B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 3 years ago

6: How To Tell Your B2B Brand’s Story w/ Ken Rutsky

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Breaking through the noise in a loud and crowded market is tough.

How do you make sure your messaging is being heard in a sea of competition?

Ken Rutsky, the author of Launching to Leading: How B2B Market Leaders Create Flashmobs, Marshal Parades and Ignite Movements has created an 8-layer cake for B2B messaging that helps brands tell their story and stand out.

He spent many years in product marketing in Silicon Valley, and he specialized in security, infrastructure, and business applications in the sales & marketing automation space.  Now he helps companies define their message clearly. Ken shows businesses how they can build their brand through storytelling to accelerate revenue.

The biggest mistake I think, thatmany early stage and even later stage be to be providers make because they thinkthey're the hero, and it's not you who's the hero, it's your customer. You were listening to be tob revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helpingsoftware executives stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry.Let's get into the show. Welcome to be, to be a re anew acceleration. I O honey em with yer and I'm here today. Wecan Rotski, how are you getting today? I'm doing great. Great Chat withyou this morning. No parimatory. When look, we were very keento get shown the PODCASTS. Can talking about that. To pick of makingyour B to be messaging on a Playo cake. It's an interesting concept thatwith the opportunity to discuss. But before we go into the details of theway you go about and how you come up with that eight layer cake,would you mind giving us a little bit more background us to can red skisand and what does your company do? Yeah, absolutely, thanks and despitethe topic, I'm not a pastry chef, so I'm came up through product marketingand Silicon Valley. For a couple of decades. I've been working inbusiness to business technology marketing. Really focused on three main areas in my careerand in my consulting practice. Security infrastructure of all types, whether that's monitoring, managements orge that kind of stuff, and then business applications, primarily inthe sales and marketing automation space. And Yeah, I think what those havein common is very loud and prouded markets and getting your message to find ina way that it can be heard and it's powerful is definitely a challenge.And so my consulting practice is really focused on go to market excellence and achievinggo to market leadership. And Yeah, the thing I'm really passionate about ishow businesses can tell their story and build their brand message in a way theycan accelerate their revenue. And so it's...

...good fit with this podcast title.I think that makes perfect sense. And Yeah, we also come across lotsof startups that, you know, often of fantastic products but may not havethe ability to translate the technical message into business message or message that will reasonatewith the with the right to gen so, yeah, your type of activity andwhat you do for your clients as actually make a lot of sense forus and we owned those one where you come from. So I want togo straight into our discussion and obviously you know this is, as I mentionedon your this is a very interesting topic for us to discuss, because messagingis key and messaging is at the heart of what we do here to Portis, and I know that recently you really is an article about make your messagingand eight layer cake. But for the purpose of maybe the people that haveknow that the chance to come across that that article would you maintaining a smallbut the concept, and now you can about the concepts. Yeah, andI'm going to chop for of those layers out to start with and just focuson the the core for layers, and then what we will figure out howto multiply that by two and get to aid in a few minutes. Butif you think about messaging, the way I think of this is you havefour layers of messaging that you need to develop as a tob provider and,as I say, that goes from mythos to money. And what I meanby that is at the very top you've got the brand aspirational layer. Youknow what is this big message that you have in a good example of thatis early on in the days of Sales Forcecom, the big mythos, sothe big brand aspirational message was the end to software. And but you know, people don't buy aspiration. What I actually think people buy at the endof the day is a transformational capability that you bring into their organization. Soat the second layer, I call this the magical layer, and to methis is the most important of the four layers because it is the core ofhow you build the all that. The...

