Ep 360: Business Automation: What You Need To Know So You Know What To Automate with Ben Rigsby

AJV (00:02):
Hey y’all, this is AJ Vaden here and welcome to another episode on the Influential Personal Brand. And y’all, I’m so excited that I get to have such a good close personal friend on the show today. Before I give a formal introduction to Ben Rigsby, Ben and I are an EO together. So if you ever heard of eo, the Entrepreneur’s Organization, so, and I talk about a good post personal friend, I know all his dirty secrets for the most part, at least professionally I know it’s professional, dirty secrets and he knows all of mine. And so that gives us a good, healthy mutual level of accountability with each other. And also we get to see each other on a monthly basis. And so when I talk about like I am bringing in someone who is incredibly skilled at what they do, I say that as a firsthand perspective.
AJV (00:52):
I have also been a client of bins and I have seen him grow and exit a business and grow a new business. And I’m just so honored that he said yes to come on the show today. Probably a little bit of peer pressure made him do that. So grateful for that too. And so lemme formally introduce him. And then we’re gonna kick it off. But before I do a formal introduction, I need to tell you why you wanna stick around. And as I was talking to Ben, I was like, there’s so many things we could talk about, but what should we talk about today? And he’s the one who said, well, here are the three things that we do really, really well. And I was like, yes, those are the things we should talk about. And so here’s what we’re gonna talk about today.
AJV (01:33):
We’re gonna talk about if you are a person or a business who needs help with lead generation, this is an episode for you. If you are someone who is trying to improve your lifetime value of your customers, then this is probably an episode for you. And if you were someone who is trying to speed up the sales process and get people from point A to point Z just a little bit faster, in a more efficient and effective manner, then this is probably an episode that you want to stick around four. So with that said, I will give you some of the formal accolades of my friends, Ben, and then I will tell you something that he left off of this beautiful bio investment bay that I think is the most important of all. So Ben is the founder of Movement marketing.
AJV (02:22):
He serves as the creative, strategic and technical lead for design motion, graphics development and product innovation. I will tell you also, it’s he’s not just someone who leads those things. Ben is that he is certified and all different types of things. It’s like every single time I ask my question, he’s like, oh yeah, I know Domo. Oh yeah, I’m certified in HubSpot. Oh yeah, I do. I was my, I was a photography major. Oh yeah, I can do video editing. Oh yeah, I can build a website. And I’m like, you, and when do you have time to learn all this stuff? So he doesn’t just lead it, he’s the practitioner of it. And I, I, I think that’s a really important part of this. You are also like, not just at movement, but in his former business, they were an award-winning an award winning creative digital agency on tongue tied here.
AJV (03:13):
But I think it’s a really important thing to mention. It’s like when we talk about like how all of these things work together in this digital marketing space. I think digital marketing has a very broad umbrella of things to talk about. And what I love most about Ben is that it really is about how to use digital marketing for business. And I think that’s really important. It’s not just about how to make things pretty, it’s about how do you make them efficient and effective and so that you are improving lifetime value and you are being a more efficient and effective business. And a lot of this comes down to business automation. And I think then you are one of the best people and most robust skills of someone who is well versed in true business automation. And so that’s a huge part of what we’re gonna talk about. And then what he just always so conveniently leaves out of all of his bios is that he’s also got this wicked professional dance backgrounds. And I don’t know why you keep denying this part of your life is my favorite part, but you were on tour with some pretty big people Who’d you go on tour with?
BR (04:20):
We won’t name names, but to your point, yes. I did have a previous life of mine growing up as a male dancer, which is how I met my wife. So thank you for that entire history of my childhood. Yes, .
AJV (04:37):
Well you can just go to YouTube and you can assert Ben Rigsby dance videos and I’m sure that you will find some
BR (04:45):
That’s, that is,
AJV (04:48):
And when you say male dancer, just to clarify
BR (04:53):
Professional’s, no polls. No polls, yeah.
AJV (04:59):
Ben, to the show, thank you so much.
BR (05:02):
Thank you. Thank you for having me. That was the most professional opening that I’ve ever seen, so very much appreciate that.
AJV (05:08):
Oh, I’m so excited because I know that you know so much and I also, you’re so humble about it and you never are the first one to go, oh yeah, that’s what we do. Like, you almost never raise your hand and say, I know how to do that. Although that is what you know how to do. And so this is just an amazing opportunity for me to borrow your brain and your expertise for the benefit of our audience today. And so I’m gonna let you pick like out of these three topics that we kind of said, like improving lifetime value increasingly generation and sales enable it and ma enablements with helping speed up the sales process. Like what do you find that most of the companies and most of the clients that you’re working with today, where do you think most people are struggling most right now?
