The power of disinformation is nothing new.

We have seen history repeat itself. However, what has happened and continues to happen across the internet today, can be described as, terrifying.

Are we at a tipping point?

Depending on which camp you are in - the major platforms - no we are not, we have it under control,

to - everyone else, yes, we as a society need to do something about it.

As we have seen play out in front of our very eyes, governments have been toppled, political campaigns fought, some might say manipulated, on social media, not on the doorstep.

How will this potential impact B2B? Is it already impacting B2B? What are your brand safety protocols to get ahead of the narrative to combat any negative messaging and/or opinion - and more importantly, why is it happening?

Enter my next guest, Antony Cousins, CEO of Factamata

"The Factmata API helps you understand any piece of online content. It scores content on nine signals, including Hate speech and Political bias, to give you a deep understanding of the quality, safety, and credibility of any piece of content on the web."

I met Antony in a previous life when I was advising another AI / NLP start-up, but enough about me.

Antony claims he is not a spook, his career would suggest otherwise he started out in IT (or so he says) and then was the Press Officer for the UK Ministry of Defence, Counter-Terrorism Policy Officer for the UK Home Office, International Policy Advisor in the Middle East, back in the UK Ministry of Defence where managed the MOD response to the Arab Spring (he also shares on this podcast some other things he did in Afghanistan and Iraq....) before coming back into civilian life where he followed his starting career back in technology, this time in the world of AI & Natural Language Processing.

Antony shares his fascinating story thus far and how he is bringing that experience to the fore as CEO of Factmata, helping brands get a better understanding of what is the "why" behind the narrative online and where it is coming from and going to. And what to do.

As we are surrounded 24/7 by disinformation, fake news, extreme propaganda, organisations such as Factmata, led by Antony are taking a stand.

Learn more about how Factmata can help you and your business here

Connect with Antony here

Can you support Factmata with its crowdfunding? Click here 

Don't forget to follow and subscribe!

"Let people be people" - this is how Jim Bloomfield and I sign off this episode.

Jim runs Bloojam Consulting, and they help sales leaders and teams understand the psychology behind the behaviours of sales teams and perfomance.

The Why, the What and the How, if you will. 

"To quote Daniel Pink, "We're all in sales now." And yet how many people in client-facing roles imagined that selling would be critical to their success? Probably not many.
Of those how many have been given any training in how to sell? Probably quite a few. But not in what matters. Less than 1/3 of sales transformation programmes are successful due to a lack of focus on changing behaviour.
If you want to really drive revenue growth in your business you have to focus on developing and sustaining the sales capability of your client-facing teams. If you don't have the right people on the bus, no amount of investment in new processes or methodologies will compensate."

This is taken from Jim's LinkedIn profile

and goes on to say

"We are specialists in using psychometric tests and face-to-face assessments to help you to better understand the sales, customer service, management and leadership skills of your candidates and existing employees."

In this episode, we peel back the onion of sales training and behaviours. Jim gives insight into what he and his team have seen over the years and the supporting trends of - what makes a good salesperson.

We also discuss what 2020 has done for sales leaders and teams, what this means in terms of behavioural change, if any.

It requires change.

We talk about the generational shift of buyers and what this means for sales teams looking forward and beyond 2021.

Finally, is it "People buy People" or, as Jim says "Let People be People"

Connect with Jim here

or learn more about Bloojam Consulting here

As ever, thanks for listening, don't forget to subscribe and share with your network

 

In this episode, I am joined by Devon Banks.

Devon is a 2 x LinkedIn Sales Star and recently joined Haas Alert as their only BDR.

She shares her story of how she had to change her direction of travel last year, 2020, due to covid decimating the hospitality industry where she held the position of GM for Training & Development for Wild Wing Hospitality Inc - Canada's largest Chicken Wing company.

Her story starts out early in her career working in a restaurant, gas station, to teaching English in Taiwan, followed by 5 years at Wild Wing before covid hit.

