Lead generation is a consistent topic spoken about within marketing and sales teams. In the B2B business world, billions of dollars are spent each week to attract the right clients and provide salespeople with hot leads. It’s a method that’s been used for years and though important, some are starting to believe that with advances in technology, lead generation has become outdated.
If that’s true, what’s the best method to use instead?
Todd Clouser, brand marketing expert, is the perfect person to dissect the topic and he’s sharing why demand generation is the way forward.
In this episode of Evolved Sales Live, host Jonathan Fischer sits down with Todd, Lead Brand Marketing Manager at Refine Labs, to discuss why companies should adopt the demand generation method to create a buyer-centric marketing strategy.
Don't forget to follow us on LinkedIn for more engaging sales insights and discussions! Happy watching!
Todd Clouser is the Lead Brand Marketing Manager at Refine Labs, a group of revenue-focused demand marketers that guide teams on the fast track to results. His expertise lies in creating marketing initiatives from a buyer-centric perspective to create insightful marketing solutions for companies worldwide.
Check out the transcription of this webinar episode below!
Jonathan Fischer 0:04
It's time once again for evolve sales live. Welcome back, everybody. I'm Jonathan Fischer. Talk to almost any business development leader, marketing director or sales manager and the topic of lead generation comes up pretty quickly. Most would agree that successful lead generation is absolutely a core competency requirement in any business. Entire divisions of salespeople an untold millions, if not billions of dollars are dedicated to the task. Well, today's guest believes that lead generation, as it's currently understood, is based on an outmoded and underperforming model. In fact, he says there's a far better strategy which is built for the way customers buy today, which he calls demand generation. Here today to help us discover this new model is Todd Clauser. Todd brings a content creators background to the conversation today with over a decade of experience in video production, digital and social media marketing, business development and brand management. Today, he works as the lead brands Marketing Manager at refine labs, a marketing research and development firm, which helps companies innovate their revenue engine, the way they innovate their products. Todd, it's great to have you on the show today. Welcome to you.
Todd Clouser 1:10
Thanks for having me, Jonathan.
Jonathan Fischer 1:13
So just to start off, where I always do Todd meet, maybe share what what is the everyday workaday life look like for the lead brand manager that refined labs?
Todd Clouser 1:22
Yeah, so I'm, I'm in charge pretty much of the the content production and distribution of pretty much most of the refined labs content. So me as well as my team, we do a couple podcasts, we have one that a lot of people know of with Chris Walker, we have another podcast that the rest of our team kind of contributes to and then we also have a talent destination podcast. So we run all of those as long as as well as all the content that gets created and distributed through that on LinkedIn, Tik Tok YouTube channels like that.
Jonathan Fischer 2:03
Sounds like they keep you pretty busy. Yeah. So you have a pretty interesting story as to how you got into this kind of work. If anyone looks at your LinkedIn profile, they'll be struck by the fact you call yourself the world's worst, SDR. Who would you tell us a little bit about that? World's Worst marketer? Well, I do say that but you all okay. You also mentioned about SDR, your, your brief stint. So if you would share with us about that?
Todd Clouser 2:29
Yes. So I actually started my career as an SDR. And basically, that kind of led me to where I'm at today as a as a content marketer. And the reason for that was, and I'll be the first to admit, I was a terrible SDR. But I would, you know, I'm dialing 80 to 100 times a day, having these conversations with people that did not want to talk to me, they did not request a, you know, me to call them or a demo or anything like that. So I didn't get very far. And this was a very early stage startup. So like, there was no product market fit or anything like that. It was just a, it was a difficult task. And luckily, I was I was one, I was the first person on the team. So you know, I went and talked to the CEO and said, like, hey, I want to, I want to change what I'm doing. Because it was either, I'm going to quit and go find something else just because like, I just couldn't do it. Or I was going to pitch this new idea and see how it went. And that new idea was, let's create a YouTube channel, and create this super educational content for our audience, with the intent of that kind of bringing them into to the website and learning about the product and all that. And what what happened is, we created this channel, we had some success. And we learned very quickly that the the education and what we were providing from the content was actually way more beneficial to our audience than even the original business plan. So we actually shifted the entire business plan to focus more on that educational path. And I did that for a long time, we grew that YouTube channel to about 700,000 subscribers, about 9 million views a month. And yeah, that's just kind of where I learned how to take long form content and break it down into all these other shorter forms and actually drive demand for a product that way.
