Internal Evangelism as Part of Your Branding Strategy

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Operatix
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Episode

Internal Evangelism as Part of Your Branding Strategy

Lead Generation for B2B Software Companies

Operatix

Do you practice what you preach?

What about your team? Do they practice what your company preaches?

Evangelizing your team about your company’s message and values internally is equally as important as evangelizing them externally.

John Rougeux is the VP of Marketing at Skyfii where he has two main priorities: 1) Build his company’s presence in North America and 2) Rebuild Skyfii’s brand with a clear position in the marketplace.

John knows that he can’t accomplish his second priority by only marketing his company externally.  He has to be walking the walk and getting his team excited internally as well. It’s crucial to their success.

John joined us for this episode of B2B Revenue Acceleration to talk about internal evangelism as part of a branding strategy.

Internal Evangelism is More Important Than Ever

John believes that “It’s not sufficient for marketers to focus on externally promoting a brand.”  In order to reach the potential for growth, your team needs to be fully onboard internally first to know where you’re headed.

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It’s not sufficient for marketers to focus on externally promoting a brand. It’s necessary, but it’s really not sufficient.

John Rougeux

It’s not enough for your company to compete on features and benefits.  To embark on long-term relationships, customers must be interested in who you are and what you stand for.

The same absolutely goes for your employees and partners. As a marketer, your job is to continue to focus on external promotion, but your role should also include an often equal focus on promoting vision with your internal team and partners.

Competing on price and features is prevalent in the B2B space and B2B companies are over marketed to.  People in this space crave human relationships. If you say that is what you provide, but you fail to evangelize internally, your values will be inconsistent.

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People just don’t want to do business with someone who’s inauthentic.

John Rougeux

How Your Team Can Demonstrate Consistent Values

John believes there are four pillars that demonstrate consistent internal values at your company:

  1. Recognize that marketers can’t work in a bubble.  You can’t just focus on traditional external marketing.  Your role has to be broader. If you start there, things will stem naturally into your external marketing.
  2. Leadership involvement is key.  Values need to be discussed and bought into at the leadership team level.  If employees see leadership disregarding values, they will soon follow suit.
  3. HR and marketing need to speak to each other.  This is especially true when it comes to hiring.  Competency is important in a candidate, but superb character and values are the most crucial elements in hiring.
  4. Lead by example.  There is a temptation for leaders to just write down processes in a document of how things should be done.  But they have to show other people on their team what it looks like to live out your company’s values.

2 Great Examples of Internal Evangelism

Here are two great examples of companies who internally evangelize their marketing in genius ways:

  1. Terminus plays in the enterprise space.  Their Chief Evangelist, Sangram Vajre, is hyper-focused on Account-Based Marketing.  He’s always looking for more authentic connections and talking to people on LinkedIn.  He’s living by example; his outward values are the same ones his brand stands for.
  2. Drift plays in a broader market space. But connection and authentic human branding are essential in their marketing as well. Dave Gerhardt has an off the cuff approach and he is always talking about the brand.  It’s not always perfectly polished with a high production value, but it’s conversational marketing. You can see it evident in his company as well as other people on his team make videos in the same vein.

…And 2 Bad Examples

1.Enron had their fair share of problems.  While you might think that was just limited to CEOs or salespeople at the org, John points out that their values were reflected even in the accounting department.  It’s not just salespeople or customer service people that have an effect on customers, or employees. It’s anyone who makes a decision on behalf of the company.

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We should all think of ourselves as having customer-facing or customer influencing roles to a degree because we’re all making decisions on behalf of a company.

John Rougeux

2. Uber didn’t have much of a value system to begin with, and things have not really improved.  They did a great job focusing on growth marketing, but they have participated in some things that were not culturally above board.  It’s unfortunate because Uber is so innovative and disruptive and they may have avoided many of these pitfalls they’ve found themselves in if they focused on these internal values before marketing externally.  

