B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 1 year ago

81. How to Turn Your Sales Teams Into Thought Leaders


You don’t have to be an executive to be a sales thought leader.

Actually, if you position yourself as a consultant for purchasing decisions, you’ll begin to see people who trust your transparency coming to you for sales.

In this episode, we interview Jeremy Brown, Content Marketing Manager at Crunchbase and Founder at Startups Give Back, about sales thought leadership goals and tips.

We talked about: transparency in sales thought leadership, building the “lead generation engine," and five actionable tips for establishing your personal brand.


To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

You're listening to be to B RevenueAcceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on thecutting edge of sails and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show hi welcome to be to te revenue.excederation myname is Allin Evit her and I'm Mer today with Jerrey Browncontent, pocketin manager at crunch base. How are you today Jermy, I'mdoing amazing Ray. Thank you so much for having me happy to be here, it's anabsolute pleasure. So today we want to speak about how to turn your selsteaminto corcliders, but before we go into the details before we tolhe theconversation Jeramy, could you presintroduce yourself to audience andtell U Moll about your role at crunch base sure so I've been in the contentmarketing game for now over eight years, so I've been working with largeenterprises and even smaller startups, essentially helping them build LeGeneration kind of teams to ultimately drive more revenue and that's what I doat crunch base. So, as you mentioned on the content, Marki manager at crunchbase, I focus on our BTB side of things. We actually have two sides of thebusiness. We have our BTB NBDC. Most people know crunch base for the BTC SOTof thing. So when you go to Crunchbascom and you interact with thedata that we have, that's our BSC offering and so crunch base is aplatform. That's over fifty five million people every single year relyon to prospect for new business opportunities. Now, what does that mean?If you're a salesperson, you can actually use crunch base to findopportunities to actually find companies to cellto. So, for example,we have this really great signal around funding, and so we track all thefunding that companies raised, and so let's say that your Selsperson inLondon and you are interested in uncovering companies who raise capitalin the past. Let's say six months, you could use cranch base for that andactually find companies that are n a good position to actually buy yourprocers service. And so that's that's how people interact with crunch base?If you're an investor you can find a COMPANI's, invest and if you're founder,you can avind a bet that you can find investors. So there's a lot of ways toactually use a crunch. BAS data yeah we've been ore, we've very very, veryfamiliar. I think. We've been a relaying on crunch Baso, Laa, a O, sayTeala Sintom of people getting fond of investment, and everything havebeen super useful for us. We've definitely used your solution as atrigger to engage rishprospect. So so yes, an yeah, it's great. So A and yeahdefinitey Er yo very sorrow as well. You know t at there is someonsassolution that we've seen Ou delvore years, probably not anymore, O reallyput Ol oureyes in the same best cat with this crunch base. But I guesshere's a solution won, not a sorrow in term of getting all the fountings inone place. Really O thetbasis is super cool, guys, yeah, so 'so coming back toto pick down eough about crunch Vasin, our fantastic as a company. You areguys we fancy sels and CMOS, and also Iouovan executive in Generl, investing in thepersonal brand and you know beingseen as sopedoing down industry, it's powerful to weld them to promote thercompanies, but also to build up t authority and trust within Wiin tebusiness communities. But we don't. I don't believe that we to really be aneevel exact to be Aso citte in your industry. Actually, the fhing that youare walking in the trenchis with clients every day, WI, potentiallypettruein a bit of place to be to be also cleder in your industry, and youcan have Gri tiple of people walking within your organization generating oreven contented will pesitively impact the company reputation. So at my firstquestion, could you please elaborate to little bits on wha the just mention and share yourthoughts on the topic of no just getting theinsak but more people in theorganization to be so clittle and pushing thet personal brend? Absolutelya just to give some examples, and you...