Jonathan Fischer 4:42
Well, and that's what we're here to talk about today. Todd, your thesis and those of your cohorts there, we find labs that far better than lead generation is demand generation. I'm gonna ask you to find that just a moment. But first, a friendly reminder to everybody on the program today. This is a live show, and we'd like you to participate Live, so make sure you begin sending in your questions. When we get to the end of the core of our conversation, we will have a an Ask me anything q&a session with our guest expert, Todd Clauser. So talking about undefined terms, if you would, for us to start off with what in the world is demand generation and how does that differ from conventional lead generation.
Todd Clouser 5:21
Um, so the way that I would define it in there be there may be little nuances in this that different people describe it as, but like, the way I defined demand generation is, I am creating content that I'm putting out in the air in the channels where my audience likes to hang out. So like, whether that's LinkedIn, YouTube, Tik Tok, Reddit, like, it's gonna differ based on you know, your audience and your target, where they hang out, putting out content on those channels, engaging with them, and creating brand affinity. So they may not be in a bind motion right now. But that's okay. Because, you know, capturing that demand right now, from all of these people isn't my goal, my goal is to build that brand affinity. So 369 months down the road, when they decide they need my tool or product or whatever. I'm the first person they think of, um, the first company they think of, and now they're doing, you know, branded search looking for me, rather than going to a, G to and searching, you know, best XYZ tool. So that's, that's creating demand, you're building affinity for, you know, your category, your company, your product, lead generation,
Jonathan Fischer 6:42
you go ahead. That's the thing I was gonna ask you go ahead legislation, as opposed to that.
Todd Clouser 6:46
Yeah. So lead generation, on the other hand, is, with demand generation is a very audience customer centric way of distributing content, these people are already on LinkedIn, they're looking at their feed already on tick tock looking at their feed, you're giving them content for free, where they hang out with lead generation. And your your goal is to educate them, right, your goal is to entertain them, whatever that may be, whatever your your strategy for creating that demand is, with lead generation, I have a totally different goal. My goal is to take a piece of content, which is generally like an ebook, or a gated video or some other piece of content that I trade to you in order to get your contact information. So we can do cold outreach to and the difference is, you have a you have a short term mindset of like, I want to get all these leads, and you know, try to close them right away. Versus I want to, I want to build this relationship, this demand this thought leadership, whatever you want to call it. So when these people are ready, they come to me and they don't go to my competitor.
Jonathan Fischer 8:03
So it's the thing is, lead generation is kind of the norm. I mean, it's almost a universal conversation, you rarely hear of anything other than that when it comes to business development. And it says So that's clearly an incident trenched model, let's unpack a little more deeply, then what are the issues with it? So it's really clear to our audience, why this alternative of demand generation could be so important. So what are what exactly is like getting wrong here? Like like in focusing on it? What are the key errors or problems that arise?