Marketers have a choice to make. They can either choose to promote their values internally like Terminus and Drift, or they can watch their culture (and profits as a result) crumble like Enron and Uber.

A marketer’s job no longer begins and ends outside of company walls. Internal evangelism is the first step toward a company that is fired up about the direction in which they’re heading!

This post is based on a podcast with John RougeuxTo hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

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About Operatix

Operatix is a Sales Acceleration company specialized in supporting B2B Software vendors to identify new revenue streams, increase qualified sales pipeline, and accelerate channel development across Europe and North America. Operatix has a wealth of experience in working with the biggest tech players worldwide as well as a multitude of emerging software vendors.

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Digital transformation is changing how companies buy and use business solutions, making vendors re-assess the capabilities of their channel ecosystem. With channel dynamics in constant flux, vendors need to be ready to cut ties with partners that don’t share their vision or have connections with the right B2B buyers.

 

Operatix has supported numerous vendors in their path to Channel transformation by assessing current partners and recruiting new partners that are more aligned with their new channel strategy. Once the right partners have been identified, Operatix built scalable outbound sales development programs that accelerated their routes to market.

Inbound Response Management

In a competitive industry like technology every lead counts. Operatix can help you maximize conversion from MQL to SQL and from lead to pipeline, increasing both your revenue and ROI on marketing activities.

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Identifying the accounts that are more likely to buy from you is part of our expertise. We will research the market, identify verticals and industries that can benefit from your solution and set up qualified sales engagements for your teams to kick-off the sales process. 

Cold Prospecting

Our team will identify new sales opportunities within the strategic accounts that you haven’t been successful in penetrating through your sales & marketing efforts. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, multitouch approach to connect with prospects, generating qualified sales engagements for your team and ultimately increasing your pipeline.

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Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Partner Concierge Service

Our Partner Concierge Service helps vendors accelerate their channel programs, by engaging and nurturing channel partners and supporting them to get to revenue quicker.

Demand Generation

Whether you need to implement a demand generation strategy or get more results out of your existing demand gen engine, Operatix can work alongside your marketing team to yield better results out of your demand generation programs.

Account-based Marketing

An Account-based Marketing strategy is only as successful as the revenue it generates. At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Lead Qualification

If your marketing leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help sieve through leads that need further qualification, so they are ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with.

Account-based Selling

At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Pipeline Generation

Generating Pipeline for our clients is our key-objective. And we do that by using a multi-touch, multi-channel approach to generate qualified sales engagements for our customers’ sales teams.   

Account Intelligence / Deep Dive

Understanding buying centres, hierarchies and relevant personas in strategic accounts is a fundamental step to increase conversion rates. By leveraging account intelligence in a sales conversation your team can tailor their message and provide value to their prospective customer. But sales & marketing teams often struggle to dedicate time and resources to do the deep research and this is where Operatix can help.

DMID – Decision Maker Identification

Finding quality data is an on-going challenge for B2B Tech vendors. The accuracy of data platforms is questionable and that is why Operatix developed a manual process to identify & verify contact details for decision makers within strategic target accounts.

Playbook design

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to get your messaging right, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapt the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

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Sales Playbook Development

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to implementing the correct messaging, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapting the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

Lead Qualification

If your leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help filter through leads that need further qualification, ensuring that they’re ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with and progress through the funnel. 

Partner Portal / Marketing Concierge Service

Vendors often spend thousands of dollars building multifunctional Partner Portals to help channel partners educate their teams, manage opportunities, and create marketing programs. Still, these portals are often underutilized due to lack of bandwidth and capacity from vendors to offer support in enabling their partner community. Operatix, through their Partner Development team, can support your partners to make the best use out of your partner portal, managing the relationship with your partners and helping them set up co-marketing campaigns to drive more revenue for both businesses. 

Marketing & Sales Alignment

The sales development function is often seen as the “glue” that brings sales & marketing teams together. By working as an extension of your teams, Operatix will be your predictable source of pipeline, sales & revenue.