BR (05:55):
Yeah, no, totally. That’s a, that’s a fantastic question. So I would lean in probably in the lead generation area. And it’s, it is not necessarily for the lack of lead generation, but it is purposeful lead generation. So, you know, you look at what’s out there today with social and search and paid and organic email marketing networking. I mean, all of those things are channels and so many more kind of fall into the realm of lead generation. But so often do we walk into situations and the clients don’t have a leads process to begin with. And so understanding, and it’s not like, Hey, we gotta go do six months worth of work. It can take 30 minutes, quite honestly to understand what your leads process is. Because if you are a business owner or you’ve been around business, you have an idea of how you move people throughout the sales cycle. But I do think it begins with documenting and understanding what a leads process looks like. That way as leads start coming in the door, you can automate that, which allows you to scale much, much faster. So I would say leaning in with lead generation is probably where we start. Then we move into how do we actually close those leads faster and then keep those leads longer? Or those customer,
AJV (07:14):
Can you pause right there? Cause I, I don’t wanna skip over this because I know this, but I imagine a lot of people listening are going lead process, leads process mm-hmm. , what is he talking about? What is a leads process? So can you dig in a little bit and go give us some examples of like, what do you mean by this? What do you see that works really well and just some industry agnostic best practices of creating a leads process?
BR (07:42):
Yeah, absolutely. If you think about an individual and their desire to purchase, they go through all kinds of different phases. They go through some research phases, they go through some qualification phases of are you the right organization, brand, individual that I want to do business with? And then they move into the purchasing process, the procurement cycle. And so if you think about people as they’re introduced to your brand, those people are gonna be some semblance of a lead. They might be the marketing qualified lead. They might have raised their hand and say, Hey, I want to talk to you. I’m interested in your services. We might move them into what we call a sales qualified lead. Then they go into the deal kind of discussion. And those are where we start to understand opportunities. Close one close loss. So like in my world, it usually goes something like a lead to a marketing qualified lead to a sales qualified lead to an opportunity to close one close lost in that situation. And a lot of times we’ll try to move ’em straight from lead into they didn’t close with us. And that is where people start to get frustrated and say, my lead gen isn’t working. And the reality is, it’s not that it’s not working, it’s just that, that we’re missing like three steps in the middle there and we’re wasting a whole bunch of time in that process.
AJV (09:01):
I think that’s most people’s challenge in general is they’re talking to a bunch of people who are never going to buy from them, correct? Right. And so we do something, and I’ll talk about that in a second to help qualify leads, but any best practices and going, all right, you’ve got a lead mm-hmm. and what do you do to make sure you have a qualified lead before X, Y, and z?
BR (09:27):
A hundred percent. We just worked with an organization on this and, and I should caveat, every organization’s gonna be slightly different, right? So take these examples with a grain of salt. But if you think about your ideal customer a lot of people call that their icp, some people call it their avatar, some people call it their personas. It’s all the same thing. But if you think about who that individual is, what that business is, revenue size, people size, geographic regions, right? There’s probably some common denominators across all of these ideal client profiles that you have. So when you’re thinking about lead captures, and when I say lead capture, that can be online chat, that can be a phone call, that can be a form fill, that can be a gated download, right? There’s so many lead captures. It’s trying to find what are those least common denominators that apply across all your ideal client profiles.
BR (10:18):
And I’ll take revenue as an example, add that question somehow, some way into your lead capture so that you can immediately start to kind of distill down good leads from junk leads from, Hey, these are referral leads that I need to pass out to a partner. So quite simply, if somebody comes in, fills out a form and says, Hey, I’m pre-revenue, maybe that is your sandbox, and that’s what you focus in. So now you know that’s a qualified lead if pre-revenue is not your sandbox or your ideal client profile, you know, to push them to a different resource, right? And so it helps, it’s it’s little tips and tricks like that along the leads process that help hone in your focus to your point and, and saves you time from not talking to individuals that are never gonna do business with you or focusing all of your time on individuals that you truly do have an opportunity to impact. So that’s just a quick example right there.
AJV (11:17):
No, I think that’s really good. And it’s like, you know, a part of I think why this process is really so important for all, especially if you’re selling any sort of high dollar ticket offering. So anything more than a couple of hundred bucks would qualify as a high dollar ticket offering where if somebody can’t click a button and go, I’m gonna buy that, and they’re gonna require conversation, you gotta have some sort of lead qualifying process. And so you know, a form fill, it could be a simple form. We use an application, so we have like a formal application and we went through this process of trial and error which, you know, highs and lows of that. But we recently just got it super tight. So, and I, I would love for you to share some, you know, experiences of what you’ve seen that works on applications and forms and, you know, and one of the things that we discovered, and I I’ve got two comments here that I’d love your insight on for the benefit of everyone who’s listening is one length of forms, length of applications, because we’re so data heavy when we launched our initial application, which was two years ago, so we’ve learned a lot, we’ve come a long way.
AJV (12:27):
It was a 13 minute long application and initially we convinced ourselves that it was like, well, if they’re gonna stick around that long, then they’re super qualified. And what we were finding is about we were getting about a 55% application completion rate, then six months ago we did like a whole revamp of all of our things and reevaluated everything as a more mature place in our business and said, 13 minutes, gosh, why is anyone filling this out? And we reduced it to three minutes. And so now we can fill out this application, it’s about seven questions, three minutes or less, and now we’re at 94% application completion. And that’s a major thing of just going, I wish somebody would’ve said, you’re out of your mind who has 13 minutes to answer a bunch of questions for a stranger so that they can get on a call with a stranger.