...know noted that you don't have to be anexecutive to be a fought leader. I mean. The reason you want to be athoughtleader is is pretty simple. It's about building trust, and so an easyexample to illustrate that point is, let's say Bill Gates when billgatesspeaks everyone listens, because we trust what he's saying now, obviouslyhe's a billionaire well known. So that's nobbes example. Now here'sanother example: Let's Sy my Dad so my dad's, a real estate agent, he's been arealesten agent for over thirty years. When I have questions about real estateor if people around me that know me or connected with me have questions aboutreal estate. They go to him and ask him questions because they trust that whathe's saying is the truth and he's very transparent about that, and so imagineif your sales team had that same level of thought leadership within their ownnetworks. Now you don't have to rely on some ofthe tactics that sells. People do to actually sell and an example of this is:U Here in the United States, use car celes people so use car soles peoplehave a bad reputation of being individuals who are not verytransparent about selling use cars. Now, if you ere a person that wanted tobuild your thought, leadershir leadership up in that space, imagine if,instead of not being transparent, you were transparent. Imagine if you talkedabout the cost of a car and why it cost that particular number. Imagine if youtalked about the deangs and the dents and the history of the car, imagine thetransparency that you're exhibiting that way. Now, from a consumerperspective, that trust is extremely important. At the end of the day, wewant to buy from people that we trust now what's interesting about businessis that from sales to marketing we tend to either sell a product or marketerproduct in a way that we, as consumers, would not beattracted to. You would not be interested in that particular way ofselling or marketing, and so what's interesting is why don't we sell ormarket a product in a way that we would want to be sill sold to or market ittowards and so being a fout leader at the end of the day, it's building thattrust with a particular target audience and an an effort to help you sell moredown down the down the road. It's not a a quick, a quick win or anything likethat. It does take time to become a thought leader, but when you do becomea thought leader, you're in a plain, a very good place, yeah. So so, and wouldyou say, transparency is a big part of sort leatership because you mentionedthat a couple of time we use the example of few scelt, see people whichyou know it's kind of a Crishar, but I think a ceshit will speak to audience.So how much is transparencyvels actualtechnical knowledge and that's maybe a tough question, because I guess hedepends on the industry, but just to get yoursof it was the import oftranspirencyis vest his pule atcome knowledge. I think that ato come need.A combination of both I do put this is me n, my my personal opinion, but I dowait. Transparency over anything else, a person that I trust and is beinghonest with me about certain things. That's putting me in a position to makethe best possible purchasing decision for myself at the end of the day.That's what consumers want. You know put yourself in a consumer shoe. Wouldyou rather make a purchase that you're confident in because you have theknowledge around that, because the individual share the knowledge with you,or would you rather purchase something that you're not really confident? Andyou don't know whether or not it was the best possible decision for you andthat's why transparency really matters Andi agree with you, I think, is partof Ispote for cause frategy when we, when we said Ourso, so when we said ourservices, but also when we represent...

...our clients to to have very transparentto the to the to the goal w to to ejective type of message: cind o ChaseBasic Pece, if you're in a very competitive landscape, instead of goingor UN Ang beating around the bushes, just iess with it and SA. Well, I'm ina very competitive landscape. I am selling something you've already gotone. So let me tell you why I wuld have God is is like. Let me tell you thestrem reason why or thes three things that makes us different. Let's get thechase, you know, but also ive Bein Sericico, with some of my Mysex people,Wer Haliko you've been very to the point you tell he said: No, we can't doit. I was like yeah we. If we con't do it, we've got to say no, we can't do it.You know you Cald, and I think, like you, think, when you get into that sortof situation and you devlop relationship and from the beginning ofyour sels relationship or professional relationship, you stopp with a extremelevel of transparency. Anolesity you end up being the adviser at people willecoul next time they eit something that May nombe o generating for you. But youbecome that cool gay that knows about stuffand that on Secrel pad or Cycopedyof knowledge that people want to get to when they want to have in done that,wark and- and that's, I find it very useful now coming back to the theseles people and and the benefitsfrom the tactics basically od, since people benefitingfrom the Texti can D and it takes time to tebuid up a profid text ting tobecome this sout leader. It's not just about Pestin a couple of things once aweek or inspirational courtor pictures on your instagram that you grup fromsomeone else, but would you said they can send peoplewhen I mean they build their own inbouny generation engine, butinvesting in the passional brand D and and delivering veryable content to theappears and customers? Oh absolutely, and by doing that by building their ownAnvalli generation engine, they don't have to rely so much on the cold,emailing and the cold calling so now, instead of having to do that, they havepeople coming to them. And do you mention something a little while agothat was really important, and it's this. This idea of having people come to you right.Having people rely all the things that you're tellingthem and trusting that you know what you're sharing with themis valuable information to help them make a decision, and I will say, overthe Courseis, my career, the best sales people that I've ever worked with werevery good at building trust very quickly, and they had that kind of kindof kind of, like a consultant type of approach to the prospects that theywere having conversations with, and so now the prospects never really lookedat them as a cellesperson. They looked at at them as someone that they knewand trusted that they would give him information. That would be valuable tohelp them make a Perton a purchase decision now and times that I made itsay that might that may be as simple as hey you're not going to get any valueout of our product, and I know for a sells perspective that that hurts,because you're trying to make a cell, but that level of transparency andhonesty. While it may not lead to a purchase right then, andthere that that consumer is going to take note of that, they're going tothey're, going to take note of the fact that you told them hey, you know, wereour part- is not it's not going to be valuable for you and now Thoyo neverknow that prospect might go to another company next year and all of a suddenthey need your product. Now, who do you think you're going to go to? Are theygoin to go to some random company or they going to go to the person thatthey interacted with before that was really transparent with them so puttingout content- and, like you mentioned not just doing you know, inspirationalcose, O putting out valuable content is extremely important. Now what doesvaluable content mean? Let's take for.

