#100: Highlights and Takeaways from Our First 100 Episodes

by Smarter Building Materials Marketing

The podcast has been taken over! For our 100th episode, Steve and Deanna look back on the last 100 episodes and talk about their biggest takeaways and strategies.

More About This Episode

In this episode, Steve and Deanna have taken over to talk about the best strategies and takeaways they’ve learned in the last 100 epsiodes.

Transcript

Steve:

This is the 100th episode of the Smarter Billing Materials Marketing Podcast and to celebrate a few of us at Venveo are hijacking the podcast to celebrate Zach and Beth's work by highlighting some of the biggest takeaways and best strategies over the first 100 episodes. Let's get into the show.

Voiceover:

Welcome to the Smarter Billing Materials Marketing Podcast. Helping you find better ways to grow leads, sales and outperform your competition. And now here are your hosts Zach Williams and Beth Pop-Nikolov.

Steve:

Welcome to the Smarter Billing Materials Marketing Podcast where we believe your online presence should be your best salesperson. Hello everyone, I am not Zach Williams here with my cohost …

Deanna:

Not Beth Pop-Nikolov.

Steve:

In honor of today's podcast 100th episode, we decided to hijack today's podcast to highlight our favorite and most valuable episodes of the past. First, to actually introduce myself I am Steve Coffee, director of growth and I mainly focus on client onboarding and strategic initiatives concerning sales here at Venveo. Excited to be with you today and I'm here with Deanna.

Deanna:

Yep, so I am also thrilled to be helping you lead this podcast today Steve. My name is Deanna Murphy. I don't always go by not Beth Pop-Nikolov. It's just a special occasion marking the 100th episode of the Venveo Podcast. I am a strategist here at Venveo. That means that I work closely with our clients on their results and their relationships. So I help lead the strategic direction of their digital marketing efforts and make sure that they're getting the results that the business needs to see.

Steve:

Deanna, one thing that I love about the team here at Venveo is our longtime focus solely on building materials marketing. The industry can be complex and making sure that you are reaching your audience effectively and achieving results is what we do best, specifically for the A&D community, builders, contractors or the consumer. Really making sure that those audience groups understand your story and how your product can solve their problems is so important from a digital perspective in today's world and obviously how it has even changed more rapidly now in 2020.

Deanna:

Absolutely. I don't think that that can be overstated. The impact that digital marketing is going to have moving out of the year 2020. I'm so appreciative of the Venveo Podcast and not just because it's run by some of my favorite people in the world, I think there's so much amazing talent and insight in the building materials sales and marketing industry that we have been able to highlight in this podcast.

For me personally, whenever I listen to the podcast, I've been in this industry for a while now. I feel like I know it inside and out, but it never fails whenever I listen to an episode I always have one big aha moment and I take something away and I use it for one of my clients. So I've been really appreciative and really excited about the podcast. I always get excited when a new episode comes out and we have a new guest on. So I'm really excited to dig into these top six questions that have been answered over the last 100 episodes.

Steve:

Sounds great. So what we'd like to do is because we have 100 amazing episodes and so much insight has been shared and passed along to our listeners, we would like to highlight a few of those episodes based on six of the most common questions that we get asked as a digital marketing agency. So, Deanna let's get into those questions.

Deanna:

Let's do it. So the number one question that we get asked as a marketing agency in the building materials space is how do I get architects to demand and re-specify my products? We get asked this question all day, every day it is definitely a pain point of how do I get in front of more architects? How do I increase stickiness and specifications with those architects? In order to answer that question we are throwing back to episode number 72 of the podcast when Michael was a guest. He is the director of new market development at Solatube and let's listen to what he has to say on the subject.

072 A Bright Idea For a Product

Source

Episode 72 Clip

Michael Sather:

You know when you go in and you talk to an architect, I mean I've worked with architects for 20 years now and there's some amazing architects out there. To me, it's a combination of art and engineering. You've got this technical-scientific side. You've got this arty design side and let's face it, every architect goes to school thinking they're going to be like Frank Llyod Wright or Ian Pei. But a lot of them end up just designing strip malls and concrete tilt up buildings. How do you do something creative in there? Even those spaces they can still be the hero. Even though they're never going to meet the people that work in those buildings, they can put in products and they can design that building to bring life to the space, especially in terms of daylight. They can really affect people's lives, even though they'll maybe never meet them. So we want to be as much of a resource as we can to the architects out there and if we can take a little bit of their plate to help make their designs better, we're happy to do it.