AJV (13:25):
And so some best practices around stuff like that I think would be so helpful of what’s a good link, what questions you should ask. Anything like that would be so helpful as we talk about this leads process. And then the second thing I wanna make sure you hit on is you mentioned this is revenue. Mm-Hmm. . So we ask income, not revenue. Most of we’re, you know, b2 C and here’s, so something that’s so fascinating. So two things have come up in the last couple of weeks. Now these are the 0.01% examples, but they always get me thinking. And so here are two emails that someone, I don’t know how they found my email, but they did probably on LinkedIn and contacted me and said, Hey, just wanna let you know I really love what you and your company are doing, yada, yada, yada.
AJV (14:09):
They were really nice and said, but hey, I’m not gonna fill out this application, so I guess I’m never gonna get a call. And so then I was like, well, here’s the direct Kaley link. I’d like for you to schedule a call so you can tell us why not. Because it’s so short and it was so fascinating and the, I thought it was a really interesting thing of, and we’re getting like a 94% completion rate, so it’s a very few people who aren’t completing it, but is there a another route for the people are going, Hey, it’s like, I don’t wanna fill out your application. So it got me wondering what question did they get to that made them go? And most of it is income or revenue. And so it’s kind of like rero. And so when we look at the dropout on our forms, our applications, most of them drop out when we start asking any sort of financially related questions because now pretty educated consumer, they’re going, oh no, I’m getting qualified, right?
AJV (15:07):
It’s good, bad and different, whatever it is. But I think it’s important. It’s like there’s limited resources for all companies to some degree. And so thoughts around all these things, what are the good questions? Dropout rates, questions around money, if you’ve seen any trends or best practices. And then in general, for the very few, now again, I’ve only had one email ever who have said, I won’t fill out your application, so I guess I’m not gonna get a call. But also just any thoughts around that for maybe someone who does have a very sophisticated, busy time limited customer profile where they’re just like, they’re not likely going to fill it out. Any suggestions around that? So I know that’s loaded and that’s a lot.
BR (15:49):
That’s fair. It’s fair. And, and I would caveat with, with this statement, there’s always gonna be exceptions to the rule. So you wanna solve for the 80 to 90%, right? There’s gonna be people that fall outside of that, which it sounds like that individual might have. And if that individual turned into a great customer of yours, that’s when you use that example as how should we look at this onboarding experience a little bit differently because we might be missing out on others. So that’s just a, a little pin in that one. But in terms of length, we stick to the rule of thumb, like if it’s a form, less is more. The, the old kind of rule of thumb was six fields or less to get those to get those leads in the door. Now there’s new technologies out there. I just, I was looking at one the other day, clear bit if anybody has looked into that, where it can allow you to accept even less fields and pulls back all the information by looking at aggregate sites like LinkedIn, crunch Base, all that kind of stuff.
BR (16:48):
So we stick to the rule of thumb of less is more, what is the most pertinent information that we’re looking for in that first touch experience? And that might be some qualification questions. Then as time goes on, you can employ something that’s called progressive forms. So as they come back, now that you know that you know their name, you know their email address, you’ve set a little cookie on their computer without them knowing it sounds horrible, but that’s just the way the world works. Now, you can ask them slightly different questions and you can start to build out that customer profile over time without overwhelming them right out of the gate. I think you bring up something that’s really interesting. The more work you ask someone else to do, the less likely they are to become a customer of yours. So it is how do you take the friction out of that experience?
BR (17:36):
And that is less is more. And when they fill something out, you wanna make sure that there’s a value add on the other side that’s worth it for them to give you some of that information. I think you, you also bring up a great point. Anything around budgets or dollars on the first date is dicey, right? It’s like as soon as you ask the budget question, you’ve now skipped to the third date and that person is not ready for that situation. So revenue is an easier thing to ask than, what’s your marketing budget? What’s your sales budget? What do you expect to purchase? Another one would be timeline. What’s your timeline on this? Like if you’re looking to transform who you are as an individual, what’s your timeline? Like sense of urgency? So there are, there are less riskier questions to ask. It could be, how large is your company?
BR (18:29):
Is it zero to 10 people? 10 to 20? I get asked that question all the time when I’m signing up for a service. So that feels like that’s just a default one. So there certainly are some riskier questions, budget and revenue, and there’s some lighter questions like size, industry perhaps urgency, timelines, items like that. But we really do stick to this concept of less is more. And that is sometimes a fight with, with a client. And I say a fight, but it’s, it is a good argument to have because again, there’s always gonna be exceptions to the rule. So like if you have a very in depth application where you need to know information, well, maybe that’s not the first step. Maybe that is the second step. But the first step is we’re warming them up to, hey, now that you’ve filled this out, here’s how our process unfolds.