...rest of it, and the reasonI call it magic is there's a framework called the heroes journey that a culturalanthropologist named Joseph Campbell came up with in the early S, which basically saidall of our great storytelling mythologies follow this framework of the Heroes Journey and ifany of your listeners have watched any of the star wars movies or many ofthe Disney movies, they all follow this basic framework that essentially says the heroesliving in his or her world, it gets disrupted, they have a deathor neardeath experience, they need a God or goddess and get a magical giftand then they come back to their world and transform it to a better place. And if you think about the biggest mistake I think that many early stageand even later stage be to be providers make because they think they're the heroand it's not you who's the hero, it's your customer. But the roleyou want to play in that story is the magic you want to be,that transformative magic that takes the your customers reality and transforms it into a betterplace. I call that a viewpoint story or breakthrough marketing story, and that'sa big piece of it. So you kind of go from aspirational to transformationaland you know if it building on the sales first example, you know gofrom the end to software. But the real transformational promise to the user waswill actually get crm implemented successfully for you, because back one five hundred and twentyyears ago and sales firth started, people had a lot of problems withOracle and seeble and other crm systems and actually getting them implemented at getting valueout of that. So that was a pretty magical promise to that user.And then if you go to the third layer of that four layers, it'sreally the what I call the money layer, because people will motivate around a transformationalstory. But then you need to prove that there's value in what youdeliver. So that's where things like value...

...based messaging and what are your keybusiness benefits comes in, and that's critical to define, because you might getsomeone excited with that transformational story, but you'll never get the purchase justified withoutthe money or without the Roi that you can provide in the value based messages. And then, last but not least, you get into how do you doit, because technical buyers especially want to understand the how, and oneof the ways you get credibility in your message is to be able to very, very tightly link your how with your money messages, or your method withyour money, and then your method up to the magical story. So that'sthe four key layers that we build the whole messaging foundation up. Okay,that's definitely very interesting and it does make sense actuate of you do, theway you go about in the method ofgy that you put behind that is isin a way. So if yet that would say we do, but wenever formulated it in such an aptitulate way. So that's pretty good. Well,one of the concept that we discussed in the passage is about B tobe BIOS and the fact that's, you know, be to be BIOS.Are there people like you, and I like, you know, all ofus listening to this podcast, but they also need to see a personal value. You to dump out she'ses, and I think it would be good,you know, because what did your posted these, because that's in mult detendinto the best in you know, known, but guess environment. It would begood if you could in operate some of the ads that you show withme on that topic. Fall agains. Yeah, absolutely, and that's howwe multiply the for and get to too, because I think typically we start withthe business value, in the business message and the business transformation in thebusiness magic, but we also have to explain to the buyer what's in itfor him or her. What's that, you know, aspiration we have forthem? We're going to turn your reputation from tactical to strategic, and theorganization might be an aspiration that we provide to the buyer. And then,you know, what's the journey we're going...

...to take you on as the userof this product, and how are we going to make your life better?Not just provide business transformation but personally what this is going to do for youand then what value do you get out of it? So you know,that might be something like you're seeing as the expert in quickly deploying new businessapplications within the organization or something like that. Then we still have to answer thehow question. And there's certainly overlap between, you know, the firstfour and the second four layers, but I think what most providers do isthey don't even think about that, you know, second four layers of thecake. They really just if they're smart enough to think about the first forwhich many are, they really don't connect at a personal level on those secondfor messages. Yeah, by the way, if you want to find out whodoes this, the great sales people do this all the time. Infact, sometimes great sales people don't even need those first for all they needto do is convince the buyer that it's great thing for them personally. Sookay, and so I would you advise on that, e. bring thatmessage, because obviously there is a few things in date layouts. Can youput that into like a one minute a little bit up pitch, or doyou think he's a batter to the developed of a sequence. When you engagewith a prospect, Houl do you spread to slay out? I would seewho play your best spread of a time and then evelped to prospect organ inany word, challenge here, because people can only remember three, plus orminus two things right. So I like gets us to five at best,and we're at eight here. So you know, I think the critical choicehere is where do you focus in the story or that magical layer? Tome, is the place to focus in. Recently, jody beans all, whois the founder of that dynamics, wrote a great peace and Entrepreneur magazineand he basically said a lot of companies...

