Marketing Messaging to Drive Sales Forward w/ Stephen Beach

#81: Listen as Stephen Beach, Co-Founder and CMO of Vantage Impact, discusses marketing’s relationship to sales. Stephen details how you can use marketing messaging and collateral throughout the sales process to drive revenue.

Listen to the episode by clicking play below OR search “the sales lift” wherever you get podcasts.

Check out the full transcript of this episode below:

The Sales Lift Podcast
Episode #81
Marketing Messaging to Drive Sales Forward w/ Stephen Beach
Hosted by: Tyler Lindley

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[00:00:00] Tyler Lindley: Hey Sales Lift Nation it's your host, Tyler Lindley. Today I have Stephen Beach on the podcast. Hey Stephen, how's it going? Good, Tyler. Thanks for having me, man. Yeah. Thank you so much for joining. Stephen is the co-founder and C M O at vantage impact, which is a really cool marketing agency that I'll let Stephen tell you a little bit more.

But today, the main topic we're going to be talking about is marketing and how you can use marketing messaging and collateral throughout the sales process. Stephen, I know this is a topic that you and I are both really passionate about, and it seems like one that some folks struggle with what messaging and what collateral do I.

To help move deals forward in the sales

[00:00:43] Stephen Beach: process. It's such a big topic for us, for our clients. I think that just keeps coming up. And what we started doing is really forcing our clients to go through our process and start with messaging because whenever we skipped it in the past, we paid for it down the line.

I'll tell you what I mean. But we have clients that come to us and say, I have a good sales call with somebody. I have a good connect, call it somebody. I just started talking with them or they came into the office and we sat down and. And then they're like, yeah, send me some more information. And they're like, what do I send?

And is it the same thing that all of my coworkers are sending to different audiences? Shouldn't we be sending different things, that type of thing. So a lot of times it's cobbled together messaging and. Working through messaging through prospect thing and then into the sales stages, whatever your sales process is, I think is really, really important as a foundational piece to not just marketing, but really for selling.

So that's where we'd like to see. Yeah,

[00:01:36] Tyler Lindley: I totally agree. I feel like you hear that all the time. Send me some information. I think you can hear that in a cold call. You can hear that right after the discovery call, after a presentation or a demo that happens really at every stage. Do you think it's a best practice?

Should you have materials almost ready for every stage of the sales process? Or what do you think? Good looks like there's. Yeah,

[00:01:55] Stephen Beach: definitely. First off, if somebody said that to me, send me some information to figure out if I'm really hitting on the points and if we're on the same page, I would actually ask a question back to that prospect.

I'd probably say, all right. That's great. I have tons of information, honestly. What specifically would you like me to send? What kind of things are you looking for? Do you want previous examples? You want success stories? Do you want pricing information? How we do what we do or how the process works or all the above.

You've got to help me out a little bit and push back, and then that furthers the sales conversation. But to get back to it, I think if they say that, ideally you have at least a couple pieces thought through for your company that is cohesive and compelling to your target prospects that you have. Like an example.

We have a client that they sell to the big four accounting firms, but specifically inside those accounting firms, the consultants. So like a Deloitte person, if a Deloitte person says it was great talking with you, somebody, some information, they have a one pager, that's all about Deloitte. And it's very specific.

We've already done all the research, all the marketing to figure out what your Deloitte compensation package looks like, what your benefit options look like once your retirement plans like. We've already gotten, we use their Deloitte lingo, their internal Deloitte wording for all these different things.

It's on the one pager. And so then it shows, okay, cool. Like here's the follow-up it just shows we've already thought through this. We've already got clients that are your coworkers at Deloitte. We do these services for them and we generate these outcomes for them. It's all on a one pager and they have it ready to go.

Same thing for KPMG and Accenture and all the others. I think ideally you get down to that level, but. I think companies need a place to start. They don't even have a single one. Pager might just be thinking, what do I send? Good brochure. We just have a digital brochure. I can send you. And if that's where you're starting, you're not alone.