We chat through what the transition has been like and how she feels her skills are transferable to the modern-day sales world.

How she motivates herself when selling on her own as well as manages all this as a single parent.

We also discuss the conversation of women and diversity in sales, as well as, more broadly, skills for today versus yesterday. 

Please follow her story here - https://www.linkedin.com/in/devonbanks/

And links to Janelle and Gabrielle who also get a mention as voices to follow - 

Janelle https://www.linkedin.com/in/janellebenjamin/

Gabrielle https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabrielleblackwell/

And other links to resources you all may find helpful to broaden your horizons

Sales for the Culture : https://salesfortheculture.com/

Sales for the Culture is a communal movement of Black tech sellers, for Black tech sellers. We exist to make sure that Black people are attracted to, empowered in, enabled for, and included by the tech sales profession. From the VP at the $3B enterprise to the SDR who got hired last Friday, we are building the community that we need so that we don’t have to run alone anymore.

WOMEN IN TECH SALES (VIRTUAL) BOOTCAMP : https://www.talentminded.ca/women-in-tech-sales-1

THE WOMEN IN TECH SALES BOOTCAMP CONNECTS TOP EMPLOYERS TO DIVERSE TALENT

Less than 20% of tech sales positions are held by women - even less if you are a woman of colour. We created the Women in Tech Sales Bootcamp to change that - one cohort at a time.

Join us for a special evening of lightning talks and networking with the growing Women in Tech Sales Community!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-in-tech-sales-april-mixer-2021-tickets-149007763231

Thank you Devon for sharing your story.

 

Peter studies combining data science with behavioural science, looking at Internal Bias, Needs, History, Stimulus & Context, External Influences & Wants.

I interviewed Peter 12 months ago at the beginning of the pandemic, where we discussed how organisations were having to react to the changing way people were buying, as we had been forced into an online remote environment. This also impacted the data on which business were basing their assumptions on.

Fast forward to March 2021, we are 12 months on, what's changed?

Peter shares

What he has seen happen over the last 12 months.

What is Predictive Behavioural Analysis.

The impact of moving to the cloud and the opportunity this brings for 2021 and beyond. 

The rise of the Artisan on the high street.

B2C is blurring into B2B.

Why leadership has had enough of data, they now want insight and actions to take.

Can B2B compete with Amazon when they don't have access to the data.

Do organisations need a "Peter" to help them.

If you are in either sales or marketing and you are interested in data, this one is for you.

Now is the time to be where your customers are going not where they have been.

Learn more about Peter here - https://xmplify.co.uk/

Connect with him on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/peterdorrington/ 

 

What do 4000 years of geometry, Pythagoras theorem, and the future of sales have in common?

I discuss this and other things with Justin Michael and Patrick Joyce of JMC Consulting.

They are ripping up the rule book of the sales process and methodology. As we move into a post-pandemic world (This sounds like a Michael Bay movie) the way we sell in B2B is being upended. 

What channels should we be using?

What technology should we be using?

What data do we need?

Where does Automation fit into this?

How much further will Automation work before we realise we have gone too far? Have we gone too far already?

What even is the role of an SDR if research from Gartner is to be believed that one in three buyers do not want to engage with a seller throughout the buying process.

Mckinsey cites buyers are becoming more comfortable in spending big in a virtual world. 

Comp and reward, is this even fit for purpose?

We discuss what the future makeup of the sales team looks like?

Is History just repeating itself?

What is a Salesborg?

If you would like to understand this and more, tune in.

Connect with Justin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaeljustin/

Connect with (or text) Patrick - https://www.linkedin.com/in/pwilliamjoyce/ 

"AI is my sword. Sales data is my shield. The AI Sales Revolution has begun. Arm yourselves, brothers and sisters."