...have great ideas, and you saidthis earlier, so you're in good company. But yeah, the ones to succeed, the ones who convince employees, investors and cost summers to go ona journey with them, are the ones who tell a great story. SoI always say it starts and ends with the story. One of my clientsrecently said to me, you know, can we've been doing this wrong.We thought the strategy should drive the story, but well, we realize now isthe story should drive the strategy. So I think story start. Youknow, it really does start and ended with story, because if you don'tcreate the context for how you talk about both the personal and the business valueof your solution, if I don't want to go on that attorney, ifI'm not excited by your magic, then all the value in the world won'tmake the sale. Absolutely okay, what? That makes perfect sense. I mean, you know, from all perspective, we again, as I said,we don't have to the methodology of the different layoffs, but we believein the story. We feel at the the story is what we've got toexplain. We walk with lots of disruptive startups and organization at all is allcoming to a new market. So when you mentioned the name of the company, people are like Woo. You know, they don't. They don't know thatthat's right, and it's important tell them. Look, this is thisis what the organization come from, this is how we come up with theide this is this is what makes us different. So we come up withthat concept, this is what makes us different, this is the value wedeliver. Now you know, it's about how can that value be? Whatwould that value mean in your context? And that's the reason why we wantto engage with you and then we go through, obviously passing on to someof our clients and steam of doing you Tel said. But then you've got, I guess, from a perspective, to so going to layout, whichis okay. We're going to go into a bit more details, but wehave the possession to being directive and people to open up so they can everpost to on the something. We can make the magic happen. As Isaid, you know, I think it makes a lots of sense and whatyou went through us, I'm sure he's really, really at full for youknow, and and a putty. They gotts of insight from the way youput it together. I guess can my...

...magic, you know that I helpedme. I try to bring to my customers is exactly what you said,is of methodology for telling this story in a way that going to get youattention and is proven and works and is scalable. And so yeah, Ithink the big challenge, you know, that you point out right exactly,is exactly that is. If I'm a new security vendor, I'm competing withprobably three to four thousand other absolutely years out there and if I start at, you know, my Roi My business value. Now I'm competing with everybodybecause everybody who's going to do anything has good business value right, and theyfigured that piece out. So what I need to do is I need tomove away from Rohi. Is the first thing, and I need to thinkabout return on strategy is the first thing. I need to convince that my mycustomer, that they need to get to and if I can align myvalue around this story that we're talking about, that's how I do it. Andso the chapters of the story are well structured and all articulated in mybook, lunching to leading and a lot of the blogging I do, butin how we put it together to the customers. And Yeah, I thinkit might be worth just walking through that really quick to absolutely, but Iwasn't. That was my next question. So you're reading my mind. Talkingabout launching to leading. Your book you speak about the importance of the messagingand how you positioned that message and basically, I'll do. You come out ofthe crowd. I'll do you breaks through the noise, because there isa lot of noise. You just need to go to you know, andwe we speak about about security, but you can do big data you can. You can look at any yeah, any, any. They I ever, think it's everywhere and it's it's got to be very, very confusing forprospects. Okay, it's less confusing for us, I think, because weare in the market and we speak with these vendors every day. We breasonlive it and we've got people from the insight telling us, you know,the stories that maybe the prospect don't know about. But for the process.If I was a prospect, I think...

...my head would be spinning about thevolume of about options I've got available. Coming back to my question, whichis probably the most important question that I wanted to ask you today, howcan you you stand out from the crowd from messaging perspective? Yeah, soagain I'm gonna sound a little bit like the all broken record. I thinkit's the story you tell, and so let me walk through why that's soimportant, how we do it with clients. So basically, if you think aboutthat heroes journey metaphor that I mentioned, you apply that to a be tobe messaging framework. That sounds kind of strange, but I figured ifit's good enough for all our mythologies and it's good enough for George Lucas,and it's good enough for Disney, it would be good enough for me.So I built off of that framework and you essentially, the story has fourchapters and it goes like this. The world's change, it's become a differentplace. Here's what it's like, and I'm not talking about myself, I'mtalking about my customers world. So the world that you live in, MrCustomer, looks like this today. Yea. And what I'm going for there is, you know, a little bit of the old rapport building and thehead not yeah, and you know, it does look like that. Andthen the next part of the chapter as well, if you're trying to solvethis problem and you're using solutions that were built for an old world, here'sall the pain that you're going to find yourself in or the missed opportunities thatyou're not going to be able to take advantage of. Ye, if Ido that right, then the prospect is saying, yeah, I do havethat pain. Or, you know what, I never realize the source of thatpain was because I was doing this wrong. I face you're all yourso yourso get yourself as a something like an next belt ormost a ducto.You know what I can. When you go to the ductor you don't knowwhy you've got buck pain. Hey, that's all right, you know.And and I think when you do that right, which we just went throughYees, open up. But either bit...