And that's where I think digging into a full-on messaging project would be really helpful. I can talk through how we do that if that's interesting

[00:03:48] Tyler Lindley: to folks, but. Some of the things you were just talking about there obviously have something having those specific examples based on a specific company or specific situation, I think is great.

That's probably more of a phase two or phase three for folks, but you've got to start with something. If you even only have one, a one size fits all piece of. That can be helpful. I want to hear your thoughts on this statement. I think a lot of sales happens in between the conversations. What are you doing in between that first and that second call or in between the second and the third call.

Those are such important times where you can reinforce what you've heard and you can validate a lot of what you bring to the table and you can really set up the next call. So, well, those in-between times are well and you need this kind of messaging and collateral to make those in-between. It's better to make your processing more legitimate and to make it seem like I'm really jazzed up now about that next call.

Do you agree with that sentiment? Yeah,

[00:04:41] Stephen Beach: totally. I think in between, I just referred to it as nurturing and that's where some of the automated marketing tools can come in and you can get pretty fancy with it. But even from a basic level, you have a call. You have a sales call. And then it's going to be a week or two weeks before they get to the next stage, let's say, or before they make a decision, what are you doing that week or two weeks?

They find those steps ideally to find those steps as a company, is that phone calls, is that texts, is it social media touches? Is it sending them a PDF? Let's just start there. That alone is extremely helpful. Provided the PDF is really about the value that you're providing. I'm not a fan of the one-pager brochure.

Here's our company history. Here's our team. And here's our list of three services. That's not going to get it done. I think you're more likely to nurture someone to establish more credibility and to give yourself a better shot at closing the deal or earning the client. If you make the piece about the value you bring, or you define how you take them through your process and what they get at each stage, that's more where I'd like to go.

If we do that, then that's more of a, we call it a client success. For our client. So say you have your process that you take your clients through and we try to boil it down to four to seven stages. So at each stage we are plotting that out on a client success map. Again, it's just a one pager or even a half of a one pager.

You can have. And it just shows. All right. Here's where we start. Here's where we go. Here's where we go. Here's where I go. But at each step there's a deliverable or some sort of outcome that the prospect or the client can expect to earn from you. That's where you shift it in a way from here's what we do into, here's what you get from working with us.

And that's more of what you need to drive home. Exactly.

[00:06:21] Tyler Lindley: That's more of the change. This client success map. Does this mirror and align with the actual sales pipeline. In the CRM. Are they directly mirrors of each other or are they sometimes it's different

[00:06:34] Stephen Beach: in the sense that the way that we set it up as a client success manager, we're giving them a preview of what happens when they become a client.

If you're in a prospect, you're still say you're comparing me versus two other vendors. I'll give you a client success map. And it says here's our seven, six. Here's what you get at each stage. And it's got some sort of nice header and tagline. Here's the big outcome that you're going to get at the end of it.

Really, they're getting a preview of what happens when they sign on with you when they agree to become your client, to get a preview of that. So it's more so your internal process, it's just phrased differently into less internal SLPs and how to, and things it's more phrased like prospect face thing. So your first piece of your internal process is.

You don't want to put onboarding as you first stage on your client's success map because that's not super valuable to the client. What's valuable to the client is the output of your onboarding. So you do your onboarding. Let's say you run them through 30 questions that your company has to answer, and it's a discovery call.

So what's the deliverable. At the end of that, we spit out all the answers to the 30 questions and the discovery call, and it becomes this. Some type of deliverable. It's a strategy for you or it's a roadmap for you, or it's some type of finished deliverable that you actually get. And you're talking

[00:07:44] Tyler Lindley: about within the sales process before they even make a purchase decision, a yes or no purchases.

And you're talking about giving these deliverable. Within the stages of the process when they're still a prospect does that. Right? Steven, I like to

[00:07:56] Stephen Beach: preview the deliverables, but not necessarily deliver them and said, show a client success map that says here's our seven stages stage one. You're going to get a strategic roadmap.