BR (19:18):
And we explain that before they’re just launched into that experience. You mentioned something quite beautiful, which is analytics around every single one of those questions. And so you can take the subjectivity out of the mix by saying, Hey, they made it to question eight, but on question nine, that’s where we’re seeing the biggest drop off. Why is that? And so now you can start to ask some introspective questions of, is it the question? That’s the first thing we would change is let’s just change the question, see if they get past eight. Now, if they don’t, then now we’re dealing with length and time invested versus value received. And so those are really important concepts, especially on a first touch conversion. Because those are the ones you want to make super, super easy for that individual to get hooked into that. Now you can nurture some of those, those harder or more time intensive asks down the road. I don’t know if I answered any of your questions,
AJV (20:15):
. Actually I was, I was busy writing down this quote that I think is, is brilliant. So if somebody’s listening didn’t catch this, I’m gonna say this back. The more you ask someone else to do something, the less likely they are to become a customer of yours. And I think that’s a really important concept when we look at the leads process, but also the sales enablement process of if you want an effective, efficient process that moves people along, it’s like, it’s got to be easy.
BR (20:43):
It does
AJV (20:44):
To be easy. And so one other quick question on this because I think this is really good. I wrote down is like clearly less is more, but you said six fields or less mm-hmm. and of those fields, you know, one of the things that we’ve been toying around with on just some of our forms as a beta, cuz we probably have, I don’t know, 15 or 16 different points of entry and to how someone can, you know, request something from Brain Builders group. And so we have always kind of followed the, you know, marketing protocol of, we we only ask for first name and email, right? Bare minimum to get you in. But then that creates a really long term problem of we can never get you to open or respond an email. We have no other way to reach you. So we’re doing some beta tests right now in some of our forms of going first name, email, phone number Yeah.
AJV (21:34):
So that we can try some phone outreach, right? Cause you, you we’re interested enough to fill out this form, we want a little bit more. So I’m curious around any data around what’s it like between just an email, first name and email, first name, last name, email, add in phone number. Like what are the potential drop off opportunities of getting people to fill out your forms for people who are going, all right, I need to start collecting emails, I need to start doing something, but what’s the bare minimum and what should I really be asking for?
BR (22:05):
Totally. And so this is where we, in our minds, this is where it draws directly back to the leads process. So you just mentioned there’s, there’s multiple different ways for an individual to fill out a form diff varying links, right? For entry points into bbg. And so in that situation, what I heard is we’ve got some marketing qualified forms, we’ve got some sales qualified forms. So obviously the ones where people are raising their hand and saying, Hey, I want to talk to you. Those are gonna be some forms that have some additional fields because we need to make sure that we’re the right fit. But they’re willing to do it because they’ve already researched your brand, they’ve looked at your material enough, they’ve seen you speak, whatever it might be, and now they really do want to do business with you. So they’re willing to go the extra mile.
BR (22:52):
Some of those lighter forms are gonna be more on the leads or marketing qualified leads to where I’m just signing up for your email newsletter. Like, I just wanna see some content from you. And those are the individuals that quite honestly, we are probably wasting our time talking to right now. Mm-Hmm. , we want to nurture those individuals to giving us more information. And as they give us more information that introduces the concept of, now we’re ready to talk to you a little bit more proactively. So we’re willing to spend time because you’ve spent time. But the individuals that are just giving us their email address, as sacred as that is, it is those are the individuals that we want to nurture across a process. So you hear these concepts of funnels or nurture campaigns are usually the two biggest buzzwords. That is the whole concept of let’s move somebody from a lower state of marketing qualified or lead in our world, somebody that is just knows who we are and we may not know who they are, let’s qualify them over time. And that’s where nurture and funnel campaigns come in. So it is perfectly acceptable, and we do this too, especially with the clients that we work with, is we strategically design different entry points so that we can nurture some individuals, yet give the option to, Hey, let’s go have some sales conversations as well. And neither one’s right or wrong, you want to have a mix of both because that’s how you build a pipeline over time and an audience over time. So I don’t know if that helps, but Oh,
AJV (24:22):
No, I think that’s really important and insightful for people who are figuring out this digital part of their business in terms of lead generation of going, you gotta have marketing forms and then there’s sales forms and think about those as two completely different things. And on a sales form, you likely want your phone number, right? It’s like
BR (24:43):
A hundred percent like
AJV (24:44):
You, but I think those are just, those are so simple. Often they get bypassed and they’re like, oh, I only need one form on my website. It’s like, not really.
BR (24:55):
No, no, no, no. You
AJV (24:56):
Kinda have multiple points of entry. Some are just for marketing and I love that. Just a very distinction of what are your marketing forms where you’re just trying to get their emails for nurture and then what are your sales forms where it’s like, no, like there’s an opportunity here. We’re going to talk to you, we’re gonna offer a call. Right?