Todd Clouser 8:36
The the key errors or problems that arise with lead gen is, it's really not. It's not customer focused, right? Like we always we all talk about wanting to be customer focused, provide the best customer experience, like all of these things. But then we get into the real world and it's like, we need to we need to close this stuff. Now. These people don't want to talk to us. It's a good way to burn bridges. I think there's a better way to do I don't even want to call it lead gen. Like there's a there's a better way to do outbound when demand gen comes into play. So basically, like when when you have a marketing team doing lead gen, the goal is to get the sales team as many possible leads as they can. So they can they can run the the outbound engine, right. Well, the problem with that is the same way AES have their revenue targets SDRs have their you know, demo set targets. Marketers have their MQL targets. And unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it. MQLs are extremely that's an extremely easy metric to gain So like it, when you have a set, it's not uncommon, you'll have a marketing team crushing their, their MQL targets. And you'll have a sales team that is like, completely, not even close to hitting their quota for the month or quarter or whatever. And like there's clearly misalignment there. So, you know, you start getting salespeople that are getting fired, because they're not hitting their their revenue numbers. But in reality, the problem isn't that the salesperson can't close, it's that they're being given terrible leads from the marketing team. So basically, the the, how you can, how you can start to turn the ship around is you get, you get a tool, like a zoom info, or whatever to let your sales team use to go outbound with. And then on the marketing side, that frees the marketing team up to do what they're best at, which is not being a sales enablement, lead gen, you know, tool, there's millions of tools out there that can do that for your sales team. Now they become a demand generation team, in their sole purpose is to drive inbound demo requests, because like, we all know, if someone comes inbound requesting a demo, that's going to close at a much higher rate than if I'm cold outbound in everybody. And the beauty of that is when when marketing can focus on demand gen, you start getting a lot more of these, a lot more of these hand raisers coming through. And your outbound team doesn't have to call 100 people a day, because they have this these, you know, way more interested buyers coming inbound. Now they can focus on, you know, prospecting, really well. And, you know, this is where this is where it gets into, like, you know, an SDR can become you can almost, you can almost run a demand gen motion, I don't know if you want to call it that. But like, your STRS can get super creative and have a prospect because instead of having to dial 100 times a day, now I can now I can spend a lot more time and I can do way more creative things to get somebody's attention that, you know, instead of going directly to my to my, you know, trash or spam or whatever. Now it's like, Hey, I gotta share this with like, my, my STRS my marketing team, like internally, like, check out this, you know, rap that somebody sent me or check out this, you know, salespeople have lots of ways to be creative in their outreach. And like this, this model gives them way more time to do those things that we know are more effective.
Jonathan Fischer 13:03
It sounds like a fantastic alternative the way that you you trace that out, Todd, I wondering why there is such a disconnect, though. I mean, MQL stands for, like marketing, qualified lead. Right. So you would theoretically think that means this is somebody who's interested by definition. So, theoretically, the disconnect, right, what happened there?
Todd Clouser 13:22
Well, the disconnect is, I mean, this, this happens at all levels of the organization, right? I mean, in marketing we have, we have an MQL target. So you start getting towards the end of the month. And for the sake of round numbers, you you need to create 100 MQLs. And you're only at 60. Now, you know, I'm going to start putting budget or doing things to just generate as many leads coming in as I possibly can because I'm not measured on if they close or not on the marketing team. I'm just measured on how many I can get to give to my SDR it's the same thing at the SDR level. You know, the SDR isn't isn't there, their gold based on demo set, or in some cases, demos booked. So like, they're, they're not necessarily, you know, incentivized to get a demo that's going to close for their AE. Yeah, they're just getting a demo that they think is going to sit in the chair, whether they care if they close or not. Yeah. So like, at the end of the day, the AE and the business are the ones that pay for it, because everybody else down the line is just gaming the system.
Jonathan Fischer 14:42
Yeah. And it's not these are bad people trying to be sneaky. It's just that they're improperly incentivized is is what I'm hearing
Todd Clouser 14:49
what they're improperly incentivized. And, you know, they've got families to feed and bills to pay and all that. So like, I mean, yeah,
Jonathan Fischer 14:59
exactly. It was Funny how when you when you set so these are supposed supposedly KPIs, right? Key Performance Indicators, theoretically you hit some target numbers, then that should lead mathematically just based on broad probability factors, right into outcomes you're looking for a problem is, if that's not done correctly, you can be measuring, measuring, and it's exactly the wrong outcome. Boeing has been going through an amazing shift away from their sterling reputation they've had since the 1930s, largely because they moved away from measuring their team members on how few corrections or issues they would have in their designs. To how quickly could they get their design ready for the for the assembly lines? Yep. And that one cultural shift? And can you guess is because a lot of venture money came in no offense to our venture listeners, but sometimes it just it goes right up the chain, doesn't it? So I loved I love your focus here on okay, what do we what are the outcomes we really want, we don't want butts in chairs, we want buyers in chairs, right? We don't want just okay, they are marketed and said they'd come We want somebody that actually could be a potential revenue generator for the business. And just think about how demoralizing it is this old model on somebody, he's out there. And the same thing that you're talking about gaming the system with just generating a lead, okay, it meets the criteria, it's an MQL, target hit. Same thing happens with dials, right? burning through dials, most of us in our career, at some point had been there, I gotta burn through and get to my last, whatever it is, right? And you don't care, you don't care. If you got, you know, 15 receptionist, you're not really pushing through to get to the decision maker. Because that's how you're being measured. So it's an important message. I love that, well, let's go deeper than with this, this alternative, I think you sold me that I like this as a better alternative. Thank you. So the audience, tell us more? How can we begin to put this into practice in our company's demand gen model?