Let's say internally, you're thinking I'm going to onboard this client externally. You're going to deliver a strategic roadmap. Gotcha. If you lay that out on a one pager and you email it to them while they're still a private. Yep. That gives you a better chance of earning the client because

[00:08:21] Tyler Lindley: now they know what's coming and it sounds like sometimes it's in the framing, it might be on-boarding or internally it might be we're onboarding this client, but in the client success map, it might be called that strategic roadmap or that audit or whatever that vision is of where this relationship can go.

And I think that framing and messaging is important because nobody gets up about onboarding. When you hear they go by. Software tool or service. It's like, all right, let's kick off with this onboarding call. Everybody rolls their eyes and, oh, here we go again. Let's see how this onboarding is going to go versus that framing and that messaging and the way that you present it to a client could really change the way that they view.

Onboarding

[00:09:01] Stephen Beach: experience a hundred percent. Nobody wants to pay for onboarding. They want to pay what they get when they're done with onboarding. Onboarding is just me. That's just my cost. That's how I have to run my business. I need that. But the end result of my onboarding is really what they care about.

So that's a huge shift in your own messaging to shift it into what do they get out of it? What is the thing? What is the deliverable? What is the value that they are getting at the end of your onboarding internal process? Yep. Yeah, that makes a lot of. And the other thing I would say to help with, we call it a keyword bank or different phrases that your team can go to.

The way that we do messaging is twofold. We follow the StoryBrand messaging framework. If you're familiar with that from Donald Miller, he wrote a book called blue light jazz, which is how a lot of people know of Donald Miller. Then he started a messaging company, a marketing company, and he invented this StoryBrand framework that we follow.

So we lead people through that. And the idea of that is to distill your messaging down into something that's compelling and concise, and that resonates with your ideal prospects. And a lot of times companies are all over the place, especially if you have multiple people in your team, or if you have a bigger or a growing.

A lot of times, this can get a little bit messy. People use different messaging for different things. And your sales rep over here might be saying something completely different than your sales rep over here, et cetera. So the idea is to align on a general messaging framework. And this is before you even get too specific into sub niche stuff, it's just overarching.

But then the second way that we add onto that, and this is the key is client and prospect interviews on zoom. And on the phone we ask our clients, would you be comfortable with us talking to your prospects and to your clients? You can introduce us and introduce us as a third-party marketing communications agency.

We're not going to push anything on them. We're just going to interview them. What we do there is we interviewed these people and that is where the golden nuggets are for your messaging. Honestly, that is where we learned the most about what we should be including in our book. Because it's coming from the horse's mouth from the prospect of the client, we'll ask what helped our client differentiate compared to the other vendors that you were considering, or the other companies you were considering.

And they'll tell us, and then you do this for five, 10 interviews, and you start to see these common themes and you start to see these things. It's like, okay. Yeah. People keep saying the same thing. People keep saying, they really love the communication and how often it is and how they really think about us and how they treat us like family, whatever.

You start to recognize these themes. Those are the golden nuggets that we pile that on top of the StoryBrand framework, then you really have a good foundation of messaging that you can use for marketing and sales and your one-pagers and your website and

[00:11:38] Tyler Lindley: everything else. Yeah. And that lingo is really important.

You said keyword bank, you got the lingo. What are those themes? That is the language of your prospect. Hopefully that really helps to inform is this ICP right before. And then your prospect should be thinking, wow, they understand me. They get me. Cause you're using those words and those themes and those phrases that likely they have as well.

Where does identifying your ICP and your ideal prospect, where do you think that falls into this process? Because I think that's also important is that done before all this messaging and material. And if so, when and how do you recommend doing that?

[00:12:13] Stephen Beach: Yeah, good question. Sometimes companies have this defined that once we work with, sometimes they already have a very good idea of who they want to work with or the clients that they want to replicate if you will, sometimes not.