...more and people will listen to whatyou've got to say because you're if you own the some that context, ifyou're able to say what I believe that this is what it's coming from andyou can go to the next pot of the examination. But that is thewilope. Nothing is the first battle, woman, which is plus books needto tick is around. Are You unexpect or not? Do you own thoseon my wall? So yeah, appreciate what you are saying and definitely showyour opinion on that. Yeah, and yeah, foresters did some research,I think about six or seven years ago, where they interviewed BTB buyers and theysaid what do you want out of your sales wrap and what do youvalue out of sales reps, and product knowledge was like something like number eighton that list. Number one was they understand my business and number two isthat they teach me something. I don't know. So this is the opportunityfor you know what the Challenger folks will call commercial insight or teaching. Yeah, so if I can go and do that, then I earn the rightaid to tell the rest of my story but maybe, even more importantly,to engage in a conversation where I get to ask questions and learn things toit's respected, which is imported. It as a challenge on model is isa beautiful modulist. This is what we use as a methodology here. Soyeah, we very familiar with that. Yeah, and I think the thingthat challenge, you know, the thing I've always been challenged with by challenger, is it it assumes that your organization can, people in the organization canfind the commercial insight when they're in the battle, and what I want todo is arm them with the right commercial insight going in that can start thatprocess. So then we get it the next chapter and we've kind of transitionfrom talking about the customers world to talking about solutions. And now we say, well, what if you took a different approach or had a different mindsetabout this problem? And then after I talk about you know, if youflip your mindset to think like this and take this different approach, what you'llrealize, as you need these kind of innovations in order to solve the problemfor today's world. And that's where I'm...

...starting now, to very briefly getto my uniqueness as a provider, but then very quickly I want to transitionnow to the back to the customers world, and when you do that you getto this much better place where you're getting all this business value and nowyou see how the story then comes full circle back to the customers world,from the customers present to the customers transformational future and then the value they get. I drive into my second layer or the third layer of the cake,those value messages. And so if I start with the story, I don'trun the risk of coming in and, you know, as the classic sayingwould be, showing up and throwing up about my product. Yeah, well, we should. A few people do that in the bestaseoth mentioned. Yeah, really. So that's what's very used for. I mean obvious thinking,ass of insight, of I mean, I'm I'm very excited write it everysingle time I speak to you because I think we also show the some sortof value about, you know, the way we go about it, andnot just on messaging but on a few other thing so thank you very muchfor sharing your ideas. I think it was definitely lots of inside apology.It's probably, as I said, you know, lots of people trying todo the right things, but again sometimes putting a frame around it, reformulatingwith a new methodology like you do it. Is it very useful, because hemakes almost makes things falling into place? Yeah, I'd leave you with frameis the exact word, because what I want to do is frame themarket conversation that's happening and influence it and create the context where my value isgoing to be greater than my competitors values and I become strategic as opposed tojust a tactical purchase, and that's how you break through and late. Yeah, I think that's you know, you preaching someone who's already converted, butI'm under person with you here now, follogens, if anyone wants to takethat conversation of flying with you, reach to you. Reach out to you. On Gage, we can Redski. What's the best way to discuss growsstrategy on Gage with you? Took to...

...you by your book. How dowe do that? Yeah, go to can ratskycom and you can do allthe about you'll find links to where you can buy the book. You'll findrequest a meeting linked there and you'll find all my blogs and information about eventsand you can always email me. That's an easy one too. It's justcan at Kjr Associatescom. That's k they are Associatescom and it just can there. But you can find that up on Ken redskycom too, so that allthe best place to connect perffects and red skis are ut S K y.You got corrected. It absolutely is facts. Okay, good, well, canthere was really good. So thank you very much for your time andinsight today. Much appreciated value your time. I know you you extremely busy andinvolving lots of different project. As I said, Andreid let's of wasautopiquiz you. So I'm sure we will reach out to you and then yourfood shot to discussos out top pics, but for today, again, thankyou very much. Thank you. Thank you. operatics has redefined the meaningof revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building andmanaging inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling witha lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex worldof enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline atoperatics dotnet. You've been listening to be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure thatyou 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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