Let's take an example, let's say your company manufacturers furniturenow putting out valuable content. Isn't talking about your company? Isn'ttalking about your pricing or how amazing your products are good contentin this situation? Is Things like? What's the best wood for kids? What'sthe best scratch proof? Would what about the type of fabric? What type offabric is good for homes that have dogs? Is there a waterproof fabric? What'sthe best type of waterproof fabric, so putting out content blog posts? podcastvideos about things like that is valuable because, again, you're helpinga consumer make a decision. That's the at the end of the day. That's whatproducing content is meant to do is to help that individual get enoughinformation so that they're, confident in making purchasing this ission and hopefully that purchasing decision is yourcompany, yeah, absolutely and then, and coming back to a point you made aboutagain the transparency and and people coming back to you and Ordr that I'vegot a ton of exonple so part of Alser cychers when we engage with with a newprospect of an existing Trenc even to Tothean, expension or whatever, wellalways go through breading up a business case and often the volicouseof the business case, wel realize that things on sad, don't ater and we willsay to the clients, O the prospet wo. A look, I'm sorry, but we can't supportYo, the nombers of matchup. So with wo do let us look at Ao Solution and willrecommend at a solution that the will bring. You Bet, make you better Ritoaninvestment or more aligned with your expectation or morline with your marketor Morlines Whit. You want to achieve and you'll be surprised. I don't knowwhat it is if it's, if it's revals psychology, if it's, if,if it's a fether, they get pushed back on the Fetat, you say no to them, butsometimes the more you say. No. I cantelp you to people by explaining ina ringgoing through process, so you know, is mathematic AAn, it's veryclear us to why things don't work up or don't ader the more. They want you towalk with him and they find a way and you're right. You may not ge now, butif I take ther amounts two months from on six months, so I treally then MovIngto, another company to then come back to you and reengaging with you andthey woull. Always quote that moment when you said do to that, and becauseISO is homost like if e's refreshing for prospect, when someone we trined tosend them something and I'm sorry is tat to write fit, I think that's reallyou way, and it's so wone that we've not we've not used so find the podcast, butto create a sort of respect which ithink is also. You know, I thinkknowledge, transparency and respect. Probably this three. You know the threemain things that they would say would gravitate around socladarship but butYeu that's respect, fhel it wenins when it's, but it's Putin place because it'sso difficult to get when it's in there. You know it's just that, put theconfidence and everything, and that makes SOM beautiful things uppen. Somore practically. Now, how do we make this uppen? Okay? What would you saywhat would be your tips or audience in term of actionibore things that you cando for see, people that are looking to get into that socideship minset? Well,do you start? Was the frequency of the content well to post ow to make sure tokeep the consistency? It's a winduben question of Asoeri, you Thinki from you yeah, so the good thing is nowadays pretty much. Everything isfree to get started. You don't need you know, you don't need to spend money ona website or anything like that. You can use linkedin or Mediumcom toactually get started or if you have your own company blog, you can getstarted there too. Now I will say not. Everyone is a good writer or even wantsto write. So you have to audit yourself...