So it depends where they are. If they say you've got a few Deloitte clients, we'd love to turn that into 40 Deloitte clients, let's go balls to the wall and Deloitte. Okay, cool. We can do that. The other ones are like, we don't know, we have clients that are broad and what do we want? So then we go into that exercise.

The HubSpot marketing terminology would be that. Exercise plus to find that. So then we go through these workshops. Let's talk about basically your business model. Who's most valuable to you, who you enjoy working with the most. Where are you going? Long-term and this is where good marketing agencies. Good sales enablement agencies will ask those questions as they're doing the work.

It's really part of supporting the business overall. The marketing piece of it. It's like, where are you going as a company that marketing can support? Where are you going as an organization that, where do you want to drive into? That's important if it's not already a fine, a lot of times, it's not correct.

Stop there and have the workshops and then ask the question. And then you get into the messaging projects from there. Yeah, that makes

[00:13:23] Tyler Lindley: a lot of sense. One thing we were talking about earlier with these lines between marketing and sales blurring, and it seems like marketers are doing more and more throughout the sales process and sales folks are needing to use marketing material and do their own marketing throughout the sales process as well for all the sellers out there.

Do you think sellers need to be marketers this day and age? Our work with marketing folks that can help? What do you think that relationship to look like between frontline sales rep or sales leader and mark.

[00:13:50] Stephen Beach: Oh, great question. I could go on this for a while because I wasn't sales rep and then I started a marketing agency out of it because I started developing my leads on my company's website.

Basically I found out that was more fun than cold calling. So then I turned into an inbound marketer. I totally agree. I think the lines are blurred. There's a lot of thought leadership on this, between marketing and sales and how those two departments or divisions. Coming together. If you will, some of our clients, we just refer to it as a revenue team.

And it's honestly a blend of marketing and salespeople. You need to be diligent about how you do it. It's not just saying let's have marketing support sales. What does that mean? Let's have a revenue team meeting then every week where sales tells marketing what they need to do their job better in marketing.

How can I support you in generating more leads or closing more leads? What do you need from me? I think that's where it's going. When the last few years you've seen more and more of that. And I've always thought of my role as a marketing agency, as the whole point is really to support the sales effort.

Other than that, of course, there's operational marketing that you have to do, just if you need awareness or exposure, whatever, but the deeper point really is support the sales effort. Drive more. If you're doing that, then really what you're doing is you have to go into the sales team and in the sales organization, ask them questions.

I always like doing this too, which is homelike sales ride along getting into sales team meetings. Now a lot of it is over zoom. We sit in on the sales team meetings before that we would just ride along with the sales reps and just live. And because again, you're getting feedback from the prospect directly, they're wording their lingo, their key points.

What do they see as the most valuable thing that your company is offering? And that's what you should be marketing around. Not something that you dream up in a closed room meeting with your team leaders. It's probably pretty close, but sometimes it's very different. You might perceive the need to be different than what the prospects are telling you.

The need actually. So the best marketers, my opinion, they're really close to sales. They're attached to the HIPAA sales. It's not just part of what we call the revenue team, which is really let's drive to a shared revenue goal. How can I help you do that? Exactly.

[00:15:54] Tyler Lindley: I totally agree. I like the idea of the ride alongs, the revenue team meetings, where we're working collaboratively because it's not an us at dislike it when organizing.

We have marketing and sales and it's us versus them mentality. There's just constantly more disagreements and arguing about where's the line in the sand. And what about this? Where are my leads? And, oh, this is terrible versus us. We need to be rowing in the same direction. I think companies who have a revenue team with marketing and.

That are aligned and are rowing in the same direction, end up having better results because both functions exist to generate customers. And if you can work collaboratively and row in that same direction, you'll probably generate some more customers. And if you're working against each other, they'll probably be some friction.

That'll make that a harder thing.