Optimization of MDF

Market Development Funds are an important component of any channel ecosystem, though vendors believe they are not maximizing the return on investment they should be getting from their MDF programs. At Operatix, we build scalable outbound sales development programs that will give you the visibility of return over the invested spend and will provide clear value for your channel partners.

Increase Partner Productivity

The 80/20 rule is still very applicable to the channel, which means that investing in partner productivity should be a priority for vendors looking to grow their businesses. Operatix can increase partner productivity and shorten sales cycles, by identifying ready to engage sales opportunities for your most valued channel partners.

Virtual Channel Account managers

Our VCAM team is responsible for building, maintaining, and managing sound relationships with current and prospective channel partners. They can get involved in opening up new sales conversations as well as closing small businesses up to $ 10k.

Tier 1 & Tier 2 Activation

Whether your business decided for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 distribution model, Operatix can help your channel partners get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements to your channel partners we can accelerate your route to market with tangible and easily measurable results.

Solution Selling Training

Far too often vendors insist on enabling their channel partners to talk about features and technical details of their solutions. Customers don’t buy features; they buy the benefits your solution can bring. Operatix will work with your partner community to train them in articulating your message from a high-level business perspective, enabling them to talk to prospects about the value your solution can bring to their company from a board-level perspective.

Channel Enablement

Enabling your channel partners have measurable wins for your business when done right. Operatix has a proven track record in enabling channel partners from a sales & marketing perspective, providing them the knowledge and tools to successfully pitch your solution and sell the value & benefits of it. 

Partner Recruitment

Recruiting the right Channel Partners is the first step for a successful channel program. Operatix has helped over 350 B2B Software vendors recruit suitable channel partners across EMEA and North America, supporting them to scale and expand their presence in different geographies and verticals. 

Risk/Reward Business Model

To truly work as an extension of our client’s sales & marketing teams, we have also adapted our business models to show how our clients operate, and how their success is measured. With our risk/reward business model your investment is proportional to the results our team delivers.

Sales Qualified Leads

On average, 52.5% of the sales engagements set up by our team progress into a next step in the sale process. That means that 5 out of 10 meetings will progress either into a POC, a Demo or a pipeline opportunity.

Geographical Scale

Trading in different geographical markets not only requires a knowledge of the native language, local rules & policies, but a deeper understanding of the local culture and habits. We have the ability to deliver campaigns in multiple countries with flexible resource allocation. This is through our team of international speakers, who have the ability to sell in 17 different languages across the globe.

Increase Revenue & Decrease Cost

Building an internal sales development team comes with many additional costs and challenges that aren’t always taken into account: recruiting resources, training and enabling them etc. You also need to take into account the need for having the data and tools to make them successful, which in turn requires time, capital and effort. By outsourcing your sales development to Operatix you will see your revenue increasing, while decreasing costs and business risk.

Predictable Pipeline Generation

On average, our clients see a 26X ROI on the programs we deliver. By understanding your revenue targets and sales pipeline gap, we will work on a sales & marketing plan that will deliver tangible results.

Vertical Growth

Entering new industries or launching new product lines? Operatix can accelerate your growth by supporting your go-to-market strategy, and getting your sales teams in front of decision makers in key target accounts.

Reduce Headcount

By outsourcing your sales development and partner programs to Operatix; we reduce headcount and the challenges that come with managing people, technologies, and processes. We take care of your sales development, so you can focus on what matters the most: growing your business.

Revenue Acceleration

Operatix helps your business get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements for your direct sales team (to kick-off new sales cycles), or by accelerating the growth of your channel partners, our focus remains on delivering tangible results for your business. 

Persona-based Selling

Operatix team will design specifically tailored messages to influence the different levels of decision makers in the sales process, tailoring the communication according to each job function. Our focus is to sell the value of your solution from a business perspective, not its features.    

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