Zach Williams:

Michael one thing I'd love to get your perspective on is you mentioned that once an architect or a firm tries your product, the likelihood that they work with you again is just exponentially increases, right?

Michael Sather:

Yep.

Zach Williams:

What I'd love to know is how are you getting in with the firm for the first time for them to try your product? What are you doing to get into the firm? What are you doing to get them to try it? Talk me through that process?

Michael Sather:

How do you get your foot in the door?

Zach Williams:

Yeah, how do you get your foot in the door? This is a challenge a lot of manufacturers have. I mean the benefit you have is your product almost sells itself after you've gotten them to try it. But once you've gotten to that point, but what are you doing to get them to that point is what I'm after?

Michael Sather:

So I mean obviously we do a lot of the things other building materials manufacturers do. We offer series of AIA accredited presentations. We have four different AIA accredited presentations out there. So that's a very typical route. We offer a lunch presentation. We'll buy the firm a lunch. Ourselves or the distributor will come in and give a presentation where they can get credit. But I would say one of the most important things is to visually show them what the product will do. I've been keeping a photo database here at Solatube for the 20 years that I've worked here and probably got 20,000 photos in it or so. Being able to show them, "Oh, you're working on an open office space, but it's going to be on the first floor and you're going to have to have the tubes come through the wall and run horizontally through the open ceiling and turn down into the space. Let me show you a picture of what that could look like." Being able to just give them an idea visually I think really helps.

Michael Sather:

Also giving them the flexibility to try it on a small scale. Not everybody's going to fully daylight the space. A lot of times they're going to dip their toe in the water and try a few units. Almost always ends up being larger on the next project. One of the real unique things we do Zach is we offer our distributor what we call a seed program. So we give them a bank of Solatube product every year. The variable to use at their discretion.

Zach Williams:

That's smart.

Michael Sather:

And a lot of times they'll go into a new architecture firm and maybe they're working with a school district that's never tried Solatube. They'll say, "You know what on the next renovation you're doing, we'd like to daylight one classroom. We'll give you enough units to daylight one classroom and give you a sample." Because we know once they see it, they're going to want to do it on a larger scale and it's almost always successful. And we also use the seed units if an architect has a pro bono project they're doing, maybe a food bank, animal shelter, something like that, some nonprofit. A lot of times we'll be able to donate units for that. Not really for the PR, but more just because it's the right thing to do and if we can help bring sunshine into somebody's lives, word gets around and people do appreciate that and it definitely comes back to you in the long run.

Steve:

Deanna this was a really good episode from Michael and just getting the perspective from an architect of how do we get in front of the professional market. I'm curious what your top takeaway from this episode was.

Deanna:

Yeah so what I love about what Solatube's sales and marketing teams are doing is that they have cracked the nut on making their client whether it be the architect or the dealer, the her of the story. So this is something that we preach on. This is a hill that we will die on, that from understanding and speaking to the architects motivations and beliefs, to offering complimentary products for dealers to distribute at their discretion. Solatube has just nailed this customer-driven sales and marketing strategies. We've said it before, we'll continue to say it, it's not about us. It's not about our companies. It's not even about our products. It's about our customers and Solatube has really figured that out.

Steve:

Deanna that's great and this is one of our top listen to episodes actually, so I think that was a very good summary of that episode. Moving to our second question, we often get asked how do we determine what we really need in our digital marketing efforts from our clients? This is when they have marketing efforts already in place and they're still asking that question. So I'd like to highlight episode 38 where we interview Justin Holmberg from 45Build who is a contractor and goes through a couple different components of brand recognition and how to tell your story and how to determine what we really need. So let's go and listen to Justin and a few comments that he has.