BR (25:12):
That’s exactly right. And, and honestly like we will even choose channels matched to forms. So like if we’re spending dollars, so paid advertising, we wanna drive a little bit higher to that SQL side of the house. Because at the end of the day, what the organization is looking for is revenue growth. And they don’t really care as much about the leads coming in the door. They really care about close one opportunities. And so when we’re spending dollars with Google or Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn, whatever the channel is, that is when we’re driving more qualified forms, going to very specific landing pages away from the marketing side of the house, more on the organic side, so social seo, search items like that, even email marketing, that is when we start to drive a little bit more of that marketing side of the forms, knowing that we’re gonna nurture them over a longer period of time. So that’s it, it’s, again, there’s exceptions to all of these rules, right? But like, just by default, that’s how we think about it until we get into conversations and unpack something and we, we say, oh, okay, well we need to do something a little bit different here because of this one, one specific thing in this client’s business. So
AJV (26:26):
Yeah, I think that’s really, I think that’s really good. And if for all of you out there, here going, what is he talking about with all these words? So sql, sales qualified lead, right? So paid media, paid traffic, make sure you’re collecting more data because it needs to lead to revenue for your return on investment. This is why I wanted you to come on the show. It’s like you are talking about a really advanced process here with like really creating the dig digital infrastructure for a thriving sales business in a marketing business. And this is a lot of work, right? This is not for the faint of heart.
BR (27:00):
It is. It is. And it, it’s, it’s, it is a process that you can certainly crawl, walk, run into and one that, to your point, we’re saying a lot of acronyms, right? We’re a bunch of geeks that found our cool doing what we’re doing, and we’ve, this is, this is our world, right? And so often and I talking to somebody that is like, what the heck are you talking about? So thank you for breaking that down. And you can certainly start very, very small and grow it over time into, into the behemoth that you know, you want it to become.
AJV (27:32):
That’s good. So, okay, so now we’ve got leads, right? Yeah. Let’s say, okay, now we’ve got leads. So give us some best practices, some highlights of now how do we make this leads process the most efficient and effective that it can be to go, all right, leads in the door, now they’re a customer.
BR (27:50):
Yes. So a lot of times there’s like this magic handoff point of lead came in the door, we’ve qualified that lead and now we’re handing it over to sales. And we talked a little bit about this at the beginning of this conversation. And you know, if you think about any organization, it can be one person in the organization or it can be 5,000 or more people in the organization. Every organization has got some concept of marketing, sales and operations. It can be the solo entrepreneur that’s doing all three that they don’t even know they’re doing all three. But the reality is that persists across every thriving business that exists. And so there is this handoff going from marketing to sales, and usually the, the clientele that we walk into, there is not a defined leads process, which creates some chaos in that situation.
BR (28:40):
And the chaos occurs when leads are coming in the door that are not ready to purchase or perhaps not the right clientele for us. And the sales team or the sales individual is flooding their time, dealing with individuals that are not ready to close. And it creates this frustration that starts to persist across the business. And so when I say we start with a leads process, it is not only to solve the understanding of who we should nurture to why we should nurture to those individuals and growing those leads in pipeline over time, but it’s also to make that handoff more effective going from marketing into sales. And that one experience can speed up the close rate of your pipeline immensely. I know it sounds crazy, but if you’re focused on the buyer that is ready to buy right now, you can close that individual in a day.
BR (29:31):
If you’re focused on the buyer that isn’t gonna buy from you for six months, you’re gonna be spinning your wheels. And so that is a huge element right there. Then you can start to do things very uniquely. Like we’ve all been in this situation where we’ve been part of sales sequences where you get those 13 emails, those 10 emails that are like, you know, they’ve got the bulleted list and then the final one is you either are stuck under a washing machine or you just don’t want to talk to me, right? Like they’re getting more and more and more creative, right? And so one of the things that we have started to see is this power of CRM technologies, right? Whether you’re using a Salesforce or an active campaign or a Dynamics or a HubSpot or something else, right? But being able to track engagement of individuals in your pipeline is hugely important.
BR (30:25):
And the most simple is, Hey, I just sent an email from my Outlook, you know, email program or from G Suite, I need, did the person ghost me? Did they not, did they not see my email? Why aren’t they picking up my phone call? Having insight into when somebody opened or clicked on something or engaged with a piece of content so you can time your sales follow up right? There is also very important. I have found over my tenure that sales is around timing, having good timing, being able to build relationships, but you gotta meet somebody where they are when they’re ready for that purchase cycle. And so from a sales enablement, it is the one to one emails. I have never really found much success with sales sequences. I know others have, and I’m still trying to unpack why that is and why I haven’t been able to do it well.
BR (31:21):
But the reality is, if you can give a sales team good leads coming in that are ready to purchase, that speeds up that process. And if you can equip that sales team with some technology around understanding engagement of content, of email reads, opens, document reads opens, it equips that sales team to time their follow ups a little bit more effectively and close those deals faster. And so we see, this is crazy, but we have seen when the marketing to sales handoff is perfected, that close rate speeds up by some crazy number like 65 to 70%. It is insane when the synergy is happening between those two pillars in the business.
AJV (32:05):
So what is the one thing or one of the top things that you can do to really better improve that synergy from marketing to sales?
BR (32:16):
So I know I’m a broken record right now, but it is working with the seal sales team to understand the leads process. And, and it it, it is, it’s crazy. But like, if you can bring the sales individual or team or think about it because you’re also the salesperson, why are these sales closing? Why are these sales not closing? You’re gonna pick up, up on patterns that are carrying from one deal to the next, from one customer to the next. And there might be one pattern in your business. There might be 20 patterns in your business, but you can design the leads process to cater to the sales team. So one of the first things we do is we ask, what’s a lead to you? Like, what makes a lead a lead? And you know, you’ll hear conversations around, well, it’s it’s this individual, it’s the owner of the business.