Todd Clouser 16:53
So there's, there's a ton of different ways tactically, that you can put this into practice, I think for most people, the the question or the difficulty is not necessarily putting it into practice, but actually selling it up to leadership to to actually, you know, let marketing do this. Because the, the initial, the initial what's going to happen in the in the immediate, right, when you start is leads are gonna go down, right, because like, in the past, we're cranking out ebooks, getting people's emails, doing events, to get people's emails, and then all of a sudden, like, our strategy shifts to create content that, you know, creates interest organically. So like, we don't have that, you know, 1000, you know, leads that we used to be able to just hand over to sales like that, that doesn't those go down? So, initially, you kind of have to like, before you even start thinking about this, you have to manage the expectations, like okay, yes, leads are going to go down in the short term. But we're going to see revenue and sales velocity and demos booked and all these things that we actually care about, are going to go up. And typically, like at refined labs, we tell people like typically, it's like two times your sales cycle to really start seeing results from this. So I think the first thing is managing those expectations. But then as you as you are pitching this, the other thing is like we tell people you need to run the split the funnel analysis. So essentially, what that is, is you take all your different pipeline sources, and you measure them the whole way through the funnel and seeing what is closing at the highest rates. And when you do that, you're gonna see you know, hand raisers coming in requesting a demo are going to close at a way higher rate than any other any other pipeline source you have out there lead gen cold outbound whatever it is that you're doing. So like when you when you break it out like that you can take that to leadership and say like okay, look you know, these leads over here may go down but like look what's actually generating the revenue for us and this is what we're going to increase so I mean, that's kind of like a very basic way to look at it.
Jonathan Fischer 19:32
An internal marketing pieces required to read to sell people on this
Todd Clouser 19:37
Yeah, for sure. Because like the the demand gen side of it is going to be that's the marketing side of the house right. I mean, salespeople can do this too, like you. I always tell people to the your favorite salespeople are only your favorite salespeople because they're really good at marketing. If you go out on LinkedIn, like the people that you get the the advice from that you actually put into your, into your workflows and, you know, whatever you're doing day to day like, those people are taking this mind this demand gen mindset to their personal to a personal level rather than a, you know a company level. So it's the same thing. Like you're, you're basically modeling that behavior. And you can do it with organic, you can do it with paid like there's all these different ways to do it. But that's that's kind of how you have to get started like it's a it's a marketing function. And then once you start doing that, again, the goal is demo requests. And when you when Marketing School has demo requests, and not leads generated, like it also it also frees up like I said before, it frees up your salespeople to do things that that help them be successful in their own outreach.
Jonathan Fischer 20:55
Makes a lot of sense. And then from there, so what what's your next step? So you get buy in, maybe you whatever, you get a couple of champions sold on the concept. Like when you're talking about creating content, you you just even calling it demand? Gen says something to my marketing mind. One of my mentors from years ago was Chet Holmes, he used to talk about education based marketing. The idea here is that there is probably rarely more than, say, 9% of your addressable market that's actively buying right now, whose there are, I would say that's high. Yeah, maybe high today, right? It's gotten more crowded. So we use the word demand, to me speaks directly to the kind of content you're talking about. Like, it's not just a bunch of cute stuff, you could do some cute stuff, right? Have a little fun use humor, what have you do some quirky things a lot of has to do with what what voice your brand has? But in terms of the content itself? What what is the concept of demand gen require in terms of our content mapping?
Todd Clouser 21:55
First of all, I want to I want to when you say content mapping, like are you talking about, like the style of content that you're putting out,
Jonathan Fischer 22:02
like the whole the whole plan of what kind what types of content are going to be most effective in your model?