This is the headline of Rob Turley on LinkedIn, who is my guest today.  Rob is the co-founder of White Rabbit Intel where he describes their purpose as :

"Driving the vision, mission, and strategy of White Rabbit Intel--making advanced artificial intelligence analytics easily available, highly affordable, and commoditized, so that all businesses; small, medium, or enterprise have a solution to do better business at a revolutionary level of efficiency. To unlock the raw potential of data to connect business professionals to other businesses at a truly personal level. To allow businesses to see insight into what they actually are, what is working, define pain points while making real human connection the priority."

In this episode, we talk about, or rather I listen, to Rob's story where he shares why it is critical for sales & marketing teams to have their data in order to drive far more effective outreach to your target audience for the 21st Century. This makes sales teams more efficient in their prospecting, targeting the right people who are most likely to want to buy your product or service.

He shares some amazing stats around what he and his team have achieved for some of their customers in a matter of months around increasing pipeline and revenue, in double digital multiples in some cases. 

Rob's brain works at one hundred miles an hour, so strap yourself in. 

Follow Rob on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-turley/

Learn more about how White Rabbit Intel can help you and your sales teams here https://www.whiterabbitintel.com/

In this episode, we are going global with social.

I am joined by Anita Veszeli, Global Head of Social Engagement & Advocacy at Ericsson. 

Anita describes what she does as this "At Ericsson I enjoy a unique position with oversight of all social media, employee advocacy and influencer marketing across our global business. This bird’s eye view enables me to create a social-first strategy which helps colleagues around the world to better reach and engage with their customers.

I believe in adopting a strategic approach to digital marketing, challenging existing ways of doing things, and measuring the impact of our programs. I enjoy working with the wider Marketing and Communications team, helping colleagues in Ericsson’s business areas and markets to use social to solve their business challenges. Our expertise and social media insights help them to make better decisions and speed up sales velocity.
Key to our success is #TeamEricsson, our employee advocacy program, which involves around 10% of our global workforce. I’ve very proud of this community and look to actively support their involvement with both sharable content and training support."

I discuss with Anita, how she is able to achieve this, with the support of her team.

We cover off :

How do you bring a scepital leadership team on board.

How do you train employees at scale to understand the how and the why of social media.

How technology supports this.

How do you prove it is working.

What does the future look like for Employee Advocacy.

Follow Anita on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/anitaveszeli/

Follow Anita on Twitter @anitaveszeli

Read her article on 4 research backed tips to help you plan your 2021 social media strategy https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/4-research-backed-tips-help-you-plan-your-2021-social-anita-veszeli/ 

 

There seems to be more tribalism than ever happening on social at the moment.

You are wrong, I am right. I will not engage in a conversation with you and hear your side of the conversation. End of.

The sales world is no different.

This works, that doesn't work. You are wrong, I am right. I have been guilty of it myself in the past. I am now listening to the other side of the conversation. I am learning too. 

Cold Calling - always causes the biggest "debate". It always has and no doubt always will.

It's here. It works for some, not others.

Recent McKinsey research cited "Top performers favour cold calls over cold emails. Across the 40,000 deals we looked at, old-fashioned telephone calls were superior for getting peoples initial attention.…, high performers relied on cold calls more than unsolicited emails, making 82 percent more cold calls than low performers and sending 26 percent fewer unsolicited emails" - https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/how-data-analytics-helps-sales-reps-win-more-deals 

Something is obviously still working.

In this episode, I explore this with Gerry Hill, the EMEA VP of Connect & Sell https://connectandsell.com/ "Technology that Gets Your Best Sales People 8-10x More Live Conversations with Qualified Prospects, Every Day."

I have seen this technology live over at the Revenue Garage Channel on YouTube - https://revenuegarage.com/ 

And it works. It is as much about the quality of the data of your lists, as it is how you handle the call, which is an art form.

Gerry is a master of this art form, supported by the psychology of people, science, and data. 

Whether you are a believer in Cold Calling or not.

Just listen.

Listen to what Gerry has to say about cold calling, sales more generally, where it is all going. 