038 Marketing To Contractors Quote

Episode 38 Clip

Zach Williams:

It's interesting Justin, if you were to think about the contractors that you're buddies with, how many of them have a similar story where it's like, "Hey I had a guy who took me underneath his wing. Then I might have worked for a family member. Then I cut my teeth. Then I worked on my own and now I'm running my own business." That's not atypical. Now granted, I know you're playing at a different level now from a site development standpoint which we'll talk about in a minute, but how many contractors do you know that follow that similar path of tradesmen, craftsmen, business owner, scaling like that process?

Justin Holmberg:

I think Zach there's a small percentage there. But I think the beginning stage of that are pretty predominant in that they come out of high school or college and they jump into a trade, really out of necessity. And then they just we're creatures of habit. So, most people just settle for the mediocracy and settle into the routine and don't subscribe to be something more.

Zach Williams:

What you're saying is they like to be comfortable? They like it easy, right?

Justin Holmberg:

Yeah, people like to hit the easy button. I think that goes for everybody though across the trade. It's not just the construction worker out on the job site, but it goes all the way through, trickles to the business owner. At times you as a business owner can wake up in the morning and just want to hit the easy button, the manufacturer as well, so. Something that you have to fight and battle against is getting comfortable.

Zach Williams:

Well what I think is interesting about what Justin just said was that they want to lock into that easy button. They don't want to push themselves and that right there, that is the biggest issue with marketing to contractors is once they learn something, once a pro or a tradesman learns a tool, learns a product, they don't want to change.

Deanna:

So after listening to that clip, Steve tell me what your main takeaway was from that podcast?

Steve:

So Deanna one question that, again, this is one question that continually comes up in conversations with the clients is, "You tell me what I need. You help us determine what's going to bring in results for us. What's going to generate more leads? What's going to generate more awareness?" With the different segmented audience groups that we have. They may be doing a lot of the right things, but what do they really need to focus on to get results, right? So the simple point that I took away from this being that Justin is a contractor is that we really need to understand what the audience wants to see. It's as simple as that. In this podcast Justin he makes this state when we don't have context and we don't have the why from this product, it's very difficult for us to stamp it and put our name behind it. I really like that statement, it's very true. Contractors to builders, to consumer they want to be comfortable, specifically with contractors and subcontractors, builders. They really want to be comfortable with the product that they're interacting with.

Steve:

So when we look at how to market to them digitally we have to understand what makes them comfortable. So we have to find that and we have to be able to identify what exactly that is. They like routine, they like consistency in their lives, mostly because it has a direct effect on their personal lives, right? So, once a pro or tradesman learns a tool or a product, they don't necessarily like to change. They want to keep that consistency. They know how it's going to impact labor. They know what problems will come up during the installation process, right? With a new product they really struggle with what problems am I going to have installing this, which impacts labor and cost and everything else.

Steve:

So, I think most manufacturers Deanna, they have a misconception that pros they just don't want to learn a new product out of obstinate or because of scared to try something new. And especially for younger tradesmen, they want to try something new, it's just they just need to have that comfortable feeling about the product. When I think salespeople from manufacturers when they're marketing even within our marketing to this audience group, if we treat this younger pro audience as if they're just stuck in their ways, then it can be very frustrating to that pro audience. So I think in determining what we need first of all your digital presence, it needs to address those frustrations and concerns about new products and focusing on making them comfortable with this change, specifically when you're talking about contractors.

Deanna:

That's really great Steve and that's something that I think is good for all sales and marketing people to keep in mind is when you are asking a tradesperson to try your product, you are asking them to risk their reputation for your brand. We all need to approach that like the big deal that it is because it's a big deal. So keeping that attitude of empathy and understanding and recognizing that these are not just stubborn obstinate men and women, this is their reputation that you're asking them to risk. It's a big deal and it should be treated as such.

Deanna:

Okay, Steve the number three question that we get the most frequently is, "How can we use our marketing data to sell more effectively?" So talk to us a little bit about that.

Steve:

Deanna this is one thing that's most important to me being a data guy. I like to see the numbers, I like to see figures. I like to use that in decision making. So, I'd like to kick back to episode 20 where we interview Doug Jennings from Lowe's and he really dives into how Lowe's is using data and big data and data analysis to inform their decision making and how they market to clients and also sell to clients. So let's go back and listen to a clip from Doug.