Todd Clouser 22:07
So I think this is another another kind of fundamental shift that you have to think about, like, typically, the way people think about marketing is like, you've got like, top of funnel, awareness stuff, middle of the funnel, as you get lower, you're getting more and more salesy, right. And that's a very lead gen mindset with, with demand gen, like, your entire funnel, we basically call it it's more like a pipe, it's not a it's not a funnel, like you're educating, at, at, like, every point, like, there, there's no point where it's like, okay, like, we've got him, we've got him down to this point in the funnel, like we're going to, we're going to shift our content, you know, strategy over to, you know, talking about product features, and how it's going to, like, it's, it's always educational. And again, like, you got to you got to think from a from a viewer or someone in the audience, or, you know, someone who may not even know that they have the problem you're solving. Like, you got to think what is the type of content that I'm going to watch, because like, there's a whole nother side to this, which is like the demand capture side, which is, you know, that's kind of like, you've created all this demand, now they're looking for your specific, you know, product, like, that's, that's different. But like, when you're when you're in the motion of creating that demand, awareness affinity, like, it's, it's all about creating value. So like, I'm not thinking about this as like, whether they're top of funnel middle of the funnel, bottom of the funnel, I'm just thinking about like, Okay, if, if I have a, what are the questions that my audience would be asking? And like the, this is kind of like, what, where I get into, like, talking about how to create content, how to put it out there. So it's very audience centric. And that's where you finding what that that messaging is? That's kind of where you get into like, the tactical stuff of like, how do you actually execute this? And if that's what if that's what you mean by like content mapping know,
Jonathan Fischer 24:27
the first point. So the content itself, it needs to drive some demand, right? Because the most of your market by percentage doesn't necessarily know they need what you have. Or at least they don't know why they should have your solution over another. And there's not a compelling reason for them to switch until you educate them on that. So there's probably got to be a lot of research that is done. You can't just put together your classic features and benefits and here's a company history and try to have a little fun and think you're gonna get a lot of people signing up for demos will be my assumption. Am I on track or don't Am I missing something?
Todd Clouser 25:01
No. 100%? Like, again, it comes back to answering the this is what I tell people in generic content strategy. It's like 99% of marketers will just like, they look internally, they're like, Okay, what does our product do? Let's create content around like how we think that could help this market. Whereas like, nobody's actually talking to a customer, whether that's like me talking to you, and like interview style, or me going out on LinkedIn, or wherever my customers hanging out and seeing, like, posts or questions or things that are coming up in comments. Most companies aren't doing that. They're just like throwing content out there to see what sticks and trying to like relate it back to their product. But nine times out of 10. Like, that's not what people are looking for. So like, like, one of the things I tell people is like, when you're trying to figure out what your audience wants, there's three super easy ways to do it that nobody does. One is you can literally do customer interview research. Like,
Jonathan Fischer 26:12
what a thought,
Todd Clouser 26:13
what a thought, right? Yeah, yeah, I mean, the second is you can go out and you can ask people in like a, in a wider arena. So like, number one is like, Alright, I'm going to call my customers and talk to them. Number two is okay, I'm going to, I'm going to post some content out on LinkedIn, asking people questions, rather than trying to, like, tell them what, what I think they want to hear. And the other one is like literally going into other people in your industries comment section, and seeing what questions are coming up like you don't even there's, there's literally like very little work involved in doing that. But like, these are three ways that you can very easily figure out the questions and the problems that people are having. So
Jonathan Fischer 27:02
Well, that makes a lot of sense. I love it. Wow, how will people know they're doing it wrong, if they're gonna really take and run this over this whole demand demand gen model? Give us 30 seconds of how to avoid a pitfall when trying?
Todd Clouser 27:15
So you need to you need to figure out like positive signals. So like in the beginning, when you're when you're creating content, your positive signals are going to be like, are the right people engaging with my content? What are the conversations that are happening that are coming up for my content? Am I getting, you know, guest appearances on podcasts? Like, I'm becoming like, I hate using the word thought leader, but like, a thought leader in my space, like, those are the initial signals that you're going to see. And then after that, once you have this going for, you know, 3060 90 days, like, are you actually seeing people coming through and requesting demos, and then telling you that they heard about you through these demand gen. Actions that you're doing? So like in order to measure this? We talk about this all the time at refining labs, but like simply put in a Where did you hear about us open field text form on your demo request? Form? People will people will write a book on where they where they found you, you know, I saw your I heard your CEO on a podcast. And then I went and asked somebody and you know, whatever community and X, Y and Z told me that, like you were good to work with, you know, that's, it's not uncommon to see that level of depth. When you do that, and you start doing these demanding activities. So like, that's the that's the good side. Second thing like it's gonna it's going to tell you people are coming in. And then finally, it's like, Are these people closing?