Connect with Gerry on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/beaccurate/

Or, give him a call. 

In this episode, I am joined by Seth Marrs, Principal Analyst, Sales Operations at Forrester. Seth wrote a blog back in February 2020 which piqued my interest. It starts :

  • Dynamic guided selling is a concept that is poised to become a reality in B2B sales organizations
  • Integrating sales tools to build an iterative process enables sales teams to win more
  • E-commerce guided selling, configure, price and quote (CPQ) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) and AI are the foundation for every customer interaction

Sales tools have traditionally been used to enable administrative efficiencies for sales leaders who can drive adoption. Tools can identify top prospects, reduce admin and provide improved visibility to pipeline reporting. These things all sit at the periphery of what salespeople value most — winning the deal.  

 

Seth breaks down more research he and his team have been conducting to the market and with his clients. 

We break down Guided Selling into its component parts.

Why Sales & Marketing leaders need to be considering this in concert, not in isolation.

What are the challenges faced by Sales & Marketing when looking at who to build in a Guided Selling culture and behaviours.

What opportunity this presents for them.

Why this needs to be top of the agenda today.

Your buyers are buying in a very different way, in order to stay with them, you need to engage with them on their terms, not yours.

Where AI & Automation will support and augment this. 

You can connect or follow Seth on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/sethmarrs/ - be sure to mention this podcast when you do.

Seth has also shared more resource below for your consideration :

 

Supercharging Sales with Dynamic Guided Selling: http://bit.ly/2Oq2HuV

AI Can Get You a Date, But Can It Keep Your Buyers From Swiping Left? https://forr.com/2TnzjIH

What If the World Depended on the Accuracy of Your Org’s Data? https://www.siriusdecisions.com/blog/what-if-world-depended-on-data-accuracy?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=cso20&utm_term=covid19&utm_content=sdblog

Are You Managing Your Sales Data or Is It Managing You? https://forr.com/3ghzRYY

Sales Reps as Psychics: Buyers Want You to Know Their Expectations, Even if They Haven’t Told You What They Are https://forr.com/3j9CK0v

Cadence Optimization Is a Sales Rep Prospecting Superpower https://forr.com/30rbTp0

The Best of Both Worlds: Sales Reps Can Finally Get Value From Their Customer Interactions Without Needing to Log Them https://go.forrester.com/blogs/sales-reps-value-from-customer-interactions/

Quoting Is About More Than Just Efficiency — It’s Also A Key Sales Driver https://go.forrester.com/blogs/quoting-is-about-more-than-just-efficiency-its-also-a-key-sales-driver/

I See You! How Technology Increases Customer Transparency and Lifetime Value https://go.forrester.com/blogs/i-see-you-how-technology-increases-customer-transparency-and-lifetime-value/

You’ve Got My Attention — Now What? Providing High-Impact Predictive Content to Increase Sales Velocity https://go.forrester.com/blogs/predictive-content-increases-sales-velocity/

 

In this episode, I am joined by Rob Flaska (as in Alaska).

I met Rob in the crazy world of Clubhouse, listening in to his story on how he used TikTok to become an "Antfluencer" - yes, it is a thing. How did he do this? He watched how others were using the app. His work colleagues decided to have a competition on who could keep ants alive for the longest in an ant farm. Rob decided to document his journey on TikTok under robsants.

His following exploded to plus 400k, Ants were trending on TikTok and he now has a commercial deal with an Ant Farm. As you do.

Through these learnings, he set up a second account, growthsensei - this name will make sense when you listen in - he uses this account to support and guide Businesses on how to maximise the use of TikTok, through a business & marketing lense. 

This is all on top of his day job!

Listening to Rob and his advice made me realise the underlying fundamentals of social media are relevant across all platforms.

Know your niche.

Create a community.

Engage. 

This is well worth a listen if you are considering TikTok as a platform. 

You can find & follow Rob on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/robflaska/ and of course TikTok.

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