020 Lowes Podcast Banner

Episode 20 Clip

Zach Williams:

Are you looking at both online and offline in store? Are you trying to correlate all this data together to get a better picture of your ideal customer or just I mean it might not even be an ideal customer. It could just be anybody that might be coming in your store to understand what their purchase habits and where they might be leaning towards so that you can help them upsell and actually close this sale.

Doug Jennings:

Yeah correct. It's really merging the in store or offline behavior with your online behavior. So how do we map Zach and we know it's Zach and we can validate that it's Zach. What is your browse behavior and we know that you may have searched for something and we match that up with your recent purchase behavior and we can identify that you're actually in the middle of a kitchen remodel and you're at the stage where you're picking tile for a back splash. What we don't want to have happen is we know that you've purchased a refrigerator, we look at your behavior and say, "Okay, he might be in the middle of a kitchen remodel." If we know you just purchased a refrigerator, we don't want to send you a direct mail or an email or digital ad saying, "Hey we've got 20% off refrigerators," right? Because you just bought one. So we don't want to send you the wrong marketing because as a customer you're saying, "Wait a second, you know I just bought a refrigerator. Why are you pushing this on me?"

Doug Jennings:

So it's really how do we anticipate customer's needs through data which allows us ... That will please and delight a customer if we can anticipate their needs versus saying, "Wait a second Lowe's I just bought a refrigerator from you two months ago. I don't need another one. So why are you pushing this offer to me?"

Deanna:

So I really loved all that Doug had to say. Steve tell me what was your takeaway from this podcast?

Steve:

Deanna one thing that I see happening over and over is that manufacturers and distributors they don't focus on what data they are collecting and how they are collecting data from their digital presence. And it's not that they don't have any data collection practice at all. Many times they do. I find that they're not leveraging that dataset effectively to inform marketing decisions. So, it really comes back to how you're collecting data and then what data you're collecting. Making sure that you have the cleanest dataset possible. A clean and powerful dataset can really be used to create accountability for results driven strategies and I think that's really important.

Steve:

One thing that stood out to me in this podcast with Doug is that the process of data analysis drives sales and it also servers the customer. It's beneficial to the customer to anticipate their needs. And that reduces friction. Proper data collection within your marketing efforts can allow you anticipate needs and to meet those needs throughout the digital platforms that you are on. So, if someone is whether or not they're selling online or not in terms of E-commerce, they may just be presenting the products and having a product page and pushing leads to a distributor as a manufacturer. You can still track that user behavior and utilize that information to make more informed decisions.

Steve:

So I think that's one thing that really stood out to me is that data collection is not just about selling better. It's also about creating a more pleasant experience for the customer themselves.

Deanna:

So true. So right along that data analysis line, so Steve I am also a data person. I love data. I love making data-driven decisions. I'm throwing back to episode number 71 with Lisa Prestifilippo. She is the Director of National Accounts for the Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation and gave us a wealth of knowledge about the data that you can receive from your E-commerce, as well as from big box stores. So let's listen to that clip.

071 Getting Your Foot in the Online Door

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Episode 71 Clip

Lisa Prestifilippo:

People research way more, even if they still buy it at the actual store location. They've done all the research. So they're not going to ... I mean have you ever walked into Lowe's and number one, no one will help you. So then you're there for two hours trying to figure out what aisle you're supposed to be in. Then you figure out ... and then it's like well which one should I get? They always carry two of the top competitors and so you've got JS and Air Vent and what air vent should I buy? So they do all their research online. So even if my ... In this company we had Home Depot for about three years homedepot.com. I said, "I'll put minimums on Lowes.com that technically people probably won't buy 50 sheets of an eight footer. But at least the eight foot is online and they can who makes it, what's the gauge? What's the color?" They've done all the research so when they walk in they're asking for my skew, my company, the brand.