...and what you like and what you're youknow what you're good at and sometimes jis comes Wa trial in therror. So ifyou know that you hate being in front of video, then don't do video. You cando a podcast like this, for example, or you can you can write if you're? If youdon't like writing, then you can try something else. So that's where I wouldstart. First is audit yourself and what you're interested in and what you'renot interested in and go from there. If you work at a company that has amarketing team already work, withthat marketing team, instead of having youmanage everything you can have them manage things, they can share topicswith you that they might want you to produce content around that way. Youdon't have to think about all this because obviously you're trying to sell,but if you do have the time to be able to dedicate to carving out to my sometime to ideate and come up with some ideas, that would be beneficial for youas a thought leader and then obviously for company then definitely bring thoseto the surface and work with your marketing team. So that would be numbertwo. You mentioned frequency now. This is. This is going to be dependent on alot of different factors, mainly the individual. Some people are proficientwriters and they can write a block post every week or every couple of weeks. Iwouldn't suggest starting there. If you, if you this, is the first time you'regetting into the content marketing game as a salesperson, I would do maybe onething a month or one thing a quarter and then from there gauged how muchtime it takes you to produce t at particular piece of content. Let's sayit took you three days: okay, now you know you have a af a bench park interms of how long it takes you produce something. So now you might want toincrease that. Maybe it's twice a month or maybe it's twice a quarter and thenjust go from there and then before you know it because you've been doing itfor so long, you're very proficient at it, and now you can just continue toincrease that that number or the frequency number and frequency isimportant in the long run, because being a thought leader, you need to beputting your thoughts out there. So again I would, I would start thereand then, where to post it again, it's going to really depend on individual, the company and theindustry itself. So, for example, if like crunch base, for example, if I'mwriting about because one of the again one of the personas that uses crunchbase ourselves people if I'm going n to write something that I want to focusaround thought leadership, I'm going to probably post it on linked in becausethat's where o audience lives every single day, so chances are I'll, havethe highest opportunity to reach the largest crowd by posting on Linke in soand then you mention also consistency and, like I said, consistency andfrequency really really matter just because, if you're a thought leader,you need you putting your thoughts out there on a very consistent basis. Youknow so, but at the same time it's just a tricky thing. So being a folly, youneed to be consistent and have high frequency. However, if this is thefirst time you're producing content, you need to start slow unless you'vebeen doing it for some time and in you're comfortable producing more. Butyou also got to keep in mind that the more you produce that might take youaway from some of your corresponsibilities in terms of youknow: cold email and cold calling, etc. But if you do it right, you will havemore people coming to you, which means you can kind of offset the the factthat you're not cold, calling as much yeah and what's the Vilu of distructivecontent, because I is what we se someter. You know articles Willever,very distractive, tatles o. You really want to read them and often I look atthe title and I'm Oh, my Godi's Goul Have Ben Interesting when I'm justlooking at the top of his eight minutes rid okay, let's go for it, then I'm onFrees Ren, I'm now, my God. This is boring. I just got codis back when,when someone send you an email with Evdobr, you two dits wit Di everforwarted you something they just send them to you, because they want you tobelieve that someone was something was orwealthy but its T. it's atecticalithin, Vas vaolated Beaseito a trap, so I wo't B or you now. This isterrior, but...

...what do you think about that? BecauseEveryn, I think again it's coming back to the transporence yet, but but thisis disractive good for Socido Ship O. Do you need to keep it TC playe? Theyneed to keep it. You know blow ky to the point. What was what a Youso SOMbad? I don't think you need to be ditruptive. I think you need to bepractical. I think the contentnt you produce has to be practical. Now youmight come across. You know, maybe a title, for example that you put out.That is that does kind of go viral. That's fine, but I don't think Yoshould go into it in terms of producing content with the idea of Oh, I want togo viral because I can also, depending on the article that can also bedetriment to your compan's reputation. I think I believe that, especially ifyou're just getting started in this deed, to focus on the practicality ofthings so again, going back to a example that I use of a manufacturingcompany that produces furniture being practical is talking about thedifferenc furnitures that your company produces and why one furniture in termsof let's say the wood is better than another type of furniture, a why onefabric gits better for another better than another type of fabric, for youknow, kids or homes with dogs. That's a very practical and that's very valuableto the people that you want to be buying from you. That's valuable!That's what they want! So that's what you produce so being disruptive yeah!You might get! You know som a nice spike in traffic to your website. Forexample, if you do post that particular block post on your website, that's cooland all, but at the end of the day, that's not really going to move theneedle for you. What's going to move the needle is being very practical andbeing and producing the content, that's very valuable to the people that you'retrying to sell to yeah. Let's question it: Ive Good for you! Itis the Trey leaing to e to the to Bein a solt leader in his sense, but it's into engaging with the audience that sees you as also clet, all the rest of thetime. What we've seen recently and poticarly since the kind of flad downthat were going through. So we are recording that it is Oiso wee on thetwenty eighth of April Two thusand and twenty right now. So in the midst ofCovid, nineteen were all a don were having so much fun and we contrate t togo ou that sebut, you know, W we've seen warking with M Cataria Ymmacketing manager is that we didt decide to put the few personnotprofessional pus that such o a pone personal kind of freated post. So, forexample, I put a pus step on Lintin about my wife drew a schedule about ow.She would look at other kids, breas ASES BUI car for the case for tentwelve hours a day when I'm walking a'm so so licky but H. we've got thi threeoheree six pont ores, Workis that I tat really theeasyageto to deal with. Kids,so so bless her. But you know that's went absolutely crazy. People have beensharing it. People have been commenting on it. People are goed, Oumono, Anon,sort of views on that and and that' really eas, a pers that probably tookfavorites to create. It was me looking at something on my on my on my kitchentable liking it taking a picture of it, sending it to CETARINA. We Wilk Fona,quick thing, because Kattarinel me to put on Malintin Personsheshe, getaccess to everthing and literally e went crazy very quickly, and peoplespeak to me about it. So I've got prospect. Ove got existing clients tosay, Ou, send the things from your way. It's been. It's been an onl goingthings I'd kind of famous. For that now and- and I guess my question to you- is youknow, whun, you say e's a good again. I don't Mai atact because hit was theDLID was not to get people to life me for it, iguess its just like showingstuff, and I find it funny an as I Wul Sharit, but do you think is good to tohave some sort of not just focus o on practical content or the time, but alsoas you hae everything your Tessin or...

