful than going out with with your own idea that may not be what the community wants to do about the guess. So I mean, you know, the other point of that is that I don't have that many ideas, being very honest, why? You know, there are few ideas that I have and I feel like I've had to talk about them like maybe that a community or commodity, or here's the best practices, wh I think I abm. Framework would beyond that. It is incredibly humbling and amazing to hear people who are actually in the trenches and actually fighting the fight, the good fight, who are actually trying to do something new and there some somebody might be in a small company and somebody may be in a billon doll company, and how they're all trying to fix the problem their organizations. There is no way that I can ever bring that level of intensity in the conversation without hearing from them. So I enjoy the solid dator. Yeah, that's that's so true, very, very trund and I guess we do exactly the same. And this is so I was. I was saying to the team I walk with to organize the post guests how enriched I feel after each conversation. You know, since we start is I've a long so much from people and there is the conversation during the podcast, but there is also the conduction, I'll say, the podcast, the preparation, things like that. It's so, so insightful. To finalize, I've got a question for you about about written on investments in the way, but I'll do you see, flip my fun or community generating business for what company terminus, and I'll do you measure it. Yeah, it's really hard to really look at it that way. And when I take a step back, I didn't realize this before, but I have been I've been learning about building categories and and I feel like every single category leader out there in the marketplace has a community.

They're leading by the community. We can look at examples like sales force. Well, look at they didn't create a sales force, only community. They could call it reinforce. You look at hop spot. They didn't call a hop spot community, they call it in bound. You look at gainside. They called it pulse, and we can go on and on. So, like terminus, it is plip my funnel, which means we have to be incredibly honest making sure that we are not using the community as a bait. To deep close are more of terminus. But community allows us to create narratives in the marketplace that we believe are important for people to know and in some way, shape or form, obviously it helps us because people know who is connected with those. So almost every single category leader out there in the marketplace, when you look back and the blueprint of their leadership style, is that they are led by community. It's not. They're not let by product, because somebody can build a better product than what we have today. So I feel like community gives you almost incredible opportunity to own the market narrative. And once you start owning the market narrative, then you have an opportunity to win based on the fact that you are a bigger brand awareness and brand presence and if you have any good of a product, which obviously we feel we have it, so to sales force and help spot and others, then you will win, and I think it that's how it's really help. been a remarkable thing for us because almost every single competitor of terminus sponsors. Flip my phone either or not they are an attendance or they're sponsoring and has a built or they are speaking at the conference. So we made sure that this is like an industry conference. So everybody wants to run around learn about a canvass marketing is coming to the conferences because everybody is here and we did not exclude anybody, we just invited everybody. So many ways it really allowed us to own the narrative from the top and build a community from the bottom. Absolutely we had a we had the guest who is three, the person with helping us to put all this podcasts together, James Carberry at a street fish media and...

...we discuss about how can you just for the podcast. I'm not talking about events and I'm not talking about the use of bits and pieces, but we discuss about how can you actually generate business from the podcast and we realize that there is three things there is. The first one is true listener. So people, someone new, find stueball upon your podcast somewhere on the Internet, listen to it, loves what you've got to say, wants to get in touch with you. The chancel that of that are probably a little bits slim, but it could happen. The other way is potentially to invite people that you believe could become your customers or could become partners who could be insightful for your community. So you kind of get in touch with your and US always the person that you want to sell to. And the third one is read. That so clear. There ship type of image that I believe you gift to yourself, which means that you may start the prospective conversation with a new clients completely outside of the community that you build, but when those people start to research you, they find that community, they find that you are part of a community, they find that you are talking about subject matter at a quite interesting to them, to the appeals, but also as a mention or radio. Few time you cannot have that sort leadership or are around you, and we believe that it's probably for us that's what has been the most successful and what we've seen the most, the most feedback from prospect becoming clients, for people said well, look, we are looking at you guys and potentially a fewers of companies, but when we need some research about your company, when we did some research about the management, and we so all the article, sort leadership, contend, the podcast, the conversation, the people you are connected with, that just gives us confidence to move forward. So I think the community can be actually very powerful, not only acquisition or for acceleration or but yeah, it is. It is, as you said, it...

...is out. It's you should not expect to and maybe you can comment on that, but I don't know what will be the timeframe from starting to build up a community to get a first revenue from it, but I would expect that this a good few months. Yeah, I mean I think for us that happened immediately, right like, even if I have to really trace almost in the earth days. When we did the first conference we had about ten customers and the conference had three hundred and two to people that travel from all over the place to attend. And for us, like right after that I remember, like you know, end of month we were like over past fifty customers and I feel like the event had a lot to do because it's not just the people who are attending the event but the above that it created across the whole industry around. Oh there is an event happening here and these are all amazing people. They're sending to their people, a lot of the people who are sponsoring the sending emails to their distribution list. So the hell effect of what it can do is is more than the one day or two days when you have the event. So I know that from a revenue perspective it has it's not just the net new revenue. I feel like you know, I think sales forts has this case study with their trial brazer community that I was starting to Matthew Sweezy, who runs their thought leadership at sales force. He said that every single person who is in the trail Lazer community of sales force spends two times more and stays four times longer than other customers. So if you even think from a retention perspective, when you think from the overall value of the customer for you, if they are part of a community, you know that they're having conversations and in that means that they have a higher chance of being successful and that they're successful, they were stay with you. So I think paty has a much bigger part than this acquisition. Yeah, no, I think that's that's a very, very point. Or thank you very much for sharing or your insight with us today. Some grum now, if anyone was listening to that podcast would like to get in touch with you...

...or getting touch about Iminis to a more about what's your gays can do for them. What is the best way to get in touch? Well, I'm doing personally. I'm on Linkedin, post something daily over there. I love it. You can definitely with me on that. Linkedin, on sang on wager on to German as you can get fremiscom. If you want to be a part of community that is seeking different ideas, are on the APM. You can join the flip of Font Malcom community or listen to the podcast. That's wonderful. Well, that's great. Mini thanks once again on gram for your playing today. It was fantastic to a jumber show. Thank you. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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