BR (33:07):
They’re this age, you know, it’s this size of an organization. We’re like, cool, cool, cool, cool. All right, let’s talk about your customers. Why did they become a customer? All right, that’s a good story. Why did this customer become a customer? And we start to unpack that and you start to see patterns. And those patterns are gonna be demographic patterns. They’re gonna be behavioral patterns that now you can gain that system and design an entire marketing program to feed those type of leads to the sales team and take everything else and put it over on the sideline and nurture to those individuals over time trying to get them into this side of the house. And so it really is a coordinated effort. I, I am a firm believer that marketing’s job is to serve up sales leads. Like that is marketing’s job 1 0 1. And yes, it is look, tone, feel, it is brand awareness.
BR (34:00):
It is credibility of the brand. It’s all those things, right? Like we, we have to do that. Like that’s just default stuff that we have to go do. But our true job, the job of are we gonna be fired or not fired? Are we gonna be successful or not successful? Is how many leads did we deliver to a sales team that actually closed? And that is why we start with, let’s talk to the sales team, let’s understand the customers, what are good, what are not good, and how do we get more of the good to you? And that’s where we, that’s where we start.
AJV (34:30):
I think that is so incredibly important for anyone listening to just take a pulse on for a second is the best research, the best data you actually already have access to. It’s your clients. That’s right. It’s your customers. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in gotta have the crm, gotta have this, gotta have that. And it’s like we overlook the obvious, which is I need to take a good look at who has purchased from me, why did they purchase? And how do I find more people just like them?
BR (35:06):
You are spot on. Spot on. And, and honestly, the first time we engage, when we find out that somebody doesn’t have a leads process, we wanna see the last two years of customer data. And, and I say customer data, they’re like, what does that mean? I’m like, I just need to see accounts and I need to talk to an accounts person or a salesperson and understand why some of these individuals closed or d or or why they do business with you. So you are spot on because the historical context of that is what you, is the easiest, most impactful thing that you can move forward in the quickest clip. Versus trying to say, all right, let’s go spin up a search campaign, let’s go spin up a new xyz. It’s like, yes, you can go do that, but you should go do this thing first cuz you’re gonna make more money quicker doing that.
AJV (35:54):
Yeah, I think this is really, I think this is just really important for everyone who is going, well, I don’t really have money to go do X, Y, and Z. And it’s like, yeah, but you do have some time to talk to your customers to really focus in on where did you come from? Why were you attracted, why do you buy? And how can I replicate that process? Even if it’s on a very small scale. It’s like how do I replicate that until it’s a little bit bigger and a little bit bigger? You don’t have to have tons and tons of automation to do some of the basics, which is back to you gotta know who your ideal client is and you gotta get really specific on what made them buy, what attracted them. And it’s like, even as you were talking, I was thinking about in my head like, what are the commonalities that we see, the trends that we see in our sales pipeline?
AJV (36:41):
And you know, this is, you know, we consider ourselves sales professionals way before we consider ourselves marketers. Mm-Hmm. marketing is, you know, our side hobby sales is our profession. And it’s, it’s really interesting because it’s like, when we look at it on a marketing landscape there are three things that we’ve noticed that are really, really important. And the number one thing that leads our or increases our conversions is availability on the calendar. It’s the number one thing. And so we know, what we have learned is that if somebody has to wait more than seven business days to do a call, they don’t show up or they reschedule. And it’s like, so if we don’t have maximum availability on the Cal calendar in the next seven days, that’s like red flags are flying all over the company. It’s like all deck who’s, because that’s what we’ve noticed. It’s like that window of opportunity for us is about a week. And if it extends that then we know that there’s immediately gonna be a major drop off with people who were interested who go, oh man, yeah, why did I schedule this again? I’m really busy. And that’s like, that immediacy is a really important thing for us. And so just looking at those sorts of trends which just takes time, right? It just doesn’t have to take money. Just take some time and intention and effort of looking at that.
BR (38:02):
It’s so true. It’s so true. And, and even like if you’re thinking about lead captures, like you just said it right there, form fills, right? Somebody’s ready to move on it. So if you don’t have somebody looking at the forms all day long, every day, you might miss that opportunity. And if that is not a possibility for you, that’s when you might step into something like live chat. Cuz it forces the conversation a little bit differently. A click to call forces the conversation a little bit differently. So again, it, it is assessing what your availability is, what your team makeup is, and what are gonna be the best conversion metrics or conversion, I’m sorry, technologies for you in specific circumstances, but you’re right, you’re absolutely right.
AJV (38:43):
Ok. Right. I have three questions and I’m watching the clock intently. I’ll try to make these quick so these can be rapid fire if you want. Do you think that there is an ideal CRM automation software out there in the market today?