[00:16:35] Stephen Beach: Correct? Yeah, exactly. I'll give you an example just yesterday for one of our financial advisor clients, we were in their HubSpot CRM and everybody loves HubSpot listens to this podcast. I'm assuming. So you guys already know, but the client just gave a web. And then we had a sequence and automated sales email campaign that went out to the folks who went to the webinar.

And we found this one lady. I think her name was Judy. We were going through her contact profile and seeing all the actions she had taken. It was all logged in HubSpot, HubSpot, so valuable. Okay. She didn't go to the webinar. She didn't even show up, but then we sent her three emails. One of them had a little video from.

The client in this case has roles really like a sales rep. It's a wealth manager, wealth advisor, but he's really a sales rep in this example. And so it had a video and then she got two more emails. She opened every one of those emails. We saw that on HubSpot. And then she came back to where we had the page that was on the man webinar.

And then she watched that to fill out a form on that page that gave her access to watch the thing. And then now it's like, okay, cool. Something's going on here now? Would the sales rep in this case, my client, would he notice that, is he going in there and seeing Judy's profile and seeing on. Or not because to me, it's okay.

This is where marketing can really support figuring that out and then raising it up to elevating up to him and saying, Hey, did you see this? Judy's something's going on with Judy. She's got some kind of intent here that she's opening every one of your emails. And she came back and she watched the thing.

Can you give her a call or what's our process from here? That's where I think marketing needs to come in and say, okay, would it be helpful if we set up an automated notification for you that says, Hey, once somebody comes back and watches it, you get an email that says, Or what does it look like? How can I support you with our fancy marketing tools to bring it to the surface so that you can follow up with Judy that's where it's going.

If you're an internal marketer looking to do that, to me, that's like sales enablement, and that's like, you're really helping enable the sales. Do what they're doing, but do it better. I think if you want to go a level deeper Tyler, a lot of times we've been hired for marketing and sales alignment, the pointing of the finger, like you said, the marketing team says, man, we got so many leads.

This is, we're just awesome at what we do and what the problem is. The salespeople don't follow up with these leads. We feed them to them on a platter, and then we look at their profile in the CRM and nothing's happened, no one called unknown, email them, et cetera. That's like my worst nightmare. I want to pull my.

Yeah, you can do a few things there, but sometimes the problem is deeper to the level of, we figured out what this client that hired us for this problem. The problem really was about how their sales team is being compensated because they were doing sales work, but they were doing the direct quoting that was more transactional sales.

Then they were this consultative sales that would be a longer sales cycle. They were compensated in that way. They were incentivized basically to not follow up with all these leads that marketing was given them. If I was a sales rep, why would I spend time following up with this person? That's going to take six months to close when I have way lower hanging fruit.

Right. I'm going to take that I'm trying to make more money and you have to understand that mindset, right? As a sales rep, they're just, that's what they're focused on. So it could be a deeper problem where the compensation packages and in alignment, you never have a shot at marketing and sales alignment until you get some of those deeper problems figured out.

Yeah, that's a

[00:19:43] Tyler Lindley: good point. It's not just as simple as marketing and sales. Aren't communicating. There's lots of things that happen. Like you said on either end of the spectrum there, that could be impacted. What marketing is doing and how they're being compensated and what sales is doing and how they're being compensated, because you need to make sure those goals are aligned all the way across the buyer's journey, all the way to the end of the process.

Steven. I know we could continue, but I definitely want listeners to know if they want to find out more about you online. How can they do so, where should. Not

[00:20:12] Stephen Beach: as cool as Utah, I don't have a Tik TOK or a sales talk or anything like that. That's really kids. I haven't broken into that. Yeah. You can just find me on LinkedIn, Stephen Beach spelled just like it sounds.

And our website is vantage impact V a N T a G E. impact.com. It's got a cheetah as the logo, so you'll notice it when you see it. Just reach out to me there. That'd be great.