Lisa Prestifilippo:

So I think when it comes to where are these guys going, I want to say this .com is a never ending shopping. I want to say that they want every skew up there, even if it doesn't sell on mine, it'll sell in store. It's more about the marketing and the research. Like I tell my team all the time, "Half of this stuff isn't going to sell online, but it's free marketing." So when people google metal roofing, our skews are coming up. Yeah, our skews are coming up. So then they take deep dives and all of a sudden now they're on our actual metal sales website. And, "Oh, I didn't know you guys made that profile." I mean we have, gosh our full line catalog the amount of profiles that we have, it's crazy. So my number one profile in the actual company is not even on Lowes.com.

Steve:

Deanna this was a really interesting episode and I really like the conversation around big box stores and things like that. Not every manufacturer that we deal with sells in big box stores, although they may sell in retail, they also sell through distributors, suppliers and also one step distribution. So what is your one takeaway from this episode with Lisa?

Deanna:

So, my biggest takeaway from this podcast and guys this was literally a huge light bulb moment for me. So Lisa, I hope you listen to this. I hope you understand how much this changed my thinking. A lot of times it's really easy for clients who sell, maybe they sell large sheets of insulation. That's not the best thing to buy online. So they may feel like, "Hey I don't really need to have a presence on Amazon or any other E-commerce platform because my product really can't be shipped. It really needs to be, you need to go to a store and you need to pick it up." However, that may be the case and that's totally fair. But, if you are online that means that your product is going to show up when your customers are doing research. So if you have a large product or you have a product that's not really appropriate to ship onesies, twosies to someone's house, that doesn't mean that you can't have an E-commerce strategy and that you can't be present in the E-commerce section of some of the world's largest retailers.

Deanna:

You want those eyeballs. You want that marketing. So get your products on those platforms. Get your products on as many of those platforms as you can so that you are present in that decision making. You may, and Lisa talks about this really well, you may have to set minimums to make it worth ... Because obviously you don't want to ship huge roofing panels two at a time to Oklahoma from your factory in Pittsburgh. Well that's fine. You can set minimums on there to protect yourself. But you do want to have your products visible when clients are doing research because then they're going to be walking into those big box stores. They're going to be walking into their local lumber yard. They're going to be going to their local one step dealer and they're going to be saying, "This is the product that I want. Here's the printout. I've already done the research on the colors and the lengths and the skews that I want. This is exactly what I need." It does the work for you.

Deanna:

You can also get so much data from these online platforms. You can see what products are getting the most traction. What products are getting the most clicks. What products even there are social sharing tools. So there's a lot of metrics that you can pull from these products being there even if it's not specific orders.

Steve:

Deanna that was really good. What an excellent episode. Let's go to our fourth question which is something that I get asked a lot. Why should I invest in brand messaging? A lot of companies have a lot of internal teams that maybe even content teams that work on their messaging. They may have just thrown messaging up there. They have call to actions throughout their site that are just for generic. I think a lot of times the manufacturers are not aware of the increased profitability that they can have from outsourcing those efforts to a professional firm. So why don't you answer this question, why should I invest in brand messaging?

Deanna:

Thanks Steve, I'm really glad you asked. I have very strong opinions as do most of our strategists here at Venveo of when it comes to brand messaging for our clients. So, in order to answer this question we are going to throwback to episode number 44, which seems so long ago at this point, when we had Anastasia Voll come on our podcast. Anastasia is the content manager here at Venveo. She is responsible for working very closely with our strategy team and developing messaging for almost all of our clients. She is a master at it and her take on messaging and I'll talk about it after we listen to the clip, but her take on messaging was so eye-opening for me because it helped me understand not just that messaging is important, but why it's so important. So let's listen to that clip.

044 7 Copywriting Hacks for Building Materials Banner

Episode 44 Clip

Zach Williams:

So the fifth copywriting hack and Beth is the queen of this one, is repeating statements to become more trustworthy.

Beth Pop-Nikolov:

I'm going to remind my husband of that next time he tells me that I nag him. I'll be like, "I'm just repeating my statements so that you will believe me."

Zach Williams:

To be more trustworthy. I was going to say if you look at research for this there's actually a survey was done to ask participants to rate how much they trusted a statement. And it says that some statements were repeated multiple times while others were stated only once and the study found that the people that consistently rated repeated statements as more trustworthy in comparison to statements that were not. I think that's really interesting if you think about your advertising and you think about the ads that you're creating, the more somebody sees an ad or the more that they see a statement that you're making whether it's on Instagram, Facebook, an email on your website, the more trustworthy that becomes. Because goodness you must really believe it, it must really be true because you're saying it over and over again.