...brand to pos, mortestnor stuff, soyou've got some sort of youartanating, very soly, very useful for yourindustry content with something is like. Well, let me let me show you little bitmore about myself. Let me show you: Why am when I'm not walking type ofContenyou? You see value in that I do, and it goes back to something that youkind of touched on and the fact that people are talking to you about it andultimately that humanizes you. I know that's it's a it's a funny word to sayright: You're humanizing, your personal bran, so you know when it comes tobusiness, it can be difficult because if you're only talking about oneparticular thing, people know you for that one particular thing, and ifyou're only talking about business, you don't come across as a human. You Know Youre. No one knowsinformation about you, and so this goes back to what I what I mentioned the beginning, O is podcast aroundpeople by from people they like and trust, and so the trust element comeswhen you're producing that valuable content about. You know again goingback to the manufacturing example about, let's say producing furniture. The likeportion comes when you're humanizing your B, your personal brand ond peoplehave some context around who you are as an individual and it's and the Internet.It's amazing. You know we can interact with people on twitter or linked in andit feels like we've known them. Our entire lives that we've never met inperson and the the way to get to that point is to not be afraid to show case. You know content whether it's a blog or or imageor video that has some personal element to it. There's nothing wrong with that.Just know that every time you do that that is creating a perception of who you are asa person. So, if you're putting out something, you want to make sure thatyou want to be known for that thing, so that so yeah to answer your a question,I don't see any any problem with devproducing content that has somepersonal element to it. It's good! Okay, what it's soalways a bit Cagy to show thingsabout! Pono lie, but we Awaynot we give it to Goo, because we think it's cool and that went where so well,try that ever even HEU ITA bit falther and we keep you Pesi on on the developMenjoami E, get ing to teen of Te pisodes. But I had a fantastic timewith you today germy it was a very good conversation. He actually relized theexample of the furniture shops or FOMIG torthing Imak. I makes perfect sense and definitely will take some of the. Iwil definitely have some take away for myself. Informat base base on some ofthe Tzon Polan and tips Thatyou you gave today, but if anyone wants toconnect with you to Lon Mor got crunch bass, you didnot know about crunch basee. You know plase case come out, you know it's all over the ise to Ti gotand go get it it's a great I tat, Ebase or if they want to calt you aconversation or flying with you around. You know. I want to build myk US nobreat and I want to be a so clean. What is the best way to get intotwithjourney? The best way is cornected me across social media, so my social media,handlal social jermy on all major platforms, I'm very, very active on allthe major platform. So that's the easiest way to engage with me and toContin the conversation and if you want to learn more about crunch base,easiest way, ise to go to crunch basecom and start free trial and just interact withh the data and see what Ho can do for your for you and your business. That'sonenough for whill many thinks once again, Jeremy. It was an absolutepleasure co in the show. Do you so much rai? Thank for having operadics has redefined the meaning ofrevenue generation for technology companies worldwide, while thetraditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams in househas existed for many years. Companies...

...are struggling with the lack of focus,agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprisetechnology sales see Ow operatics can help your company accelerate pipelineat operatics, dot net you've been listening to B, to be revenueacceleration to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to the showin your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening until nexttime.

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