[00:20:31] Tyler Lindley: Perfect, awesome. We'll link to both of those in the show notes. So definitely go and reach out to Steven and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Steven. Thanks so much. Had a great time.

Thank you so much for listening to today's show, you can find all the links discussed and the show notes@thesaleslift.com. That's the T H E sales S a L E S. Lift L I F t.com have questions for me. Email me@tyleratthesaleslift.com. We look forward to seeing you back here next week, and we hope today's show brings you the sales lift.

Your business needs. Remember ideas. Plus action equals. You've got new ideas. Now it's time to take action and the results will fall. See you next

[00:21:22] Stephen Beach: time.

Don’t feel like listening? Read the Episode Cliff Notes instead below:

Getting Information Out (0:22)

Whatever your sales process is, an important foundational piece is not just marketing but really selling.

You’ve got to help the process by pushing back, which furthers the sales conversation. But to get back to it, ideally, you have at least a couple of pieces that are cohesive and compelling to your target prospects.

Companies need a place to start. They don’t even have a single one-pager and might just be thinking- what do I send? 

Having specific examples based on one particular company or situation is great to pass on to a prospect to further that conversation.

Many sales happen in between the conversations, so what are you doing in between that first and second call?

Those are such important times where you can reinforce what you’ve heard and validate a lot of what you bring to the table. Then, you can really set up the next call. 

Importance of Deliverables (6:05)

At each step, there’s a deliverable or outcome that the prospect or client can expect to earn from you. So that’s where you shift it in a way from “here’s what we do” into “here’s what you get from working with us.”

You don’t want to put onboarding as your first stage on your client’s success map because that’s not super valuable to the client. What’s beneficial to the client is the output of your onboarding. 

Sometimes it’s in the framing. For example, it might be onboarding or internally, or it might be we’re onboarding this client. But in the client success map, it might be called that strategic roadmap or that audit of where this relationship can go.

We do messaging is twofold: we follow the StoryBrand messaging framework and then move the interview process to Zoom. So interviewing these people is where the golden nuggets are for your messaging. 

Marketing vs. Sales (13:40) 

There’s a lot of thought leadership between marketing and sales and how those two departments come together. We just refer to it as a revenue team.

It’s a blend of marketing and salespeople. So you need to be diligent about how you do it. It’s not just saying let’s have marketing support sales. 

The role as a marketing agency is really to support the sales effort. So the best marketers are close to sales. They’re attached to the hip of sales. So it’s not just part of what we call the revenue team, which is let’s drive to a shared revenue goal.

Stephen’s Bio:

Stephen is a sales rep turned inbound marketer, giving him a unique perspective on marketing-sales alignment and how marketing can best support a company’s sales efforts. Stephen is CMO at Vantage Impact, helping clients set up and optimize HubSpot’s tools to market better and sell more effectively and efficiently. His unique modernized approach to marketing and sales is a game changer for the financial services industry, helping advisory practices move beyond cookie cutter content and hand shaking at events, to be more digital and automated without losing personal touch.

Golf, cold brew, bourbon (in that order). Big fan of goofy t-shirts and craft brewery trucker hats. ——

Last year Traci Beach and I started a second business with our brother-in-law, Boston Cardinal. In the middle of a pandemic with a bunch of little kids running around felt like the right time 😳😁…so we formed Vantage Impact. We are excited about this business because the model we’ve built is very unique.

Yet what we did was very simple really: we combined our Craft Impact: A Growth & Communications Agency business with Boston’s 10+ years of financial advisor recruiting experience, where he managed 1500+ financial advisor transitions.

Vantage Impact exists to guide financial advisors through big changes for their practice. We have two sides to the business: Transition and Growth.

Once we help advisors find the right firm, talent or custodian, we leverage strategic marketing and change communications, so they can grow a practice that’s profitable, impactful and life giving.

Cheers 🍻 to 2 “Impact” businesses 😛 and 3 little kids…what a ride!

Important Links:

Stephen Beach’s LinkedIn Profile