Beth Pop-Nikolov:

We trust what's familiar to us. So you're making your brand familiar. You're making your standpoints familiar. It's something that we've talked about, this is why messaging is really important and having that consistent experience across every channel. You don't want to be sounding and acting like one person on Facebook and then when I come to your website you're a completely different company. You want that experience to be the same across multiple channels. That makes me trust you. Makes me feel like you've got it together. You've thought through who's reading this? When they're reading it. Who I am and what I need. If you're repeating that over and over and over on every place that I'm interacting with your company, I'm more likely to trust you and convert or purchase or have a sales conversation.

Anastasia Voll:

And it's important to communicate to different audiences the same too. You don't want to talk to an architect differently than you talk to a builder or a homeowner, even though they have different pain points. You still need to be consistent for them.

Beth Pop-Nikolov:

That's a really good point tying back to our previous point about personalization. So, you don't want to have a split personality for your different channels, you just want to speak to their different pain points like Anastasia is saying.

Steve:

Deanna that was a great episode and Anastasia is so talented at what she does. What was your main takeaway from this?

Deanna:

Yeah, so my big aha moment from this podcast was the concept of repeating statements. If you think about some studies show that it takes from nine to 11 times for someone to hear something before they believe it, before they buy into it. That is why your messaging is so important. That is why it's so important to have a consistent message across multiple platforms. If you think about it like building a house, each time you have an interaction with someone, so if they see you on Facebook and then they get an email from you and then they get a newsletter and then they come to your website and then they go on your Instagram feed. All of that needs to be contributing to this house that you're building for them. So the end of the day you have this fully formed picture that is trustworthy, that is stable, that is solid and that someone will buy into. Messaging is so important because it helps achieve that repeating statements trustworthy concept that is going to make your product so much more easier to buy.

Steve:

That's really great Deanna. Such an important component of the digital presence. Let's move to our fifth question which is how to define a digital marketing strategy for your company. I can't tell you how many times I talk to people who think they have a strategy in place, but it's actually not being implemented or they need help in determining what the strategy needs to be. So I'd like to throwback to an episode, episode 28 where Joey Gilkey from Home Depot talks to us about relationships and how to adapt a strategy from seeing needs in the market. So let's go listen to that.

Alaska Store Spotlight_3000x935

Episode 28 Clip

Beth Pop-Nikolov:

I want to talk a little bit more about your customer base Joey. You mentioned that you're really focused on a consultative sales positioning, which I think is really smart. And if I'm tracking with your story, really the pro-business got off the ground at a really interesting time. Let me ask you, how you've seen the industry change because you guys got really rolling with pros and rolling out pro-sales managers right as the internet and digital started to become a factor in the purchase process in the building materials industry. So I have a couple of questions I'd like to ask you about that, but let's just start there and can you talk a little bit about how you've seen maybe the industry change or your sales process have to change and conform as the request or the need for online has become more prevalent?

Joey Gilkey:

So, from 2000 to 2019 the industry has changed a lot. We no longer have our contractors walk in, of a big magnitude. I'm talking a contractor bigger than a truck and a truck. The don't have to walk into the stores any longer. They can buy products. We have Home Depot pro-apps. They can go on their computer. They have their admin order product and we have outside delivery services that actually bring it to the job site, drop it off, put it inside the homes. That's where the industry is going and we recognize it's easy. Listen, at the end of the day I have an Amazon Prime account, so does my whole family.

Beth Pop-Nikolov:

Right.

Joey Gilkey:

My daughter is in college and I see that little ding come across everyday, she just bought new shoes. Whatever. So, I know where the industry is going and I know that we have to keep up. So we have an exec team, an outstanding exec team that stays up to speed with the industry. Again, it's not just a guy or girl walking in and buying a bag of concrete. Those days are past us. So if that makes sense.

Zach Williams:

You know Joey I think what's interesting is I saw an article this past year that Home Depot invested something like $1.2 billion in supply chain overall. I think it was an article that the Wall Street Journal put out.