Jonathan Fischer 28:49
Yeah, yeah. So you should see so so ratios should boost be boosted from this approach. If you're doing it the right way, is what you're saying? Oh, yeah, for sure. Nice, nice. Well, audience has been a great conversation. We're gonna move over to q&a here in just a moment. But if you'd like to take things further, you can absolutely follow the whole team over at refine labs by simply going to their website and refined labs.com. You can also find Todd Clauser. On LinkedIn, connect to him directly. There's a spelling of his name, fellow crowd like me, it's closer and see what he's got going on. He tells me there's a whole team of them posting really great content on LinkedIn and elsewhere all the time. Also a friendly reminder that today's show as always is sponsored by overpass. Need to build a team of remote sales pros fast. There are 1000s of highly qualified potential hires waiting for you on the overpass talent marketplace. The leading solution for hiring prevented talent. Overpass makes building a high quality team quick and easy filter by industry and experience, interview, hire and begin onboarding in as little as two days. create your free account firstname.lastname@example.org. All right, so let's get over it. to some q&a, we got some new questions coming in one from Andrew, he's asking, do you recommend using video in the sales process as your Creator yourself? Do you think that's a good move? Is it is it becoming? Is it kit? Is? Is it? Is it a little cheesy? Or do you think about that?
Todd Clouser 30:19
I'll say this, I haven't been an SDR in a long time. So I don't want to go out on a limb and tell you like what you should and shouldn't do. Like, in a very specific sales role. I will tell you this, when people get caught, this is from a consumer standpoint of a lot of sales outreach. When people get creative with their outreach, whether that's video, and look, video can be just as bad as any other form of communication. If it's like, if you write me a, you know, a non personalized, like cheesy email. And instead of sending me that you just send me the exact same scripted thing in a video like no, it's going to that's not what I'm looking for. But if you get super creative, and like the delivery of your message, absolutely like, but it doesn't have to be video like it could be. It could be video, it could be like, I've responded to people that have sent poems. Like there's all different creative ways that you can like get somebody's attention, rather than, you know, just the typical sales email.
Jonathan Fischer 31:36
sighs Well, there's a related question. I'll hit Andrews to real quick here. He also asked do you recommend the phone? As a first touch point? Is that something that still has legs? Do you recommend against it for it? Don't don't know, if you don't know more? Tell us your thoughts on that.
Todd Clouser 31:52
Yeah, again, like I'm speaking about this from a consumer level not as like someone who's actually dialing. And so take this with a with a grain of salt. But again, to me, it's it's more difficult to be creative on a phone. Because people I mean, like you're being I don't want to throw out statistics that I don't know to be 100% True. But like a lot of sales calls are scripted. So like, you have to stick to it at least within the guardrails of a specific script, or like, you'll get dinged by your manager. So to me, and plus, like, especially if your call my cell phone, like most of the times, like it's going to, it's going to be like marked as spam. And I'm not going to answer it anyway. Yeah, so something that you can create, like this is again, this is kind of taking, like the Creator economy mindset, like create your creator mindset into a sales process. Like, if you can, if you can pre record pre make, do whatever something and then send it to me, like, at least for me, I'm going to be more likely to share or react to it.
Jonathan Fischer 33:09
That makes a lot of sense. A great question came from Michael Novak, he's actually asking whose feedback is more important buyers, for those who didn't buy.
Todd Clouser 33:22
This is this is pretty interesting. We actually just did a pot. I wasn't involved in it. But my my team just did a podcast on win loss analysis and all the things that you can gather from like a win loss analysis and the whole, the whole premise of the not the whole premise, but a huge part of that conversation was like, everybody looks at like why we won. And very few people look at like why we lost. And there's so much insights that can be gathered, from you know why we lost certain deals that I mean, I don't want to say one is more important than the other, but like you should be looking at both. Yeah.