BR (38:58):
Yeah, I am biased. I will say that we work with, we work with them all, but the one we prefer to work with is HubSpot. And, and I’ll tell you why and a very quick clip, it’s because it has the crm, it has all of the marketing automation, email, social, all of that stuff built into it and it has all of the sales enablement built into it as well as long as well as customer success. So the reason we like it is because it’s the self-contained system where you don’t have to spend a bunch of time, money or energy doing integrations from one system to the next. It’s all contained. The teams are all working out of it, operations, sales, customer success, marketing and it’s super intuitive for the customer. It’s like WordPress on steroids for a crm. So that’s the one we work with the most. Now we’re also used to working with Salesforce, which that is, that is a b fee tool. So good luck with that one. And then Dynamics as well as some others. So yeah.
AJV (39:57):
All right. So HubSpot is your personal favorite. Okay, the next question I had is for this like Legion and also the sales enablement process of like converting quicker, are you finding that most people are spending money on paid traffic or is it more organic?
BR (40:16):
So it’s been an interesting shift. It really has over this concept of the deprecation of third party cookies compliance, which would be the gdpr the ccpa, all the regulatory stuff that we are now bound to as marketers. I don’t know that I’ve necessarily seen a shift. I have seen, well I haven’t seen a shift per se from paid media to organic, but what I have seen is an, an acceleration of using that historical data and building your own customer list or email marketing list and using that to push out content much more than I have seen going after similar audiences, custom audiences and items like that. So I guess after saying that, yes I have seen a shift going back towards organic moving a little bit away from paid media. Paid media is kind of a dicey thing right now in the sense of you have to have a very strong content game to be really, really effective from a paid media standpoint. So
AJV (41:18):
Yeah, I think that’s wise. And again, I ask because we’re not paid media users, we’ve haven’t had to be, and it’s like we do a little here and we do a little there, but it’s like, it’s not really our thing and it’s, I would prefer it not to be , you know, it was like there’s a time and place for all the things, but I was just curious. Okay, next one I have Rapid fire is any tips on subjects you know, subject headers to see more higher level, whatever the word is, open rates, increased open rates, yeah. Does subject matter and what are some of the tips around
BR (41:56):
That? Yeah, so subject lines and preview techs are, are gonna be very important. Also, I would suggest if you’ve got a program, most of ’em have it like I would think Constant Contact MailChimps of the world. Of course any of these more CRM heavy type technologies have this concept of AB testing, which is basically send out, you do two variations of it, send it out and it will pick the ones that’s the most top performing and send that one to the rest of your audience. It sounds like used to be AB testing was this concept that people are like, what? I’m gonna pay you a lot of money for that. That sounds awesome. Now anybody can do it. Quite honestly, now what we talk about internally is subject lines be outlandish. Like think of what are more aggressive things that are just gonna get somebody to be like, what? And do a double take on that’s what we want. If it’s an event and you’re saying something like, Hey, come to my event, like that’s not gonna work at all. Like you’ve got exactly what you’re talking about. Like give the best first, put that thing in the subject line and preview text and be a little bit outlandish. You can always pull it back, but start aggressive, see how that looks and then pull it back from there. That’s what’s
AJV (43:12):
That you a little bit, the more outlandish, the more people are going, what’s in here? What is this? What is this about?
BR (43:17):
It’s a hook. Yes. Yeah. Like we’ve pushed out some wild subject lines and I’m like, I’m gonna get in trouble for this and those that come back, they’re great. Yeah,
AJV (43:30):
I think that’s awesome. You know, it’s interesting, again, as I’m just like, as you’re talking thinking through like what, what are some of the things that we’re doing? Many things are just the process of trial and error, but the one subject line in our sales pipeline that gets the most clicks and the most replies is one that is called Meet your Chief Strategy Officer. And it’s been so interesting that out of all the ones that one is the one that people are like, what is who, who is it and what, what do they do for me? Yeah, but it’s your chief strategy officer and it’s like just you got, but again, you only know what to use once you really know who your ideal client is.
BR (44:13):
That that is true. That is absolutely true. And I would highly recommend using some tools that allow you to do some AB testing and there’s plenty of, of, of very cost effective tools out there. But I love that because it just leaves you wanting more. Like what do you mean meet my chief strategy officer? And so you’re looking for a hook, that’s all you’re looking for in a subject line.
AJV (44:34):
Love it. Okay. we only have like three minutes left but I wanna make sure we get to touch on lifetime value just a little bit. So what are some ways that we can help grow this, increase this, give us some, give us what you got, what are the I
BR (44:49):
Love it. So the number one thing that I see where customers start to churn or drop off is by lack of communication. And we kind of talked about it a little bit with the application process, right? Like if you throw somebody into something where they have zero familiarity with the odds of them bugging out are gonna get increasingly higher as those experience start to unfold. So what we have seen is when we close one a deal, now let’s, let’s start up some internal communication. Let’s make sure the teams are aware that hey, we just, we got a new customer, we got a new client, whatever we want to call them, new member whatever that is. But then there is a series of marketing nurtures and funnels that now need to go out to that newly added customer or client, kind of giving them an idea of what they can expect over the next couple of days, next couple of weeks, months, whatever that looks like in your process.