Joey Gilkey:

That's correct.

Zach Williams:

Yeah I think people thought a lot of that was in reaction to what's happening with Amazon and the convenience that they provide. But if I hear you correctly, yes that's part of it, but it's just the nature of the way that people are buying building products are changing. You're trying to make the convenience of buying products that much easier. Is that correct?

Joey Gilkey:

It is. So the pro-sales, the old school Hoover vacuum cleaner sales, that's always going to be there. You're always going to have that B to B, that handshake. It's all about relationships and it's going to continue to be. You'll never see a two by four sticking out the back of an Amazon truck, you'll never see that. So, the thing with us is we put sales folks out in the field. We build relationships. It's more than just being a vendor. It is a partnership. It's taken 19 years to get here, but I would say over the last, I would say over the last four years since we did buy the supply chain, we learned a lot. And we know that the industry is heading that direction.

Joey Gilkey:

As we manage these larger companies you're never going to see an Andy Capps or a Tim Wooten walk into a Home Depot, go to a pro desk. You're never going to see that. They love the convenience of an online purchasing. They love the convenience of having their project manager, senior project managers deal with that part of the business. But there's always a paper trail, right? There's always a paper trail that they can go back and show their investors, "Hey we purchased $10 million on this project. It's all here on the receipts. It's all online. Here's my sign on, our sign in and from an accounting standpoint, online purchasing you're always going to have a paper trail. The old days of the contractor walking in and buying a bunk of lumber and taking a receipt and throwing it up on his dashboard and hoping to get that receipt back to his boss, those days are over. So it's helped the industry. The online definitely has helped our industry as well.

Deanna:

I love it. Steve tell me what were your takeaways from this podcast with Joey?

Steve:

So you'd be amazed at how many companies think they have a strategy and they really don't or they have a strategy and they think it's being implemented when it's really not.

Deanna:

So true.

Steve:

Yeah it is. So this is one thing that we really focus on at Venveo is helping an organization to look at their data, understand their competitive landscape. Look at how the company matches up to that and based on that and leadership goals and direction, how do we get from where we are with our digital marketing to where we want to be? But the strategy needs to be in alignment with how consumers and professionals want to do business. And in this podcast the aha moment that I took away was Joey who was piloting the pro services division at Home Depot in Atlanta and they were going after larger contractors. More and more they were buying online instead of coming into the store and Home Depot really shifted. They spent a little over a billion dollars in the online ordering process and the delivery process. But at the same time, Joey had a strategy of developing relationships with the clients. So that was their sales process. They integrated that with a changing market. So a changing online world. At the same time they were investing in those relationships with the convenience of online buying.

Steve:

So I think what a lot of manufacturers should focus on is that your sales method of building relationships or whatever that sales method is can work alongside a very robust digital presence that's working effectivity. That ultimately gets you closer to the customer by creating that convenience of having that robust digital presence. So this is a strategy that needs to be developed based on your customer's needs and then implemented and continually optimized. So the big portion of the strategy is not just in knowing where you want to go, it's in making sure that you have a plan and breaking down that strategy into an actual action plan and actually executing on that and continually optimizing. It's not just a one and done thing.

Deanna:

Right.

Steve:

The market changes. Your customers need change. Google's algorithm changes. Your competitors are adding new content. So the digital marketplace is constantly changing and therefore that means that your digital strategy needs to account for that evolution and that continual optimization of what you're doing digitally to reach customers effectively and then turn that awareness that you generate into an end to action. So this is what Joey was doing to win in between 2000 and 2019 and adapting and taking advantage of new technology. So that's one of the things that I took away from this episode. Very important about having a digital strategy and making sure that it's being optimized and continually implemented.

Deanna:

So smart. So the number six question that we want to tackle in this podcast is how to successfully integrate digital marketing efforts with our sales process. So in order to answer that question we turned back to a podcast it was episode number 47. It was with Gary Wellington from Armstrong Sealing Solutions. So let's listen to an excerpt from that podcast and then we'll give our takeaways at the end.