Jonathan Fischer 34:04
Yeah, no one likes to look at it see if sounds like a negative, right. But yeah, there's plenty of lessons there. Right? I mean, it's the other side of the coin, you don't want to only what you did well, where can you still improve? So Ivan is asking a question, it's a little longer the wording here some see if I can just get to the gist of it based on the way the algorithms whereas this is a social media marketing, tactical question. And based on the way the algorithm seemed to favor more, you're using your free posting content as opposed to paid ads. What do you recommend? Is it should you do a mixture just really put all your eggs kind of in your creative posting strategy? What do you recommend there?
Todd Clouser 34:42
So two things here. One is I would steer clear of posting like, my product is XYZ like here's why it's important to you. By saying like, if I don't post about my product, how will people know that I work for XYZ company. If you're doing this properly, that's not going to be the case. Because like, most of the time, your your messaging will be aligned. So like, for me, I work for a, you know, we help marketing teams run their demand gen strategies. So, I talk a lot about demand gen, I talk about how to create content, how to, you know, generate interest through content. I'm never talking about like, refine labs can do XYZ, but because the, because the messaging of my company and my, my information is aligned, when people hear when people like, associate me with this with a type of content, it's aligned with how they, how I want them to associate with my company. Now, that being said, that's not going to be everybody. Right? Right. So if I'm a salesperson, and I'm selling HR software, I'm not, I'm not I'm not necessarily a thought leader, subject matter expert in the Human Resources space. However, by there's two things you can do here, I mean, one is like your salesperson, you can just talk about sales, you can talk about your, your daily, you know, stuff that you're going, that's happening to you every day. And by becoming an expert in that space, and just becoming well known on LinkedIn, Reddit, Tik Tok, wherever your audience is, like, people find you. And like, this, this, this may be like a tangent here. But like, for instance, Chris Walker, who's the CEO or fine labs, he is very, like, everything is very educational, like, you watch one of his videos, like, you feel like you should have paid for that. Because like, it's, it's that good. That allows me, because we have that that high level subject matter expert, you know, doing this content every day, that allows me to kind of like come down a level, and like, I can put out, you know, marketing skits that still have still have the underlying message, like I used to, I used to do this, like, he would talk about something on the podcast, and then that that would give me content ideas for the weak, like, he's talking at a very high level about, you know, pick a topic, I take that same topic. And instead of going into like detail, like that, he can go in way more detail than I can, I can take that topic, and I can insert it into, you know, one of my one of my series used to be like inserting myself into a movie scene. So like, half the conversation was me and I would make that movie scene about demand gen, or whatever the topic was. And like, again, like, if I was the only person you saw doing that, like, Yeah, it's funny. Am I gonna, am I gonna spend, you know, $30,000 a month because I saw a funny video, like, maybe not, but like, we're hitting different. We're, I'm getting in front of a lot of people with this comedy, people are seeing him and they're sharing with their CMO, like, we're hitting people at all levels of their career and like their interest levels.
Jonathan Fischer 38:40
Sure. Maybe even inside, even even organizationally, right. Usually, there's a generational spread inside the organizations that are your prospects. So I wonder if that gives you a little more little little more oomph in your your group efforts there as well. I'm going to bring in one of my new questions that I just thought of, which is kind of related to what I just said, Are there concerns? Or should you take a look at kind of things like tone, when it comes to who your target audience is, like some of these larger category? I think you already kind of partially answered already, you're getting away with it, because you have multiple personalities and styles on the team. Maybe speak that a little bit more, if you would like and if you're smart, you're you know, you've got your vertical or verticals lined up, you know, your your profile who you're trying to target is does that influence it to certain extent? Or what are your thoughts on that? That the way you execute? It has an impact? Yeah.
Todd Clouser 39:33
I think so. So like, for going back to the example I just use, like, let's say I'm a VP of Marketing at my company. And, you know, I don't have a high level subject matter expert already, like a Chris Walker that's putting out all this educational content, right. Am I going to is my initial strategy going to go out to be to go out and make all Have these like, funny marketing skits? Probably not. Unless, unless my you know, it's a, it's a product that doesn't have to be explained in a deep level, maybe if it's if it's an easy sell that, you know, that could be the case and some like plg motions are something like that. But like, that wouldn't that wouldn't be my first play, like my first play would be get somebody who's going to be able to be the subject matter expert, they're going to be able to talk about exactly all the things that our customers care about at a very deep level, and create demand for for the category.