BR (45:42):
But we want to foreshadow what the delivery is before the delivery happens, right? And the more communication that we can provide to that individual that feels personal, makes them have an unbelievable experience and people that have an unbelievable experience are gonna talk about it and they’re gonna stay with you for more stuff. And so as we give them that experience, now is our opportunity to introduce some upsell, some cross sell, some other opportunities. We don’t wanna do that right out of the gate cuz that’s just disingenuous and it kind of turns people off. But at the same time, communication, onboarding that client effectively foreshadowing the delivery before the delivery happens. I mean, it’s the simple things in life that can trip us up or make the difference. Like I will tell you in our business at Snapshot, the the first agency that we started it was simply answering the phones.
BR (46:39):
Answering the phones, which is a simple thing. Created an experience that allow clients to come back to us. So it just, communication is everything. Your products are probably awesome, your service is probably awesome. The thing that creates issues in everybody’s world is communication. And so solving that through the customer experience creates happy customers. Happy customers stay with you for a much, much longer period of time. Of course there’s other things you can do, right to extend the lifetime value, but that is where we start is how do we start to automate the onboarding experience for clients?
AJV (47:18):
Oh, that’s good. So alright, same kind of thing. I wanna do rapid fire, best practice for onboarding. Like what, what should happen during the onboarding?
BR (47:26):
So we ask the customer, do you like email, text message or phone call? So let’s dial it into their preference. And we’ve got systems in place that can handle all three of those. So if they’re not an email person and they’re a text message person, all of our communication needs to go through text until it can’t and then it goes through a different channel. So that, that’s where we start is curtailing it to the customer.
AJV (47:52):
Okay, love it. Again, back to the customer, you want good customer experience and you need to ask the customer what you want their, or what they want their experience to be. Mm-Hmm. . Okay. Okay. That’s awesome. And then you mentioned something else. You said at some point this is a great opportunity, happy customers buy more, refer more. At what point in a customer’s journey with you should you breach that subject? Because it can be too soon, but it also can be too
BR (48:20):
Late. It is, it is very true. I would tell you if, if once the delivery is fulfilled, like if it’s a product or if it’s on, if it’s an ongoing service, it’s much easier to upsell along that way. But if it is a, a finite, tangible thing, once that thing is in their hands, we might have missed that opportunity. So I usually look at it from the standpoint of just the same as a lead coming in the door to a sales getting closed. There’s, there’s, let’s call it 10 touch points. There’s more, there’s less, right? But once that deal is closed and the product is in hand, there should be touch points along that way. And so once you design what those touchpoints should be, you, it will become clear. This is where we want to introduce similar products, similar experiences, similar services. And what we have found is the more effective communication in that process. You don’t even have to bring it up. The customer brings it up to you and allows you to respond to it as more of a consultant than a salesperson. And when you can start to frame your mindset of sales is just trying to understand the problem that that person is faced with and you have put yourself in a position to offer them a solution, that’s what sales is. And so in that customer onboarding experience, there’s plenty of opportunities to do that as well.
AJV (49:44):
Love that. Okay watching the clock one last question around kind of like lifetime value. What do you think, other than communication and obviously having a good product or service, right? What do you think is the most important thing that companies can do today to increase the tenure of their customer staying with that company?
BR (50:06):
That, that’s a great question. So one of the, one of the big things that we’re constantly looking at, and this is why I don’t believe necessarily that marketing is what it used to be from a marketing, like just events, look, tone, feel, right, brand awareness, all of that. But innovation. So like if you have got a service or a product and you want to keep that customer for longer, you’ve gotta keep innovating that thing, whatever that thing is, and introducing new value. Some of that new value needs to be at a freemium model to keep them engaged. If they’re on a reoccurring revenue model for you, you need to bake that into your process or into your revenue matrix. Some of it is upsell’s opportunity, but I would think outside of communication and outside of building relationships with your customers, it is continuously innovating the products.
BR (51:01):
If you look at any kind of churn that you might be having, the churn is because the problem either is around communication or the person is just either done using your product, has gotten what they needed outta your product and doesn’t need it anymore. So how do you keep that need and that desire there? And that is through introducing new features new concepts, sister products, right? That extend, you know, your your main product even longer. So there’s, there’s things there, but I think in a rapid fire state, I would say innovating on your product,
AJV (51:35):
Ben, this is so good. Like this is so good. Y’all literally just got thousands of dollars of, of free digital marketing advice. And it’s like, I probably took a page and a half of notes and was like, here are three things that our sales and marketing department need to powwow on. This is for new beginners, this is for established companies, this is for companies who are scaling. This information is just so rich. So Ben, if people want to learn more about you and what you do at Movement, where should they go?
BR (52:07):
They should go to make mvmt.com/bbg.
AJV (52:13):
So make movement mvmt.com/bbg and I will put that in the show notes. Y’all check out Ben, his company, his team, they are so awesome. But then also if Ben other than searching you on YouTube or dance videos, if people want to find you and connect with you personally, where should they go?
BR (52:35):
I am avid on Instagram and LinkedIn, so come at me at at ben Rigsby. You’ll find me on both those channels.
AJV (52:45):
Ben. So awesome. Exceeded all expectations. Thank you so much for being so great. Thank and everyone else, stay tuned for the recap of this episode and we’ll catch you next time on the influential Personal brand. See you later, y’all.