047 CRM Stratgies for Building Materials Banner

Episode 47 Clip

Zach Williams:

Getting your entire team on board to use it versus bringing somebody in new who maybe came in six months ago is a completely different scenario. For someone that comes in new tomorrow is your training process different for them? Are you having them shadow somebody or how are you getting them up to speed on how you like to use and have your team implement the CRM within their sales efforts?

Gary Wellington:

Good question and when I do interview or I network and try and make potential people for the business side definitely ask them what their experiences with Salesforce itself. It's a key part. It does save a lot of time. We developed our own internal training program, which was what we rolled out initially which was the data entry first type thing. Then after we engaged the Salesforce educator instructor, we also developed some material for them. So we have this hybrid and our package was about 120 slides. The facilitator from Salesforce had about 20. So we try and get it down to eight, 10 or 12 or something. Something simple. And what I do is I create a bit of competition amongst the team. So, if I've got one particular person who's doing well and he's a bit of a pioneer and actually points out some shortcuts to myself and others, I'll highlight that and I'll encourage the team to share that. So, generally salespeople are reasonably competitive. If somebody gets a mention for doing something quite well during a conference call or during a sales meeting, I guarantee you the next morning they'll get a call to say, "Hey how did you do that?" How did you export everything so quickly from your contacts to your projects?" And so you infect people with the virus and they start to feed off each other.

Gary Wellington:

Aside from that our product is quite technical. So we have what we call a basic training program and we'll use Salesforce in a part of that basic training as well.

Steve:

Deanna this is a great episode with Gary. Why don't you tell us what your big takeaway from this episode was?

Deanna:

Yes, so my biggest takeaway from this episode is that everything that I believed about implementing a CRM within a sales team was wrong. A CRM cannot and should not be pushed onto sales. I've always been in a marketing role. I've never been in a sales role. Salespeople work so incredibly hard. So that whole if it's not in the CRM it didn't happen mentality has always been the one that I've had actually. I worked in an organization where we would say that if it wasn't in Salesforce it didn't happen. I had given that advice to clients, which I will now never do again because it does come back to that empathy side. That doesn't feel good for the salesperson. So when you're rolling out a CRM how can you do it in a way that energizes your sales team? How can you do it in a way that you do research on your salespeople's pain points and you present a solution that addresses those pain points. So Gary does a really good job of communicating how they rolled out their CRM in this case, it was Salesforce, and they did it from the bottom up. So there was an entire internal messaging strategy. There was an entire training program prepared. If you are rolling out a CRM to a Salesforce that doesn't already have one, I highly, highly recommend this podcast. Gary thank you for helping me to think about this a little bit differently.

Steve:

This is really good, Deanna, from a sales perspective, from my perspective. It's always important and it really is true. If it's not in the CRM and then it didn't happen. The sales team they do work very hard. But that shouldn't be an excuse, right? I think that's really good. So I appreciated this episode from Gary.

Deanna:

Absolutely and one thing that I really took away from this was that a CRM that isn't something that should be happening to your sales team, it's something that should be happening for your sales team. So approaching it again, with that empathy and with that understanding and with seeing it from their perspective was really impactful for me.

Steve:

That's great.

Deanna:

So I don't know about you Steve, I've really enjoyed the last 100 episodes. Thank you to Zach, thank you to Beth for all the hard work that goes into this. Thank you to everyone who works behind the scenes. We've got producers and writers and editors all working tirelessly on this project. So you guys you've all done a great job. We really appreciate it. Thank you to all of our guests. I love that we all come together and we share our insights and our experiences and our tactics and our ideas and we can all work together to move our industry forward. So it's not gone unnoticed. Thank you all so much. If you didn't participate in the last 100 episodes, please make sure you participate in one of the next 100 episodes.

Steve:

Absolutely Deanna and thank you everyone for being with us today. If you want to hear more great content like this or the actual episodes we shared today, subscribe to the Better Building Material Podcast. Until next I'm Steve.

Deanna:

And I'm Deanna.

Steve:

Thanks everyone.

Voiceover:

You've been listening to Smarter Building Materials Marketing with Zach Williams and Beth Pop-Nikolov. To get the resources mentioned in this podcast visit Venveo.com/podcast. Thank you for listening.

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