Jonathan Fischer 40:38
So other questions just come into pop into my mind. So obviously, we still need to be bringing in teams to work opportunities, and turn that into actual close business. What do you recommend to people that are working outsourced? I mean, this is an important area of business, an awful lot of business just by for various reasons needs to be done third party that can include teams of STRS, that can include outsourced sales enablement, you guys are kind of an outsourced company in a way refined labs to one degree or another, if I understand correctly. So what are some of the concerns or maybe some some best practices recommendations, you could make an in that space? You know, I've got a team that's, you know, maybe based in the city of STRS, maybe I have an enablement guy, you know, or team working here. And I've got my own internal team, talking about maybe coordinating these things briefly, if you could, what are your recommendations?
Todd Clouser 41:28
I'm not quite sure I understand the, the, the question how to how to coordinate like, if you're
Jonathan Fischer 41:36
working with Yeah, if you're working without source solutions, what are some ways you can implement a demand gen strategy, especially given that the lead gen model is still so ensconced? My question stank. So thanks for helping me with that.
Todd Clouser 41:57
Um, how can you state it one more time, I'm having trouble kind of wrapping my head around this.
Jonathan Fischer 42:04
Okay. So most companies don't share this demand gen. A methodology or philosophy? So obviously, one, one solution to the to the question is to hire those who maybe do, but maybe you have a team you're working with, and they're good. And you want to make a shift? That's not internal. Right? Yeah. So what do you think you could do? So let's say I'm the Business Development guy at the firm? And I have, and I'm sitting in that chair, and I'm like, okay, Todd, you've, you've closed me, I want to shift to this philosophy. Can you give us I'm catching you completely off guard here taught us? It's not it's not even fair. But I'm just wondering, do you have any thoughts on how I could go about that? So far, that kind of conversation has been completely internal, right? We're assuming that we have an internal marketing team, with an internal team of of sales pros, right, more or less? So maybe we speak? I mean,
Todd Clouser 42:53
I think, like, with refined labs, like we, most agencies are, and maybe this is where the questions coming from, like, most agencies that people think of, it's like, I outsource my creative to this agency. I get consulting from this person over here. And then like, I have to figure out internally how to, like, bring them together. And like, do that. At refine labs, basically, like we're all that so like, we're in your Salesforce instance, we're in, we're doing creative, like we're, we're measuring all of these things that that we were just talking about earlier. So it almost comes down to like, the the partner that you choose, needs to know what they're doing is not good have an answer that is like I I don't know how else to say it. It's like,
Jonathan Fischer 43:56
you'd have to get them sold on it and maybe doing well, but,
Todd Clouser 43:59
but like, again, this comes back to being having like subject matter expertise, like, yeah, you know, the whole point of demand gen is to build this over time. So that like, Yes, I know, you can do these things. And I'm bought into that and then proving results like, sure. You know, I don't I don't have a great answer for you.
Jonathan Fischer 44:22
Well, I mean, it's something it's an ongoing, it's an ongoing concern. It's an ongoing project, right to shift the focus away from some of these older models. Just like cold calling is something that can't really be done the way it could have been done even just maybe five or 10. short years ago, you still kind of do some first calling is some of our guests on the show have called it. But it's just another way, an important way that we can better innovate with this demand gen philosophy. And tada, thank you so much for bringing that to the conversation today. It's been a ball and you've really got a lot of juices flowing in the minds of our audience. I know that for sure. So thanks so much for being here. Well let the guests know. They're listening today or the audience. Session say that we do have a fantastic topic next week and that's going to be the five unforgivable sins of SAS sales copywriting. And Todd, you you're probably gonna come back and hear that because that seems like this is right in your bailiwick as well. But once again, Todd, thanks so much for being on evolve sales. Appreciate you.
Todd Clouser 45:17
Thanks for having me, Jonathan.
Jonathan Fischer 45:19
All right, everyone. Have a great weekend. Thanks again for being here. Take care. That's gonna do it. Bye, everybody.